Best-selling author Brad Thor is expanding the tweet that started a social media firestorm. On Tuesday, he sent out this tweet: “Hey @Reince & @GOP – let me be perfectly clear. If Jeb Bush is the nominee, I will never vote Republican again.”
“The whole of idea of a Jeb Bush candidacy and potential Presidency is managing the country’s decline, not fixing it, not repairing it,” Thor told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, shortly after his tweet exploded across the conservative blogosphere.
“At this point America doesn’t want another Bush,” Thor told Breitbart News. “I don’t want Jeb Bush for President and I will not vote for him.”
“If this is really about what’s good for the country, Jeb Bush should run for senator in Florida four years from now and take it for the Republicans,” Thor said.
“If it’s not about you, Jeb,” Thor told Bush. He then challenged Bush to “help us maintain control of the Senate in Florida.”
Thor, whose thriller, The Lions of Lucerne, was published in 2002, has written ten additional New York Times best-sellers. His most recent novel, Act of War, was published in 2014, and a new thriller is in the works.
Thor was not squeamish in detailing the current condition of the United States. “I believe that the problems facing this country are so dire I don’t want someone who is going to kick my dog less,” he said.
“We don’t need a patrician manager of the big federal bureaucracy in D.C,” he added. “We need an absolute constitutional warrior, not only someone who is going to whittle this government down to the size it should be, but someone who is able to rally everyone behind him or her.”
Putting a Democrat or establishment Republican in the White House in 2016 won’t be sufficient, Thor said.
“You put in a left winger, it’s going to increase the size of the federal government. You put in a squishy moderate, it’s only going to increase the size of the federal government more slowly.”
As Thor sees it, Jeb Bush is no constitutional warrior.
“Jeb Bush may slow the boat but he’s not going to turn it around.”
The idea of a third party, which conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said he was “an inch away from” on Monday, while appealing to Thor, is not without its limitations.
“I think a third party is a great idea,” Thor told Breitbart News, “but the question is, when we create a viable third party candidate, can that person get enough votes to win?”
Still, Thor said, “I would rather vote for a third party candidate than vote for Jeb Bush.”
“It’s more important to put someone in who’s going to fix things, not manage its decline,” Thor added.
Managing the decline of America is exactly what both major political parties have been doing for many years, Thor said.
“If you have to put a term in front of the word, conservative, a qualifier, you are not a conservative. Mitt Romney said he was a ‘severe’ conservative. George W. Bush said he was a ‘compassionate’ conservative. Neither one was a conservative.”
For Thor, Jeb Bush is just another in a long line of establishment Republicans who don’t have what it takes to fix the country.
“Jeb Bush may not tag himself with a qualifier, but he’s like his brother George W. Bush and Mitt Romney when it comes to being a conservative,” Thor said.
Thor was not impressed with the Presidential political track record of the Republican party.
“They can’t win an election. We have to stop the bleeding,” he said. “If that means not voting for Jeb Bush, fine, tear the band aid off now.”
Like many conservatives, Thor was disappointed with the party’s nominees in 2008 and 2012.
“The party told us in 2008 it’s McCain, trust us. Didn’t do it. The party told us in 2012, it’s Romney, trust us. Didn’t do it. The GOP sucks at winning elections for President. So they get the guy they want, the donor class wants, and they lose.”
Judging by the popularity of Thor’s comment on Twitter, the best-selling author appears to have expressed a sentiment held by many conservatives.