In a last ditch effort to stop The Donald from becoming president, an anti-Trump group is uniting in the search for an independent candidate who can defeat both the Republican front-runner and Hillary Clinton.
Members of the NeverTrump group admit the chances of their third party candidate making it to the White House are slim, but that’s not their main goal. The NeverTrumpers simply want to deny both Donald and Clinton the 270 electoral votes needed to become president in November.
If they can do that, the constitution leaves it to the House of Representatives to decide who our next president will be, as longtime anti-Trump Republican consultant Rick Wilson told Recode.
“We’d like to provide American voters with a choice they can be happy with and like. Someone who would touch the right conservative hot buttons, who doesn’t have the off-putting and troublesome aspects of personality that Donald Trump displays.
Christian media icon Glenn Beck, who is deep in the NeverTrump camp, thinks that candidate could potentially be Libertarian Party candidate Austin Petersen, according to Western Journalism.
“Austin says all the right things … he’s my guy now.”
While Beck’s support falls short of an actual endorsement, the Christian media icon has invited the Libertarian candidate to his studio next week so perhaps an official endorsement is on the way.
Petersen shares common ground with Republicans over issues like abortion and has gained the respect of conservative leaders like Ben Shapiro and the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cookie and their correspondent Kevin Williamson.
— The Billie Williams (@bcwilliams92) May 19, 2016
He still must defeat Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, to claim the party’s nomination.
Whoever winds up being the third party candidate, Beck and other conservative leaders are desperate to avoid a Donald Trump presidency, according to GlennBeck.com.
“I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t describe casino-owning billionaires who think it’s perfectly moral to murder children for revenge as the ideal leader people should follow.”
The group of NeverTrumpers, including commentators William Kristol and Erick Erickson along with strategists Mike Murphy, Stuart Stevens, and Rick Wilson, have considered a number of third party candidates.
Mitt Romney’s name was floated, possibly on the same ticket with Ted Cruz, but both high profile Republicans turned down the idea with Mitt calling it a “weird Hail Mary thing,” and Cruz saying he has no interest.
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) May 19, 2016
The group also considered Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Sen. Tom Coburn, retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, retired Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The group even approached Trump’s fellow reality star billionaire Mark Cuban, but the owner of the Dallas Mavericks turned it down flat and then went on to endorse Donald.
The campaign effort to line up donors, conduct polls, and consider potential candidates has been going on all spring, but ratcheted up earlier this month when Donald Trump effectively became the Republican Party nominee.
— JacloPac (@JacloPac) May 22, 2016
No third party candidate has ever managed to become president; Teddy Roosevelt came closest in 1922 with 27 percent of the vote, and state deadlines are starting to pass, meaning the candidate won’t be on the ballot in all 50 states.
The NeverTrumpers continue to hold out hope they can find the right candidate to defeat both Donald and Hillary Clinton in a general election, as Wilson told Recode.
“If we find the right person … the rest is trivial. Finding the correct candidate who’s the correct fit for this year of political craziness and anxiety, getting that person on deck would unlock a whole lot of resources that would run a third-party campaign.”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)