UPDATE 3 — 6/6, 3:29 p.m. EDT: National Review contributor, Iraq war veteran and constitutional lawyer David French announced on Sunday he will not be launching a presidential campaign in 2016, tweeting that he made the decision after “After much thought and prayer”.
Following up: First, the independent path is wider than people understand. Second, I’m not the right person to walk it.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 6, 2016
Following up in an op-ed for National Review, French wrote that he “gave it serious thought . . . only because we live 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.”
“Hillary Clinton lies habitually and changes position on virtually every public issue except for her pro-abortion extremism, and she has a suspicious record of making public decisions that favor donors to the Clinton Foundation,” French continued.
“Donald Trump also lies habitually (sometimes minute by minute), and changes position based on his moods. In one breath he claims to support working men and women, and then with the next breath he threatens to destroy our economy through trade wars or by playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States.”
French concluded with an ominous prediction:
“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.”
UPDATE 2 — 6/2, 2:39 p.m. EDT: A group of political activists also in search of an conservative, Independent presidential candidate are unimpressed with Bill Kristol’s choice of David French to challenge Donald Trump on the ideological right, according to a report Wednesday afternoon.
A source within the Erick Erickson faction of anti-Trump conservatives told The Hill that they won’t “be jumping on board with what Kristol is doing.”
“Let’s be realistic about this,” Erickson wrote on his website. “David French has, charitably, .1 percent name ID . . . I’d vote for David French. Ultimately, however, I suspect the ballot access hurdle will be too much. I suspect it really will be an insurmountable probability.”
The group headlined by Erickson, formerly of RedState.com, also includes former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist from Tennessee, Rapid City, South Dakota businessman Bob Fischer, GOP strategist Liz Mair, and former George W. Bush adviser Bill Wichterman.
The group is still in talks to recruit their own conservative presidential candidate.
UPDATE — 5:23 p.m. EDT: Bloomberg Politics is reporting that Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol has recruited Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and constitutional lawyer David French to run on a conservative Independent presidential ticket.
According to two Republicans familiar with the effort, French is still considering the offer and has yet to make a decision.
In a piece written for the June 6 issue of the Standard, Kristol opines that the two major party candidates are so unqualified for the presidency “that it’s no longer clear one needs a famous figure to provide an alternative.”
“To say that (French) would be a better and a more responsible president than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is to state a truth that would become self-evident as more Americans got to know him,” Kristol wrote.
Neo-conservative political pundit Bill Kristol gave a little hint over the weekend that a third party candidate may emerge from the right-wing sooner rather than later.
Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) 29 May 2016
Possible names being thrown around an independent bid to oppose Trump and Hillary Clinton have been Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Stanely McChrystal, Condalezza Rice and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.
Earlier in May, Kristol met with Romney to discuss a strategy to oppose Trump and the two have actively been organizing a campaign against the presumptive GOP nominee ever since.
Mitt Romney explained his reasoning for his opposition to Donald Trump.
“I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world,” Romney said.
Despite Romney’s determination to stop Trump, sources close to the former presidential candidate say that another run from him is unlikely.
Some sources cited by Newsmax via NBC allege that a third party candidate could emerge as early as this week.
[The Independent] [Newsmax] [Politico]