Back in 2016, Vox called National Review’s David French “the random dude off the street that Bill Kristol decided will save America from Trump.” French wasn’t some random dude off the street, but he certainly didn’t have name recognition, either.
As it turns out, French ended up not running at all, but former Weekly Standard editor Kristol appears not to have given up on the idea of floating a candidate to take on President Trump in the primaries — a recent Pew poll says the idea has some traction.
At The Bulwark, where conservatism is conserved, Kristol shares a note from veteran political strategist Bruce Gyory:
A majority of Republicans and Republican leaners continue to say that they do not want Trump challenged in a primary next year. But 43 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners would like to see Trump get a primary challenge next year. That 43 percent number is up by 6 percent from the 37 percent level right after last year’s midterm elections. This is a high number on the ascent.
When Trump is matched against Democrats, especially liberal Democrats, in horse race polling, Trump does hold onto 85-plus percent of the GOP base. But if Trump loses 10 percent to 15 percent of the Republican and Republican-leaning vote to a Democrat or to a Democrat in combination with a third party candidate (say Justin Amash as a Libertarian), that would be significant—particularly because Trump has united over 90 percent (close to 95 percent, actually) of Democrats against his GOP brand.
So, does this mean Kristol will back another #NeverTrump candidate? Rep. Justin Amash certainly seems like he’s making moves to position himself as the #NeverTrump alternative and perhaps run in 2020.
What does everyone think of David French 2.0?
President Hillary Clinton endorses this message.
— J.C. Pennington (@Shark_Four) May 28, 2019
Give it up…..
— Dr Haider (@ArabiaDeserta) May 28, 2019
Brought to you by the same people who thought Trump could never win.
— Hawful (@Hawful) May 28, 2019
You keep trying and trying. Good luck with that.
— (((Laura Kuhn))) (@loudakay) May 28, 2019
— Devin G. (@deving49) May 28, 2019
— Rebecca Niles (@RebeccaDNiles) May 28, 2019
How much traction, Bill? ?
— Brad Deal (@bbdealio) May 28, 2019
— Barry Farnsworth (@doc_trin) May 28, 2019
Good luck with that.
— Wonderful Blue ?! (@PeltFrelken) May 28, 2019
— Skybuster (@Skybuster187) May 28, 2019
Yeah… I might win the lottery too.
— Mr Moon (@TNNrealnews) May 28, 2019
Keep working it Bill.
— tmsp (@tmitmsp) May 28, 2019
By “traction” he means a waste of money and a lot of attempted ego building and self navel-gazing.
— Paychecks Not Handouts (@HellNoYouDidnt) May 28, 2019
— totally not exonerated dipshits (@dudelove88) May 28, 2019
Unless of course, you are picking the challenger again. Maybe sit this one out.
— MD4 (@mdavidsoniv) May 28, 2019
There are a lot of people in the comments reminding Kristol that Bill Weld is running, and many are wishing Amash or John Kasich or even David Frum (!) would run against Trump in 2020, and then there’s the Max Boot/Jennifer Rubin crowd:
I would suggest that we give the country back over to the Democrats. The GOP just continues to mess it up and Dems have to fix. Stop voting GOP until they put country and laws and humanity before their pockets.
— Snarks (@Winskit3) May 28, 2019
Conserving conservatism by voting for the open borders/higher taxes/socialist/infanticide party will “fix” things? What have the Democrats fixed since they took back the House?
French connection: Possible third-party candidate David French lands body blow on Donald Trump https://t.co/zYbmsGym0f
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 2, 2016