Former US defence secretary Jim Mattis refused to endorse his former boss Donald Trump on Thursday, urging voters to search for leaders who present “competence and compassion”.
“I will decline your offer to endorse a candidate,” the retired 4 star basic instructed a digital occasion with Sydney’s Lowy Institute, joking that “retired generals need to retire their tongues during election season”.
But the previous marine went on to element a number of qualities he seems to be for, and which appear to be at odds with Trump’s bare-knuckled political model.
“What I would look for most in a leader is competence and compassion,” he stated.
“I would look to the character and competence of the leader, compassion, empathy with their people, all their people.”
Mattis additionally cited former president Harry Truman’s promise to be “the president of those who did not vote for him” — a message that Democratic nominee Joe Biden has channelled in current days, as he tries to win over undecided and swing voters.
Since resigning from workplace Mattis has drawn fierce criticism from Democrats for his perceived failure to criticise Trump, and for an insistence on dodging political questions regardless of being a former Trump political appointee.
Mattis did briefly break his silence final June, after US army personnel have been used to quash largely peaceable protesters.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us,” he wrote within the Atlantic journal.
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
With three weeks to go till the ultimate day of voting and with tens of millions of ballots already solid, Trump is trailing in nationwide polls and in a number of battleground states.
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