If frontrunner Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, one of the biggest names in the Republican Establishment, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, says he “doubts” he would support the Democrat in a general election but would “support getting someone good on the ballot as a third party candidate.”
“I doubt I’d support Donald. I doubt I’d support the Democrat,” Kristol told CNNMoney via email. “I think I’d support getting someone good on the ballot as a third party candidate.”
The old GOP Establishment hotness was demanding Trump pledge in writing to support the Republican nominee, even if it isn’t Trump. He has since done so.
It now looks as though the new GOP Establishment hotness is threatening to support a third party candidate if Trump wins — the same third party maneuver the Establishment loudly and repeatedly assured would mean a Hillary Clinton victory if Trump chose that route.
To be fair to Kristol, he finds partisan loyalty oaths silly…
Problem: Party seems like a closed group of insiders resistant to new faces and ideas. Solution: A loyalty pledge. https://t.co/GC7u1pcMkK
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 2, 2015
…but if the plotting and planning among the GOP Establishment is to run an Establishment candidate as a third party in the event of a Trump nomination victory, by their own shrill admissions over the summer, the Establishment is consciously prepared to flip over the entire boardgame and hand the White House to Democrats in 2016.
Unless of course they were all lying with their loud claims that a third party run would result in a sure-fire Republican loss. I don’t think so. All the polling shows that any breach between Trump and the Republican Party means — and by a safe margin — four years of President Hillary Clinton.
Either way, a very large part of the Republican base has already lost complete faith in the GOP Establishment. Kristol’s warning or trial balloon or whatever it is will only further alienate the Party from its own base.
While Trump looks to expand the Republican Party, Kristol’s comments will appear to many like a childish threat to annihilate the Party if the GOP Elite don’t get their way.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC