Skip to comments.Report: Tom Coburn tells allies he’s open to leading a conservative third-party challenge to Trump
Posted on 03/21/2016 9:08:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The best line from any Trump stump speech this year is Everyone wants Washington to change, and that means changing everyone in Washington.” No, wait — I’m mixed up. Trump didn’t say that. It was Tom Coburn, announcing his retirement from the Senate, who did. Coburn was raging against a corrupt establishment in D.C. back when Trump was still firing people on “The Apprentice.” Such was his despair at what he encountered in the capital that he spent the last few years calling for a convention of the states to fix Washington. He’s a perfect choice in many ways for #NeverTrumpers — conservative yet anti-establishment, experienced yet uncorrupted by his time in the Senate. I’ve never had an opportunity to vote for him, but I’d welcome it.
Would Coburn maximize the anti-Trump vote on the right as a third-party candidate, though? I’m not sure.
But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trumps hard-edged populism. They described their plans in interviews after Mr. Trumps victories last Tuesday in Florida and three other states…
Among the recruits under discussion are Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator who has told associates that he would be open to running, and Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who was suggested as a possible third-party candidate at a meeting of conservative activists on Thursday in Washington.
Mr. Coburn, who left the Senate early last year to receive treatment for cancer, said in an interview that Mr. Trump needs to be stopped and that he expected to back an independent candidate against him. He said he had little appetite for a campaign of his own, but did not flatly rule one out.
Im going to support that person, Mr. Coburn said, and I dont expect that person to be me.
The best thing about Coburn as the head of the Anti-Trump Party is that it’d be harder to demagogue him as an establishment pawn than it would most other independent challengers. If Romney jumped in, Trump would attack him as a last gasp by the mega-rich country-club set to blow up the GOP after We the People took it over. That doesn’t work with a soft-spoken Oklahoman like Coburn; he’d run as a populist himself, but one who thinks reform requires reducing federal power instead of putting Classier People in charge of it. He could and would critique the system with the jaundiced eye of someone who understands its failings from the inside. He’d do well enough at the presidential debates as a contrast with Trump, making the case against Washington yet sounding like he actually knows what he’s talking about, that he might move some conservative votes from Trump’s column to his. And he’d have a fair shot at winning his home state, which is worth seven electoral votes. (Oklahoma, remember, went for Cruz this year, not Trump.) That’s not much, but which states would Romney flip realistically? Utah? That’s worth just six.
Coburn’s problem is that he might not have enough of a soapbox to muscle in on the debate between Trump and Hillary. Conservative activists know and love him, but that’s a tiny niche. Coburn could jump in, enjoy a week of fanfare, and then slip off the radar for 98 percent of the country. That’s Romney’s key advantage: He has phenomenal name recognition from his 2012 run and he has a network of donors who could bankroll a semi-serious independent effort. He wouldn’t win, needless to say, but casual anti-Trump voters looking to park their votes somewhere are way more likely to hear about it if Romney jumps in than if Coburn does. Arguably Coburn’s also an inferior choice to Rick Perry, who enjoys a bit more name recognition thanks to two failed presidential runs. Perry’s problem is that casual voters may know him mainly as the guy who couldn’t remember the three agencies he wanted to get rid of during his 2012 campaign. He’d start out being viewed skeptically by casual anti-Trumpers, but a few strong media appearances early on could weaken that skepticism. Having backed Ted Cruz in the primaries, Perry might be rewarded by donations from Cruz’s Texas base of wealthy conservatives for his third-party bid. And Perry, probably more than any other independent challenger, could put Texas itself in play in the general election. Even if he didn’t win the state outright, which would be a tall order with Democrats unified behind Hillary and Republicans split between him and Trump, pulling just 20 percent of the vote there would likely turn the state blue, all but ending Trump’s chances. If the #NeverTrump challenge to Trump is a pure spoiler effort than Perry’s probably the best choice for that reason alone.
But it sounds like he’s not interested:
@GovernorPerry has no interest in running as a 3rd party candidate. For the good of the country, he wants the GOP to unite around @tedcruz
— Jeff Miller (@JeffMillerCA2TX) March 20, 2016
Jeff Miller was Perry’s presidential campaign manager last year. Is that a sincere Sherman statement or just a provisional one, to be revisited if/when Cruz loses Wisconsin in a few weeks and suddenly it really does look like Trump’s on his way to the nomination? No third-party aspirant wants to start making noise about running now when Cruz still has a shot to stop Trump in the primary, but if he underperforms in the next few primaries it might be time for righties to start thinking outside the box.
He might get a few dozen to follow him, but if he thinks millions will hop on his train he's as delusional as Rubio and Kasich thinking they will get enough votes to be the nominee. Boy, it sure is silly season.
Wasn’t Coburn the guy Trump erroneously quoted as slandering Cruz?
Trump is easily more conservative than Coburn.
Perhaps Cruz will run as the 3rd-party figurehead.
Trump supporters when Trump threatens to go 3rd Party:
Yeah, you stick it to em Trump. We got your back. Trump Trump Trump!!!
Trump supporters when someone else threatens to go 3rd Party:
Why do you want Hillary to win?
All he needs is name recognition, gobs of $ and a lot of GOPe friends.
1-Trump - a Republican - will be shunned in a Kadich-fed "open convention" and run as an independent,
2-Bernie - who is really an Independent and has only been a Democrat for 120 days - will run as an independent once Lil' Debbie gives him his walking papers, i.e. the super-duper delegates anoint Hillary,
3-the schizophrenic GOPe will finally find a next-old-fart-in-line and run him
4-Hillary, the impeachable and inEVITAble, backed by whatever is left from the bankrupt Democrat Party,
5- a rock-ribbed, yet totally unelectable "conservative", conceived in an out of wedlock triste in a formerly Republican smoky room in an upscale resort
These idiots are happy to hand the election to Hillary.
apparently the GOP-e are hell bent on losing this election and giving control of the nation to the democrats to destroy us even more thna we have been for 8 years now
Third party assures that the unindicted criminal wins.
This time next year, it’s likely Hillary Clinton, who should be in prison, will be President of the United States.
Because the way things are going now, if they steal the nomination or create a third party to throw the election (which Trump and the RNC agreed not to do) the Republican Party will lose just about everything. Maybe some state governors and legislatures will be left in place, but not if they're part of the scheming.
Isn’t it too late for a third party to get on moist state ballots or something like that. Because I would love to have the option to vote for a third party candidate if the PTB screw over the millions of voters that voted for Donald Trump.
Apparently, so are Trump supporters if he doesn't get the nomination.
As long as the lobbyist money keeps rolling in and the good ole’ boys network stays in tact.
Loser says what?
So in other words, Tom Coburn has joined the Hillary campaign.