WASHINGTON (JTA) — Norman Podhoretz, a founder of the neoconservative movement, said he backs Donald Trump for president.
With his endorsement in an interview this week in the Times of Israel, the former editor of Commentary magazine parts ways with the many neoconservatives who say they cannot support the Republican nominee because of his foreign policy views.
Podhoretz, 86, said that any concerns he had about Trump are outweighed by his trepidation at a Hillary Clinton presidency.
He cites especially her role, as secretary of state in President Barack Obama’s first term, in shaping last year’s deal in which Iran rolled back nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief.
“I think the Iran deal is one of the most catastrophic actions that any American president has ever taken,” Podhoretz told the Times of Israel. “That’s how seriously I regard it. It paves the way for Iran to get a nuclear weapon.”
Commentary, a vanguard of neoconservatism when it was edited by Podhoretz from the 1960s through the mid-1990s, has now become a locus of conservative discontent with Trump because of his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his derision of President George W. Bush for his handling of the war in Iraq and of terrorism.
Podhoretz’s son John Podhoretz, who now edits the magazine, is a prominent figure in the ad hoc #NeverTrump movement.
Norman Podhoretz says his son continues to try to persuade him about Trump’s demerits.
“He thinks that Trump is worse, and I think that Hillary is worse,” he said. “He keeps trying to persuade me. He sends me things, articles, showing how bad Trump is. And I keep saying, ‘I know all this. I don’t need to be persuaded.’”