A new television advertisement from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign features news clips of prominent Republican politicians – among them U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine – criticizing Donald Trump and saying they won’t support him.

The advertisement, which is being aired in key election battleground states – including Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as on national cable networks – features high-profile Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The 30-second ad shows footage of Collins from a Maine television interview saying, “I just cannot support Donald Trump.”

Collins’ statement comes near the end of a string of criticisms from Graham, Flake, Romney and other Republicans and is followed by a still photo of Trump with the caption: “Unfit. Dangerous. Even for Republicans.”

Collins, who has said she won’t vote for either Trump or Clinton, did not authorize the use of her image or words in the television spot, her spokeswoman Annie Clark wrote in an email to the Portland Press Herald on Monday. Neither Collins nor the other Republicans specifically endorse Clinton in the ad, and all the clips appear to be from news conferences or publicly broadcast news interviews.

Over the weekend, Clinton’s campaign sent out a news release touting the ad and Clinton’s ability to “work across the aisle to get things done.” The campaign declined to comment on the commercial Monday.

In August, Collins penned an opinion column for The Washington Post explaining her aversion to the Republican presidential nominee.

“My conclusion about Mr. Trump’s unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities. Three incidents in particular have led me to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president,” Collins wrote.

The first incident Collins outlined was Trump mocking a reporter with disabilities. The second was his claim that a federal judge born and raised in Indiana could not rule fairly in a case involving Trump University because of his Mexican heritage. The third was the candidate’s criticism of the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq.

“It is inconceivable that anyone, much less a presidential candidate, would attack two Gold Star parents,” Collins wrote.

Collins was also clear that she didn’t intend to vote for Clinton and has repeatedly told reporters she may write in a name on her ballot. She has also said if former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, she would likely vote Libertarian. The Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate is former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, while Weld is the vice presidential candidate.

Scott Thistle can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

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