The underwhelming choice of National Review fathead David French as the knight in shining armor tasked with slaying the fire-breathing dragon appears to be splitting the Never Trump movement. Arch Neocon William Kristol appears to have settled on French – despite zero name recognition – as the choice to sink Trump but Erick Erickson is having none of it. The Red State founder is less than impressed with the #FrenchRevolution and along with his pack of scurvy former Mitt Romney backers like Liz Mair will continue their shopping elsewhere.
The Hill is reporting that “Conservatives rebuff Kristol’s third-party pick”:
A group of prominent conservative activists, including writer and radio host Erick Erickson, aren’t satisfied with Bill Kristol’s suggestion of David French as a third-party candidate and are still looking for another alternative to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The activists are working separately from Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, who favors French, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
We’re not going to be jumping on board with what Kristol is doing,” said a person involved in the discussions. “We learned about this from the media along with everyone else.”
Organizers of the self-described Conservatives Against Trump group said Kristol’s decision to champion French, a conservative writer, constitutional lawyer and decorated Iraq war veteran, took them by surprise, especially because French has a relatively low public profile.
“This is like flipping open the phone book and picking someone on page 325,” the source said.
The group includes Erickson; South Dakota businessman Bob Fischer; Bill Wichterman, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.); conservative columnist Quin Hillyer; and strategist Liz Mair.
Erickson did not respond to a request to comment for this story. On his website, The Resurgent, he wrote Wednesday that he would vote for French but gave him low odds of even getting on the ballot in many states.
“But let’s be realistic about this. David French has, charitably, 0.1 percent name ID. He will have to raise at least $250 million, dedicating almost all of that to ballot access fights and potential legal challenges to extend deadlines,” Erickson wrote.
The tabbing of Mr. French was certainly a head scratcher and has the smell of a panic move by the smirking Kristol who after putting himself on the spot and then having to pull something out of his ass to save face. French however quickly became the butt of jokes as it is clear that he has a sub zero chance of accomplishing the mission of putting Hillary into the White House.
Perhaps nobody has more to lose than Erickson. The ambitious blowhard has staked his name on taking down Trump but has been left on an island stripped of all but a fig leaf as the GOP and most conservative media has moved to accept the presumptive nominee albeit grudgingly. Once the election is over – whether Trump wins or not – there is going to be a shakeout in the the conservative movement and media with new players elevated and those who have been wrong from the outset losing influence, this is inevitable and Erickson is going to find his fat ass without a chair once the music stops.