Confirmed: establishment party “sore losers” considering seeking Libertarian Presidential nomination

By David Sherfinski at The Washington Times:

Nicholas Sarwark, who chairs the Libertarian Party, said former presidential candidates have approached his group to solicit information about launching a White House bid on the Libertarian ticket.

“We have been approached by candidates who have dropped out of the old party races about running on the Libertarian Party ticket,” Mr. Sarwark told The Washington Times. “At this point, none of them have jumped in … but we have explored the options and talked to them about the logistics of it, what they would have to do, how they would be able to become part of the process.”

Mr. Sarwark declined to confirm which specific candidates have done so. But Republicans and conservative activists bent on taking down GOP front-runner Donald Trump have been batting around various ideas on how to stop him or slow him down.

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48 thoughts on “Confirmed: establishment party “sore losers” considering seeking Libertarian Presidential nomination

  1. Bondurant

    All the more reason for state chairs to monitor new faces seeking to be delegates.

  2. Jason Gatties

    It’s not a slam dunk, even if any were to get the nomination. Gary Johnson wasn’t on the Michigan ballot in 2012 due to “sore loser” laws here.

  3. George Phillies

    Massachusetts has a firm policy that being a delegate is an honor and a privilege, and delegates elected other than at the state convention (last October, dudes) have to have an established record of activism and support of our party.

  4. George Phillies

    As I posted in the comments on the article:

    Well, so long as they are willing to run on sound libertarian positions, such as: Abolish selective service registration. Massive cuts in the military. End the current foreign wars. Unlimited abortion access. Legalize pot, and pardon all Federal drug criminals. End agricultural welfare (gasahol, sugar,etc.). End all foreign aid, except perhaps disaster relief. Equality before the law on taxes…no special tax rates for investors and investment bankers. End domestic surveillance, and criminal trials for those who used stingray, carnivore, raptor, and its relatives against Americans. War crimes trials for the Bush and Obama administrations for the war of aggression against Iraq and failure to prosecute same. George Phillies, Libertarian State Chair, Massachusetts

  5. Andy

    The overwellming majority of these people are not even remotely libertarian, so I doubt this is a good thing.

  6. Bondurant

    @ Jason Gatties

    Laws passed by Democrats and Republicans don’t apply to Democrats and Republicans.

  7. Deran

    I think we can assume these un-nameds don’t have the financial backing to attain their own ballot access. And so are looking how likely it would be for them to get the LP nomination/ballot line.

    But I can’t think of any mainstream GOP primary candidate that can come close to garnering the LP nomination.

    At least from what I understand the LP being all about?

    And especially after Bob Barr, I assume?

  8. George Phillies

    In some states, the winner at the convention automatically goes on the November ballot if the party has the correct sort of Federal ballot access. In other states, the Republican would need a Libertarian state chair signature. Lots of luck, guys. In Massachusetts, instead of creating controversy, they can simply find their 11 independent voters to serve as electors, lay out — my best estimate — $40,000 to collect enough signatures dropped at the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, and be on the ballot. I believe that the Pirate Party is not running a Presidential candidate this year; it would be a highly appropriate descriptor on the secodn line of their ballot entry.

  9. George Phillies

    Deran,
    For most plausible ex-candidates and their backers, dropping ten million now to get the line would be a drop in the bucket.

    There are two states that close very soon now. if they do not have substitution for independents, there might be complications.

  10. NewFederalist

    “Rand Paul probably could do it.” – Andy

    At the severe risk of not getting re-elected to the U.S. Senate, perhaps.

  11. Gene Berkman

    Whether it is true or not (I am leaning toward “not”) it got The Libertarian Party mentioned in an article. Good work Nick on taking advantage of a chimera.

  12. robert capozzi

    Yes, RP2 is a very possible. One could imagine that the idea of being in DC under either Trump or Clinton sounds like a bad time.

    Take a swing. Go home to doctoring. Might be the way to go.

  13. George Phillies

    Rand Paul is highly unlikely. Run for Senate in his state and President everywhere else solves the legal limit.

  14. Andy

    I do not think Rand is going to do it either. I just meant that he could do it hypothetically.

  15. Dave

    Well, let’s go down the list and see who might have an interest, irregardless if they could win.
    Gilmore: He seems to like running for president. No way he’d get the nomination though, he’s probably even less known than Johnson.
    Jindal: Hates Trump. But too socially conservative and just plain conservative.
    Carson and Christie: Endorsed Trump.
    Huckabee: All but endorsed Trump.
    Fiorina: Backing Cruz. Still, I could see her being one of the more realistic options to try if Trump got it.
    Bush: Endorsed Cruz, no chance I think he tires.
    Rubio: Still operating under the delusion he has a political career, and seems invested in “saving” the GOP.
    Perry: Endorsed Cruz, but IIRC promised to never back Trump. Could see him going for it.
    Walker: Endorsed Cruz, sitting governor, close to GOP establishment. Doubt he’d damage the party like that.
    Graham: Strongly opposed to Cruz, but he finds Libertarians alarming so don’t see it.
    Paul: Most likely option, save he’s running for his senate seat this year, one presumes as a Republican. I don’t think he’d throw that away to run a campaign for the LP that would all but guarantee he’d lose the seat and the election of a Democrat.

    For the dems:

    Webb: I think he ruled it out, but I could see him trying. He’s promised not to back Clinton, thoug hhe did speak warmly towards Trump.

    O’Malley: Nope, loyal Democrat.

    Chafee: He’s aparty switcher time and again and dislikes Clinton, but I think he’d have to know the LP would almost certainly reject him. Though maybe he’d play up nearly challenging Bush in 2004.

    Did I miss anyone?

  16. robert capozzi

    AJ, who do YOU think it was, then?

    I assume NS is not fabricating this. Notice he said “candidates,” plural.

    I would not have thought RP2 would attempt a bolt. OTOH, when he dropped out after Iowa, Trump was not the likely nominee. Most probably thought the sideshow barker routine would fizzle. The situation has changed.

  17. robert capozzi

    jp, are you asking me? No idea myself, but probably none.

    Possibly, if RP2 and RP1 were a ticket, I think maybe that might fly with the cult-challenging set. Even if RP1 promoted and endorsed his son publicly in person on the floor, that might work with that crowd.

  18. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m asking you, Robert, and also everyone else commenting. Does anyone think the LP would accept any of these possible players?

    My opinion on Rand Paul is that he won’t be pursuing us now. He’s still a young man, and I can’t see him burning his bridges with the GOP.

    I can’t think of anyone from either the Democratic or Republican parties getting anywhere with us this late in the game, but stranger things have happened.

  19. Andy

    A couple of guesses as to who it might be: Jim Webb or Roque “Rocky” de la Fuente.

    Rand Paul would be the most plausible candidate, but I am thinking he is not going to do it.

  20. Stewart Flood

    Delegate requests coming in almost every day here. Mostly old members getting active again, but a few new/unknown people.

    My guess is that it “could” be Graham. Some of the requests I’ve seen are from people known to be past supporters/field ops for him from his days in the house. But there is no way we’d let him sit in our delegation. So while it “could” be Graham, I really think it is unlikely.

    I’m guessing they’d put up a past presidential nominee for the built-in name recognition. That only leaves two choices, neither of which we’d vote to nominate.

  21. robert capozzi

    Supreme was a D candidate, and according to Wiki, is now pursuing the LP nod. So, that’s one.

  22. Nicholas Sarwark

    Whether it is true or not (I am leaning toward “not”) it got The Libertarian Party mentioned in an article. Good work Nick on taking advantage of a chimera.

    Thanks Gene! In the last two weeks, I’ve done interviews with the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Reason, the Washington Times, and NBC News. If the #NeverTrump movement is the angle it takes to get the news media to notice it, so be it.

  23. Shawn Levasseur

    Where we stand today, I can’t see anyone successfully jumping to the LP at this late a date. At least not successfully.

    We may see a “mystery guest” or two (ala Mike Gravel in 2008) who’ll attract some attention, but with no serious support, they’ll likely be categorized as “mostly harmless”.

  24. jstryder

    I know first hand that Vermin has at least one prospective delegate pledged to him. He is said to be organizing his army of zombie-powered federal identification ponies and magical toothbrushes for a full-on assault. Hopefully, it’ll be front page news.

  25. langa

    The only former major party candidate (from 2016) that would have a snowball’s chance in hell at getting the LP nomination would be Rand Paul, and even there, I think he would face an uphill battle. Rand has burned a lot of bridges with libertarians over the last few years.

    Personally, even though Rand was by far the best (or, more accurately, least bad) of the GOP candidates, and even though nominating him would bring a lot of attention to the LP, I would still oppose such a move. Ultimately, having Rand as the official spokesman for the LP would simply serve to further confuse people about what libertarians stand for, and thus, would do us more harm than good.

  26. Cal

    I think it’s Rubio. Following the Cruz sex scandal rumors, Rubio asked the RNC if he could keep his delegates. He seems to think he has a shot with Cruz out of the picture even though he’s dropped out (hasn’t stopped candidates before: look at Gary Hart and Ross Perot), so I wouldn’t doubt he’s also been sticking his nose in the Libertarian Party’s offices, too

  27. NewFederalist

    “He is said to be organizing his army of zombie-powered federal identification ponies and magical toothbrushes for a full-on assault. Hopefully, it’ll be front page news.” – jstryder on Vermin Supreme

    Don’t worry about toothbrushes when the smoke flowers descend on Orlando followed by the unicorn army of time masters Vermin IS Supreme!

  28. Richard Winger

    The Texas May 9 presidential independent candidate would not stand up in court if it were challenged. The Texas deadline for independent candidates for office other than president is June 23. The US Supreme Court in Anderson v Celebrezze said that states must go easier on presidential ballot access than ballot access for other office. That is why the Green and Constitution Parties beat the Georgia requirement in federal court on March 17.

    There is no argument that Texas could make that it needs a May 9 independent presidential candidate deadline, when the Texas deadline for other independent candidates this year is June 23.

  29. Shawna Joy Sterling Libertarian Presidential Candidate

    When Rand campaigned with Mitch McConnell here in KY to help Mitch get the US Senate seat, he lost his credibility. Rand sees his future in the GOP not the LP. Rand may even still think he has a chance to get the nomination of the GOP at the convention or even to be selected for VP.

    We don’t know, but I’m pretty certain from what I saw campaigning against Mitch, is that Rand and Mitch are working together in the GOP. Rand wouldn’t do anything to hurt his leverage with Mitch, and that is why I don’t see him leaving the GOP to run with the LP.

    Also, if it was Rand, he wouldn’t need to call Nick because he already knows what he would need to do to seek the LP nomination.

    I think it’s one of the others, because Nick said that the person or person’s didn’t know how the LP nomination process worked.

  30. Andy

    If Rand Paul showed up at the LP National Convention in Orlando and said that he wanted to be the LP’s candidate for President, most delegates who are harboring any ill will towards him would forgive and forget and Rand would win the nomination.

    If Ron Paul showed up at the LP National Convention in Orlando and said that he wanted to be the LP’s candidate for President, he would win it easily, on the first ballot, via landslide.

  31. robert capozzi

    Mostly, this is a non-story in the Washington Times, not exactly a strong media outlet. The #NeverTrumps and possibly Webb probably took a look at the LP’s ballot access as a vehicle for their fantasies, but the closer they looked, the more they probably see that it’s a non-starter.

    The idea that RP2 has re-assessed things and maybe isn’t all that interested in working the fields as an R any more, given that the GOP is likely to nominate Trump, I’d say he would be a better candidate than GJ is. He’s got the bigger name. Many Rs have openly talked about a 3rd party, and he might get more support. And he’s far more articulate and briefed than GJ is.

    GJ of course has preferable positions from where I sit, although this 16 version is less supportable than the 12 version. For all his storied talk about preparation and doggedness in business and athletics, I’m just not seeing it in his preparation to be a candidate.

    I’d say this world could use a bit of creative destruction right about now. The Rs, Ds and yes the Ls all are hitting bottom. Let’s hope that this is pre-dawn darkness.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    I partly agree with Andy.

    If Rand Paul showed up looking for the LP’s nomination, he would PROBABLY get it.

    If Ron Paul showed up looking for the LP’s nomination, he’d EASILY get it.

  33. NewFederalist

    I read it as saying a major endorsement announcement. Probably getting in line behind (fill in the blank).

  34. Stewart Flood

    This actually makes sense from the viewpoint of the GOP. Paul is on their “fringe” but is still inside enough to be “trusted” by them with the task.

    From our side, we have a lot of delegates who he could easily trick into voting for him in Orlando. He gets our nomination, the GOP tells all their regulars that he’s still a Republican, just running in our party to stop Trump in November. If he wins, he’d be sworn in as a Republican, not a Libertarian.

    Very plausible. And of course the BEST day to announce it would be on April 1st. It would get tons of press, since no one would know whether it was true or not.

  35. Andy

    Stewart Flood said: ” If he wins, he’d be sworn in as a Republican, not a Libertarian.”

    I’d say that there is close to ZERO chance that Rand Paul would win this presidential election, regardless of what banner he runs under.

  36. Stewart Flood

    I agree that there is very little chance he could win. I did not say this would be a good plan on their part. They are being “trumped” and are getting very nervous.

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