Anti-Trump activist hopes Iraq War vet will siphon votes from the GOP ticket, but the law says otherwise.
Prominent conservative writer, Bill Kristol, has been teasing for days about an announcement of an independent presidential ticket that will drain votes from Republican nominee Donald Trump, whom Kristol deems too liberal.
And now that ticket has a name.
Kristol writes in The Weekly Standard:
Take David French, the author of the aforementioned article making the case for Romney. The fortysomething French is a best-selling author, an attorney, and a combat veteran of Iraq. A graduate of David Lipscomb College in Nashville and then of Harvard Law School, his legal practice made him one of the nation’s leading defenders of free speech on campus. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including, most recently, Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore. In 2007, having volunteered for military service, French deployed to Iraq, serving in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He lives with his wife and children in Columbia, Tennessee, and is a writer for National Review.
I happen to know David French. To say that he 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. There are others like him. There are thousands of Americans who—despite a relative lack of fame or fortune—would be manifestly superior to our current choices. And there are many, many others who stand ready to help whoever emerges to have the basic resources, assistance, and infrastructure to mount a credible effort.
But if French were to agree to be Kristol’s candidate, he has one massive problem and it’s a problem shared by any candidate Kristol recruits.
You can’t run for president if you can’t get on the ballot.
And there’s no way an anti-Trump candidate could get on a reasonable number of ballots.
And even so, they wouldn’t have much time to do it.
The ballot access deadline already passed in Texas, which would have been a prime #NeverTrump target.
The deadline in 13 other states will pass before the end of July, which is only weeks away.
Even if the deadline were the day before the election, the deck is still stacked against Kristol.
Thanks to America’s onerous ballot-access laws, it takes a minimum of 880,000 signatures to get an independent candidate on 50 state ballots.
That’s not just any 880,000 signatures.
That’s 880,000 legal, legible, verified signatures remaining even after Republican and Democrat party attorneys invalidate roughly half of your signatures.
It’s why the Libertarian Party is the only third party to accomplish 50-state ballot access – but only after having recruited tens of thousands of volunteers and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Without a pre-existing party structure to supply funds and volunteers, a #NeverTrump presidential bid would have to raise and spend millions just to get on the ballot.
The Republican Party establishment spent decades pressuring states into adopting ballot access laws to prevent independent candidates from challenging their nominees.
Republican Party establishment figures are finding that the monster they have created has turned on them and is now their biggest obstacle.