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Former GOP Sen. John Warner endorses Hillary Clinton

Add another prominent Republican to the growing list of Hillary Clinton backers.

Former GOP Sen. John Warner of Virginia gave his support to the Democratic party’s presidential nominee Wednesday, saying he hoped to “have a very quiet soft-spoken participation” in this year’s election.

“I will, when I go into the booth cast a vote for the Clinton-Kaine ticket,” Warner said early Wednesday morning. “There’s no question about it.”

Warner, a former chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former U.S. Navy, Secretary endorsed the Democratic ticket at a northern Virginia event, joining vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

The GOP senator called Kaine a “beautiful man, inside and out” who exemplified “unquestioned integrity.”

Warner praised Clinton’s bipartisan spirit while she was a U.S. senator for New York -- she served on the Armed Services Committee while he was chairman -- and he lauded her temperament during the first presidential debate Monday.

“Candidate Clinton maintained that composure,” Warner commented on the debate. “The other candidate, in my opinion, did not.”

Warner heaped heavy criticism on Donald Trump, his party’s nominee for president, citing how “distressed” he felt hearing Trump’s attacks on U.S. military might.

“We have today the strongest military in the world. No one can compare with us,” Warner said. “Does it need to be modified and changed and added to and modernized? You bet it has. But it is not in shambles. It is not the admirals and the generals and the seniors and rubble in the hallways of the Pentagon...They’re still as vibrant as the day I left there during the war in Vietnam.”

Speaking directly to critiques from Trump like those lobbed at the Gold Star Khan family, Warner added: “No one should have the audacity to stand up and degrade the purple heart, degrade military families, or talk about the military being in a state of disaster. That’s wrong.”

Warner also spoke to Trump’s inexperience in national security matters, comparing it unfavorably to Clinton’s studied and devoted participation in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“You do not pull up a quick text like ‘National Security for Dummies,’” he said. “You have to build on a foundation of experience for how you will go forward in the leadership of this country.”

When Clinton served on the Armed Services Committee, “she was firm but fair,” Warner added. Most of all, he noted, Clinton was “respectful -- that’s one word that’s totally lacking on the other side of this [Republican] ticket.”