“by Frank Holmes, reporter”
Political insiders believe a former Fox News personality is pulling out all the stops to guarantee President Donald Trump loses the 2020 election, even if he has to run for president himself. And last week, an ex-Republican senator threw gasoline all over those rumors.
D.C. operatives have their eye on Weekly Standard editor and ex-Fox News commentator Bill Kristol.
Two weeks ago, Kristol attended the “Politics and Eggs” forum in New Hampshire – a must-attend event for anyone running in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.
Before you write that off as coincidence, you’d better see where he’s speaking tomorrow.
Kristol is scheduled to give a speech about Trump on Wednesday night…in Mount Vernon, Iowa, the state where the presidential season kicks off.
Is Kristol dipping his toe in the waters before he throws his hat in the ring?
A former high-ranking Republican politician may have just tipped Kristol’s hand.
Former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey wrote in USA Today last week that he wants Trump out of office, but challenging the president from inside the GOP “won’t lead to the White House.”
After listing possible never-Trumpers who could run as an independent candidate – including Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, and Ohio Governor John Kasich – Humphrey dropped one more name.
“Bill Kristol, analyst, commentator and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard is among the well-known people who fit that description,” he wrote.
Humphrey, who was senator from New Hampshire, could be a huge asset to Kristol either way.
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It’s no secret that Kristol despises Trump and desperately wants to end his political career.
Kristol has mocked Donald Trump’s America-First message as “authoritarian nationalist populism” and wrote that Trump resigning as president would be “the single best thing that could happen for the country.”
“We need to take one shot at liberating the Republican Party from Trump, and conservatism from Trumpism,” he told the New York Times (which would also love to see Trump leave the Oval Office).
Kristol and his friends in the GOP consultant class had already formed a “Committee Not to Renominate the President” last August.
But no one knows hard it is to recruit a Stop-Trump candidate better than Kristol, since his last attempt failed so spectacularly. On Memorial Day weekend 2016, five months before the election, he tweeted:
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) May 29, 2016
Kristol met with Sasse, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and General Jim Mattis – but in the end, he even failed to convince National Review columnist David French to run.
He had to settle for former CIA asset Evan McMullin, who is now a talking head on CNN – just like Kristol.
At the time, Kristol joked that he would only campaign in states covered by Amtrak’s “Acela Corridor,” the track that runs along the Eastern seaboard. Elitists often ride in its luxury cars while shuttling between their homes:
Convo in Acela cafe:
Stranger: "Why don't YOU run?"
Me: "I'd only run in states served by Acela."
Him: "Your VP can cover rest of country."
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 11, 2016
Voters might prefer “someone from real America,” he wrote.
Is he putting a campaign in place just in case no one else steps up?
Pundits openly wonder if Kristol is actually a stalking horse for someone more viable.
The candidate most likely to run is Kasich, who refused to rule out an independent or third party run in 2020. But polls show that voters in Kasich’s Ohio would back Trump big time, by a whopping 62% to 27% margin.
If Kasich can’t win, Kristol doesn’t stand a prayer – but they could both win by losing.
Sitting presidents almost always lose the election if a primary or third-party challenger rises up from their own party. If their goal is just to send Trump packing, they might just poison the well enough to end his presidency.
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That would hand the presidency over to a liberal Democrat who would set the clock back to the Obama administration – and drive us further left than Obama ever managed.
Kristol may be fine with that. He helped Democrat Pat Moynihan drive a Conservative out of the Senate in 1976.
Since Trump’s election, Kristol has admitted drifting toward liberalism, even socialism:
The GOP tax bill's bringing out my inner socialist. The sex scandals are bringing out my inner feminist. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are bringing out my inner liberal.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 21, 2017
But we don’t want socialism or liberalism from any president – Republican, Democrat, or independent.
Frank Holmes is a reporter for The Horn News. He is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”