Romney is working with the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, former Red State blogger Erick Erickson and a host of GOP consultants, fundraisers and establishment types to find a candidate to run third-party against Trump.
The group believes that if they can field a bona-fide conservative it will offer an alternative to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that could win, but almost no one agrees with them.
The list of possible candidates has included celebrities, military leaders and current politicians:
Earlier prospects included former senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis. Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and retired Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal have been bandied about as potentially potent political outsiders.
The recruiters also delved into the world of reality television for someone who might out-Trump Trump: Mark Cuban, the brash billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.
The problem? They’ve all turned Mitt’s offer down.
Time is certainly not on an independent candidate’s side. The deadline to get on the ballot in several states has already passed or is just about to hit. Texas, a treasure trove of electoral votes, is one that has already expired.
Other than trying to field a candidate, Mitt has a few other tricks up his sleeve.
Mitt had previously posted a poorly-considered rant on Facebook suggesting that Trump is disqualified because he won’t release his income tax returns. The social media outrage was plentiful and harsh.
A third-party candidate entering the race in June of the election year has zero chance of actually winning, so what is Mitt Romney’s actual goal? Is he just trying to stop Trump, no matter the cost?
An independent conservative candidate would certainly siphon a small portion of votes from Trump, but not enough to win. That same right-leaning candidate would have no chance at pulling votes from the Hillary faithful. Mitt’s team is going to lead to a Hillary presidency if they aren’t stopped.
The consequences of a Clinton win are dire. Clinton will get to nominate a Supreme Court justice that will change the balance of the court. The landmark gun rights case “D.C. v. Heller” was decided by 5-4 with Scalia the deciding vote. McDonald v. Chicago was decided with exactly the same vote: 5-4. One justice going the other way and the second amendment works much differently today.
Those consequences could easily extend to privacy, states’ rights, religion and more.
In a campaign year where there is much to lose, Mitt Romney is doing what he does best – losing.