Former Bush (41) Administration official and Editor of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, is working with other establishment Republicans in Washington DC to identify a viable, third party candidate for president.
Kristol dropped the bombshell on “Mornings on the Mall,” the morning talk show I co-host with Brian Wilson on WMAL in Washington DC.
Kristol opened the interview by saying, “I feel like we should do better than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I suspect the Lord would reward us if we try hard to find a better president for the country than those two people”
When pressed by Wilson if that meant he thought there should be a third party candidate, he said, “I think there are many, many, many people who would be better than Clinton or Trump.”
I pressed him and asked if he was actively working on identifying a candidate and working with fundraisers for a third party run. “I’m trying to. I mean ‘working’ is a little bit… well, ‘working’ I guess is the term you could use,” he said.
I asked Kristol if he could identify a policy that Trump has proposed that keeps him from voting Republican this year. Kristol said his motivation had more to do with Trump’s “character” and “temperament” as traits that preclude him from being eligible for the Oval Office.
Kristol identified Sen. Ban Sasse (R-NE) an outspoken critic of Trump, and retired Marine General James Mattis as potential candidates in his 3rd party scheme. I asked Kristol what percentage of Hillary Clinton’s or Bernie Sanders’ base of support might he peel away for a conservative candidate such as those he identified, and Kristol conceded that more votes would come from Trump than from the Democrats.
Kristol also revealed he’d be raising the issue tonight with Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) but when I asked if Romney or Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) would be his choice for a third party run he demurred and suggested that a choice such as that would appear to be “sour grapes.”
Earllier this week, Kristol suggested to Newsmax that he might be softening his #NeverTrump stance:
“I mean, I guess never say never. On the one hand, I’ll say #NeverTrump, and on the other hand, I’ll say never say never. I’ll leave it ambiguous.”
That was Monday. What changed? Perhaps it was Trump winning big in Indiana on Tuesday and Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich dropping out of the race ensuring Trump’s hold on the GOP nomination. Either way, Kristol’s revelation that he’s actively pursuing potential candidates to challenge Clinton and Trump will certainly be an impediment to the GOP reunification process.