Chris Shays: I’m Voting For Hillary

Former Bridgeport resident and Republican Congressman Chris Shays shared with CNN why he’s voting for Hillary Clinton.

During the 34 years I served as a Republican elected official in Connecticut, 13 years in the State House of Representatives, and 21 years in Congress, I always voted for our Republican candidate for governor and our Republican candidate for president.

Always, but not this time.

Donald Trump lost me a long time ago.

I know some want to stick it to the so-called establishment, reject the status quo, and they see Trump as their vehicle. And I know some Republicans dislike President Obama, and have such a strong dislike for Hillary Clinton, they are willing to vote for a man they know does not have the temperament, knowledge or experience to be president.

In fact, I think many Republicans know Donald Trump could cause great damage to our country and the world at large, and still plan to vote for him. But not me. He represents practically everything I was taught not to be, and everything my wife and I taught our daughter not to be.

Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, will be getting my vote, not reluctantly, but with a strong conviction that she will be a good president.

She has made some mistakes and I would love it if she had done some things differently. But this I know: Clinton does her homework, and she learns from her mistakes. She is smart, tough, highly knowledgeable and has shown she is genuinely willing to work with Republicans and anyone else to address the countless problems that confront our nation.

Clinton proved her worth in the Senate–and her willingness to reach out to others. I saw this firsthand as a Republican congressman from New England, and more personally as chairman of the National Security Committee of the Government Oversight Committee.

My committee held one of the first hearings on the illnesses afflicting those who worked tirelessly at the twin towers site to find 9/11 survivors and clean it up. At the time, Republicans were in charge of the White House and Congress, and Clinton, who participated in our House hearing as the Democratic senator from New York, could have taken a very partisan position. Instead she chose to be an important part of the solution, which she definitely was.

As first lady, and more so as senator, being part of the solution was the kind of role she continually fulfilled.

To be completely candid, I have expressed my share of criticism over the years for the very person I intend to vote for. Some of that criticism was deserved, but again, being completely candid, some criticism was expressed more harshly than I wished, or knew was deserved. I have a sense I am not alone in this regard.

And I want a president who will attract thoughtful and talented people to work in her administration, and who will continually seek the support of both Democrats and Republicans. By working with all Americans, Clinton will ensure the inspired efforts of our Founding Fathers–who toiled unceasingly to create a Constitution designed to enable a diverse people, through the art of compromise, to find common ground–were not in vain.

While no candidate is perfect and while nothing is certain, I am convinced that Hillary Clinton has what it takes to make our government truly work as our Founding Fathers intended. That is why as a Republican she has my strong support, and my vote this November.

When I think of the numerous challenges confronting our nation, I want a president who is knowledgeable, experienced, articulate and tough. I want a president who knows the world and its leaders, the Congress and the White House, and has an innate understanding of the challenges facing everyday Americans.



  1. Chris Shays is a loser. That’s why he’s out of congress. Wishy washy, finger in the wind, liberal media favorite Republican.
    Why: because he can bash other Republicans every chance he gets.
    Go away. Nobody cares whom you vote for.

  2. Well Ron Mackey, perhaps the two above comments will help you understand why Republicans are reluctant to step up and disavow Trump. Chris Shays is a true gentleman and was a very effective representative of and for CT. I care whom he votes for and supports, as do very many citizens in CT. Make no mistake, he is both active and respected in both CT and DC. When you are a paid campaign employee, as I was for Shays, away from the public behind closed doors, you get to see the real person behind the public servant. Chris Shays is exactly the kind of man any district needs to represent it, responsive to citizens needs, willing to investigate and study both sides of an issue and reach a thoughtful and educated conclusion. It takes real courage and strong ethics for Shays to make the statement he did. Morning Joe reached out to him for a reason, and that reason is, like it or not, he is both relevant and influential and has in-depth experience with the candidate he has endorsed.

  3. Jennifer, I’ve met Chris Shays on several occasions and had the opportunity to talk to him and he always comported himself like the gentleman he is. Chris was a frequent visitor to our church Mt. Aery Baptist and unlike most Bridgeport politicians, local, State and Federal he always stayed for the entire service and never treated us like a photo op.

  4. I have always admired Chris Shays and appreciated his advice and perspective. Many people with Shays’ experience in Congress are finding Donald Trump’s persona offensive. He apparently feels Hillary Clinton’s resume and their personal interaction justifies his support for her. Based on the offices she has held, Hillary Clinton should be a strong candidate for President. I am, though, one of those people who cannot overlook her questionable judgement and behavior over many years including influence peddling with the Clinton Foundation and her dismissive attitude when caught not telling the truth. Chris Shays apparently can.

  5. We have problems, issues and concerns in the City, and it takes lifetime learners and folks who care to get up to speed and stay there. Chris Shays was that type of representative. Marilyn Moore in her two years is showing the same style. Hillary Clinton would not have to be moving very far in that direction to outperform Donald Trump in dealing with genuine issues with more than attitude or double talk.

    Let’s talk about issues, priorities, focus, objectives and goals that have metrics and for which leaders will be accountable. Anything wrong with this approach? Even in Bridgeport? Time will tell.

  6. Chris Shays is a decent, intelligent man and was a very hard-working Congressman. And he was on the right side of the gun control issue and predicted the catastrophes that have occurred since the federal assault weapons ban was allowed to expire in 2004. He showed real political courage in standing up to the NRA and being for the assault weapons ban (See USA Today, 9/12/2004).

    That being said; he was very confused and befuddled regarding US foreign policy during his tenure in Congress and could only see security for ourselves and our allies in terms of our catastrophic wars/involvement in the Middle East. And Hillary was with him in this regard.

    Chris Shays supporting Hillary reinforces my belief he needed to be voted out of office and a Hillary Clinton regime will prove as disastrous for the US and world as a Trump regime.

    I wish Chris Shays well. He is a good and decent gentleman, but he is not of the correct perspective with respect to the role of the US in the world. He has an unrealistic, dangerous belief of what the US can and should do in promoting order, civility, and safety within and among the nations of the world.

    Chris Shays would make a terrific mayor or governor. He is a good, pragmatic, fair-minded politician in the context of the absence of any need for far-reaching military decisions or advocacy. I would vote for Chris Shays if he ran for governor of Connecticut or mayor of Bridgeport, but I would never vote for him for any US congressional position.

  7. Jennifer: Just look at where our Middle East policy has taken the world. Any lesson here? What is it that is said about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? (In mental health diagnoses, perseverative behavior is usually considered to be a symptom of neurological damage/dysfunction.)

    And think about this: How did the deposition of Mossadehg affect the development of present-day Middle East political/military dynamics? And what countries are the one responsible for supplying arms and support to Saddam Hussein leading up to his invasion of Kuwait?

    Standing down and letting things in the world cool down, while making sure our homeland security gaps are plugged, is the only way to go and has been since the end of WWII.

    Enough said!

    1. Did you just tell me to sit down and be quiet? I happen to agree with you overall, we have had no business in the Middle East for decades. I know firsthand Shays did wrestle with our involvement there. He went on many fact-finding missions and found the citizens begging the US to stay and help them. The genie was out of the bottle regarding our involvement, both open and clandestine, so his decision was based on very complicated and compelling evidence. I, much like you, wish no one ever had to make the decision to vote to go to war. Too many visions of the US abruptly pulling out of Vietnam and the devastating aftermath for “friendly citizens” left behind swim in my head, which probably makes me less harsh about staying involved in the Middle East.

  8. Jennifer: Sorry if my “Enough said!” seemed directed at you. I was directing it at myself in order to short circuit a brewing diatribe that was beginning to swirl inside my brain.

  9. Why does it matter whom someone else is going to vote for? He is voting for his reasons. My reasons or needs are not the same as his.

    I am sure he is afraid the outsider Trump is going to derail the gravy train. A lot of career politicians, pay for play Clinton foundation donors, friends and lackeys are.

    Watch how this Dinesh D’Souza interview applies to BPT.

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