Establishment Republicans are looking to retired senator Tom Coburn or retired Texas governor Rick Perry as possible third-party options if they can’t stop Donald Trump at a brokered convention in Cleveland.
Neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol, son of Irving, has been one of the leading forces trying to broker the convention to throw out the will of the people if Donald Trump fails to make it to 1,237 delegates before July. But even if Trump reaches 1,237, Kristol and the gang are considering running a third-party candidate against him to split the vote, ensure that Hillary Clinton wins, and keep control of the party that is slipping out of their grasp.
The New York Times reported Saturday:
The names of a few well-known conservatives have been offered up in recent days as potential third-party standard-bearers, and William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, has circulated a memo to a small number of conservative allies detailing the process by which an independent candidate could get on general-election ballots across the country.
Among the recruits under discussion are Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator who has told associates that he would be open to running, and Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who was suggested as a possible third-party candidate at a meeting of conservative activists on Thursday in Washington.
Clinton would be a better choice for the establishment Republicans, who can still fundraise off of their opposition to her. Clinton would also presumably give them more establishment-friendly policies than Trump, who is looking to push economic policies that benefit the middle and lower classes and small businesses.
Newt Gingrich, who is in favor of a Trump-Cruz alliance among delegates to prevent the Establishment from brokering the convention, took aim at Kristol in an interview with Breitbart News.
“It’s childish nonsense,” Gingrich said, on the idea of a Kristol-led brokered convention. “There are two potential presidential nominees. One is named Donald. One is named Ted. The idea that some clever Washington intellectual or power broker — put quote marks around ‘power broker’— can step into an election in which millions have voted and magically change the trajectory of history? It’s goofy. There’s two players standing.”
Establishment Republicans treat the GOP much the way checked-out old sports owners like Jerry Jones treat their teams. They get to go sit up in the owner’s box with their families or their dates, they get to control the season ticket packages, they can drive up prices for the fans, and they don’t really care if the team wins or not. And there’s nothing the fans can do. But now the fans are taking over the team. And the owners are trying to wreck the team in order to save their ownership of it.