The Competing Strategies of the Never Trumpers

RUSH: Here's Denise in Seattle as we head back to the phones on Open Line Friday. Welcome, and great to have you here.

CALLER: Good morning. Thank you. As you mentioned, I'm from Seattle, and I'm a Republican in Seattle, and I had a question for you. I'm hoping that you could clarify a point that you made a couple days ago where you said that the Republicans were going to attempt to put a third choice out there for the 2020 elections and thereby split the Republican vote and potentially put a Democrat in office. I am extremely concerned about this thought, because if those Republicans could see what's happening in Seattle because of Democratic policies, I would beg them not to do this, because any Republican --

RUSH: Sad to say... Sad to say, the Republicans are not blind. They know what Democrat policies do, and they know what liberal policies do. They can see it. Seattle's not the only place. You've got any number of cities that have been run for the longest time unchecked by liberalism or disasters. It's dirty water, poisonous water, you name it. Homelessness out the wazoo. That's not the point. The point is, these people hate Donald Trump.

Doesn't matter. Hillary Clinton would be preferable, to them, to Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders, anybody. They hate Donald Trump. It's all and only about that. Now, there are two competing stratagems here. One of the stratagems was put forth by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, and his idea to get rid of Trump -- 'cause the Democrats can't do it without help -- is the Republicans have to nominate somebody that's to the right of Trump, and he doesn't have to get on every state ballot.

They would like him to be, but just get on some state ballots where Trump won closely, narrowly in 2016, and split the Republican vote. Friedman's belief is that if you put somebody further to the right... Since Friedman thinks that all conservatives are neo-Nazi, right-wing, gun-toting, no-two-front-teeth hayseeds that drive pickup trucks, he thinks that if you put somebody that appeals to those people on the ballot against Trump that they'll all vote for whoever's to the right of Trump because conservatives are nuts.

The other version of this is people who realize that Friedman doesn't know what he's talking about. Nominating somebody to the right of Trump is not gonna split the Trump vote as much as nominating somebody to the left of him would. The Never Trumpers in the Republican Party, which... Do I need to name names? Do you know who I'm talking about? The Mitt Romneys. The McCains.

These people want a moderate Republican like them on the ballot. They believe that there's 7 to 10% of the Republican Party that hates Trump and that if you give them a moderate, Washington establishment-type Republicans, they will break away from Trump and vote for that person and thereby dilute Trump's support. So those are the two competing ideas. I don't know that anybody's trying to implement Friedman's.

But the Republican Never Trumpers are thinking about implementing theirs. I don't know whether they'll be able to pull it off. They've gotta find somebody who can go through the rigors of getting on the ballot and in the debate. You can't just say, "I want to run for president," and be on the ballot. There's certain things you have to do to gain your position on the ballot. One of them is including beating Trump.

Now, these people would not be Republicans on the ballot. They'd be independents, 'cause nobody but Trump is gonna get the Republican nomination. So it would have to be third-party option, but it would be a moderate Republican. Remember, the idea is to have the Democrats win. The bottom line for this strategy is the Democrats win the presidency in 2020. That's what these Republican Never Trumpers' objective is.

CALLER: And that's very concerning.


CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: No kidding.

CALLER: That's beyond concerning, and I'm not even sure what to say on that point.

RUSH: I don't know that it's gonna happen. Look, it's not as easy as it sounds, and these people are not nearly as loved and popular as they think they are. I'm just telling you what some of the thinking is now. Remember, since election night 2016, there have been people plotting how to get rid of Donald Trump, and many of the things we've seen tried -- such as the FBI, the sting, the Russian collusion, the Mueller report. I'm just telling you: This is another one that people have in the hopper that they're thinking about. The fact that it may not happen, you have to consider.

Just a strategy. Just a desire, just a dream, just a hope right now.

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