Bill Kristol, the Editor at The Weekly Standard, and a leader in the Republican Party, met with Mitt Romney (R) Thursday to discuss putting up a third party candidate to run against Donald Trump and (presumably) Hillary Clinton in November. Although Romney has stated he is not interested in the nomination, he is considered an important voice in the process. Supporting Kristol in this effort are Andrew McCarthy and Thomas Sowell at National Review. Several names have been mentioned, but the one that seems most likely at this point is Ben Sasse (R – NE). Here is a portion of his Facebook post from 2/28, earlier in the #NeverTrump movement.
AN OPEN LETTER TO TRUMP SUPPORTERS
To my friends supporting Donald Trump:
The Trump coalition is broad and complicated, but I believe many Trump fans are well-meaning. I have spoken at length with many of you, both inside and outside Nebraska. You are rightly worried about our national direction. You ache about a crony-capitalist leadership class that is not urgent about tackling our crises. You are right to be angry.
I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are about what’s happening to our country. But I cannot support Donald Trump.
Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.
Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. Much like President Obama, he displays essentially no understanding of the fact that, in the American system, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances, with three separate but co-equal branches of government. And the task of public officials is to be public “servants.” The law is king, and the people are boss. But have you noticed how Mr. Trump uses the word “Reign” – like he thinks he’s running for King? It’s creepy, actually. Nebraskans are not looking for a king. We yearn instead for the recovery of a Constitutional Republic.
How feasible is this? There are only two states that require the names to appear on their ballots by the end of June: North Carolina and Texas. Legal challenges are currently being drafted, which are expected to work, but in a worst case scenario a write-in campaign would have to suffice. If a third party candidate earned enough votes in the electoral-college, it would throw the election into the House of Representatives.
What are their given reasons for #NeverTrump? I would run out of Internet space if I listed them all, but the main reasons are:
- Trump is an Authoritarian Nationalist with Fascist tendencies
- He caters to identity politics of the American citizen
- His contempt for being politically correct stems from a refusal to be scripted, and this appeals to other “alpha males” who applaud him as someone who “speaks his mind”. In actuality, this evolution of language, which they are blaming on Obama and the liberal elite, is occurring globally, in both the public and private sectors. It’s a natural advancement in our discourse, and Trump and his followers are determined to be on the wrong side of history.
- His plan to pay down the national debt is a form of bankruptcy that will wreck our domestic economy and in turn the global economy.
An impressive list of established Republicans have come out and publicly denounced Trump; a few even burned their Republican voter cards in effigy. Some of the bigger names include:
Mark Salter, former aide and speechwriter to John McCain (R – AZ)
Ben Howe, contributing editor to the conservative website RedState
Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)
Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.)
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
Erick Erickson, conservative commentator, founder of The Resurgent
George Will, Washington Post columnist and Fox News commentator
Jeb Bush, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Bush Sr., Bush “Dubya”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), former 2016 presidential candidate
Mary Matalin, Republican Strategist, Pundit (wife of James Carville)
What does this all mean, Renee? Do I care?
I’ve learned a lot this week keeping up with the soap opera that has become the GOP. There is enough power and money to put forth a third candidate. Unfortunately, these folks did not get their shit together months ago when they should have. I think they have a decent handle on what went wrong, but I am not convinced at all they have truly learned from it. Only time will tell. Short term, we will get Ben Sasse, I believe, on an Independent ticket. He’s a true Conservative, so the only votes I think he will take from today’s map will be from people who are currently debating between voting Trump and hurling themselves off a tall bridge. Whether he manages to get enough votes to put the election into the House? I doubt it, but I didn’t think Trump would ever get nominated either.