Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., said Tuesday she definitely won't vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But for the second time in a week, she said GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump hasn't earned her vote yet either.
“You can always write somebody in,” the Republican who represents southwest Washington said after an event in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday.
Trump received a bump in the polls coming out of last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but he's still struggling to unite his party behind his presidential campaign.
Herrera Beutler said she didn’t watch most Trump’s speech at the RNC when he accepted her party’s nomination for president. She hasn’t read through all of it either.
“My husband and I saw a piece of (Trump’s speech) and that was in part because I have a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old, and that’s the witching hour for us,” she said, “It’s about when we’re putting her to bed, so I didn’t.”
Herrera Beutler said her favorite parts of the RNC were “mostly from surrogates.”
While her remarks about Trump were lukewarm, Herrera Beutler said voting for Clinton is a vote for “eight more years of the same,” which “isn’t going to help us.”
“I feel like Hillary — I question her ability when it comes to doing this job with regard to how she’s managed the State Department,” Herrera Beutler said. “But I also question Donald Trump with how he’s talked about women or minorities. My personal opinion is that the jury’s out on him. I’m hoping he can earn my vote. We’ll see.”
The Republican congresswoman said she wants to see Trump put more policy and less campaign rhetoric into his speeches, adding that time for him is running out.
“In the past, he’s supported eminent domain and in the past he’s supported single-payer healthcare — say nothing of how he’s treated people,” she said. “I want to see those things change.”
Herrera Beutler is running for her fourth term. She made her remarks following a discussion with veterans about wait times and care at Veterans Affairs hospital clinics in the Portland metro area.