The "Never Trump" branch of the GOP (the ones smart enough to know they're going to lose in a Goldwaterslide(tm) with Trump) are trying to recruit an independent centrist candidate for November, for whatever that effort is going to be worth, as it's far too late to get him on the ballot in several key states.
Evan McMullin, a former CIA counterterrorism officer, will run for president as a third-party conservative alternative to Donald Trump, he said today.
"With the stakes so high for our nation and at this late stage in the process, I can no longer stand on the sidelines," McMullin said in a statement. "Our country needs leaders who are in it for the right reasons and who actually understand what makes this country the greatest on earth. Leaders who will unite us and guide us to a prosperous, secure future, beyond the dysfunction of a broken political system."
He took aim at both major-party presidential nominees.
"Hillary Clinton is a corrupt career politician who has recklessly handled classified information in an attempt to avoid accountability and put American lives at risk, including those of my former colleagues," he said. "She fails the basic tests of judgment and ethics any candidate for president must meet."
As for Donald Trump, he "appeals to the worst fears of Americans at a time we need unity, not division," McMullin said. "Republicans are deeply divided by a man who is perilously close to gaining the most powerful position in the world, and many rightly see him as a real threat to our republic."
People working on McMullin's bid resigned from Better for America — a 501(c)(4) organization that may not officially endorse or back any candidate — in order to push his candidacy. The group has been working for months to select a candidate and get on ballots throughout the country. In some states, like Texas, they will likely have to sue to get on the ballot. A 501(c)(4) group is an issue-based nonprofit that may raise unlimited funds and does not have to disclose its donors.
"Just as the American Revolution required men and women devoted to liberty and freedom to stand up and be counted, this moment calls a new generation to the same sacred task." McMullin said in the statement. "With that in mind, I have decided to pursue the cause of American renewal and the presidency of the United States of America."
It's an extreme uphill climb, but his supporters are confident that McMullin, 40, can act as a disrupter and peel off some red states in a race in which some Republicans are still resistant to Trump.
Hey, if the GOP wants to Nader themselves into losing a dozen red states in three months, I say go for it. But I can't imagine this guy getting even a fraction of the attention that even Jill Stein is getting right now.
Like David French, I'm betting this guy fizzles out before too long.