Bill Kristol’s reported third-party candidate, David French, is retreating from the presidential race.
Kristol ally, attorney and political opinion writer French announced in a National Review post Sunday night that he will not seek the highest office in the land:
Here is a sentence I never thought I’d type: After days of prayer, reflection, and serious study of the possibilities, I am not going to run as an independent candidate for president of the United States.
I gave it serious thought — as a pretty darn obscure lawyer, writer, and veteran — only because we live in historic times. Never before have both parties failed so spectacularly, producing two dishonest, deceitful candidates who should be disqualified from running for town council, much less leader of the free world.
French said that “the path is there” for a third-party candidate, and that Mitt Romney could win a general election running on such a ticket.
But French said about himself that he is not wealthy or “transformational” enough to get the job done. He continues:
But given the timing, the best chance for success goes to a person who either is extraordinarily wealthy (or has immediate access to extraordinary wealth) or is a transformational political talent. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my country, and I thank God for the successes I’ve had as a lawyer and a writer, but it is plain to me that I’m not the right person for this effort…
…I believe with all my heart that there is an American movement ready to both resist the corruption, decadence, and dishonesty of the American elite and restore the promise of the American Dream. But that movement may not emerge for some time, and it might emerge only after further heartache and pain. Let me also say that each person involved in the effort to recruit an independent candidate is a patriot. They are standing strong on principle when the GOP leadership — in lockstep — now marches to Trump’s beat. I admired them before this process began, and I admire them more even now.
“To those who prayed for me and my family, I’m grateful beyond words,” French concludes in the statement. “To those who defended my wife and kids from vicious attacks — engaging in a fight you didn’t seek — I’m forever in your debt. To those I’ve disappointed, I’m sorry. It is your devotion and integrity that help keep America great, and I believe you will ultimately prevail.”
French’s potential candidacy was mocked on Twitter after Bloomberg reporters revealed Kristol’s efforts to get French into the race.
French previously said before the Iowa caucus that he would support Trump if Trump became the nominee, telling HuffPost Live, “I’m not one of these Republicans who said, or conservatives who said, well I’m just going to take my ball and go home.”
“Weekly Standard” editor Kristol, who met with Mitt Romney to talk about a third-party run, apparently to no avail, is still holding out hope, tweeting shortly before French’s sad announcement was published:
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 5, 2016
When French was first pushed into the race by Kristol, Romney tweeted support.
I know David French to be an honorable, intelligent and patriotic person. I look forward to following what he has to say.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) June 1, 2016