Richard Armitage
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

Do you have a political philosophy?

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Armitage used to be a conservative Republican.

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.

Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense.  In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.

Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.


Question: Do you have a political philosophy?

Armitage:    I’m what used to be called a Conservative Republican, when “conservative” meant you were a fiscal conservative.  You wanted a strong national security and defense policy, and you wanted limited but meaningful government.  After all, everybody wants government in their lives when you step on an airplane; but “Conservative Republican” now has come to mean something quite difference – talk about family conservatives, and social conservatives, and that’s certainly not me.  In fact I’m defined by that set as a “rhino” – Republican in name only now.