These Former GOP Officials Really Don’t Like Donald Trump

“He hasn’t a clue.”

<a href="">Joseph Sohm</a>/Shutterstock

This story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Two Republican former administrators of the US Environmental Protection Agency are endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday and condemning GOP nominee Donald Trump as ignorant and dangerous when it comes to the environment.

“Donald Trump has shown a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws.”

“Donald Trump has shown a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws,” William Ruckelshaus, who served as the EPA administrator under presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and William Reilly, who served under President George H. W. Bush, said in a joint statement. “He hasn’t a clue about Republicans’ historic contributions to science-driven environmental policy.”

Ruckelshaus and Reilly noted that past Republican presidents made major advancements in environmental protection. But Trump “threatens to destroy that legacy,” they wrote.

Nixon created the EPA and signed the 1970 Clean Air Act into law. Reagan ratified the Montreal Protocol, which began phasing out chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. And George H. W. Bush signed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, addressing acid rain. 

Ruckelshaus and Reilly also criticized Trump’s dismissal of climate change as a “hoax” created by the Chinese government, and his pledge to pull the United States out of the the international agreement on climate change reached in Paris last year. Withdrawing from the climate agreement, they said, “would set the world back decades.” 

Ruckelshaus and Reilly are throwing their endorsement solidly behind Clinton.

“For us, there is simply no choice in this election,” they said. “We Republicans should be shocked, outraged even, at the prospect that all this progress, this legacy will be repudiated and rolled back by Donald Trump.”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.