Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer says it would be a “mistake” for conservatives to run a third-party presidential candidate just to thwart presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in the fall.
As reported by Western Journalism, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol is reportedly seeking to recruit constitutional attorney and author David French to make an independent bid for the presidency. French, who is an Iraq War veteran, was a senior counsel with both the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom, two organizations well regarded by social conservatives.
Krauthammer was asked on Fox News’ Special Report Tuesday night to comment on the possibility of a conservative independent challenger entering the race. “I think it’s a mistake for conservatives to run another candidate, with the explicit intent essentially of blocking Trump from winning,” he said.
“Either he’s going to win — he is the nominee of the GOP, chosen by the people, he’s either going to win or not. And if he doesn’t win, he should not be able to claim he was stabbed in the back. that would be a terrible mistake in the future,” Krauthammer added.
The filing deadline is quickly approaching in many states for an independent candidate who wishes to get on the ballot, and Texas’ has already passed, so the likelihood of success in November is almost nonexistent.
One strategy that has been suggested is that an independent candidate, coupled with the presence of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, on the fall ballot could thwart any candidate from gaining the requisite 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency, meaning the choice would be made by the House of Representatives.
Trump responded to Kristol’s plan with a series of tweets including this one:
If dummy Bill Kristol actually does get a spoiler to run as an Independent, say good bye to the Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2016
On Fox News on Monday, Trump surrogate Ben Carson predicted that the likely outcome of a third-party candidate would be the same as 1992: a Clinton victory.
“A quarter of a century ago, another Clinton was running for the White House, and it was the entrance of a third-party candidate, Ross Perot, that made it possible for him to win,” Carson told Fox News. “Wouldn’t it be ironic if the same thing happened this time?”