Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday urged conservatives considering running an independent candidate to reconsider their actions, calling them very dangerous.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that 2012 Republican standard-bearer Mitt Romney has approached Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Ohio Gov. John Kasich about mounting such an effort. Sasse has openly called for an alternative choice to either of the presumptive nominees, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, and Kasich ended his bid for the Republican nomination only after the May 3 Indiana primary, when it became apparent there likely would not be a contested GOP convention in July.
Priebus, in appearances on “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’ “Face the Nation,” called a possible independent or third-party candidacy a “suicide mission” that has serious implications, not only for the next eight years in the White House but “perhaps 100 years on the Supreme Court.”
“We could have up to three justices change over in the next eight years,” Priebus said. “It’s a suicide mission. It’s not right.”
Priebus said instead, people should follow House Speaker Paul Ryan’s example and seek common ground with Trump rather than “blow everything up.” Ryan, though not ready to endorse Trump, met with the real estate mogul in Washington last week to determine whether differences could be patched. He said a “process” is underway, and the two would meet again this week.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told “Fox News Sunday” the GOP needs to accept that voters are looking for a major change in Washington.
“He [Trump] would do more to change Washington than any other candidate,” Gingrich said. “He’s not a traditional conservative. He never claimed to be. … Clinton represents eight years of bad government in Washington, maybe 80 years on the Supreme Court.”
Gingrich, who said he would consider running as Trump’s vice president, said Trump certainly is more conservative than Clinton and would appoint conservative justices.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., however, said during the discussion with Gingrich that Trump embodies “New York values” and is too flexible on the issues, including abortion, for conservatives, coupled with being too “vulgar” and “crass.”
“I wouldn’t let my 14-year-old son say the things Trump does,” Huelskamp said, adding he won’t even let his 9-year-old son listen to the candidates remarks for fear obscenities will be employed. He predicted that without an alternative to Clinton and Trump, conservatives will decline to vote come Election Day, Nov. 8.