Dozens of former Republican officials in talks to form anti-Trump third party

Reuters / Tim Reid / February 11, 2021, 3:13 AM

(Reuters) – Dozens of former Republican officials, who view the party as unwilling to stand up to former President Donald Trump and his attempts to undermine U.S. democracy, are in talks to form a center-right breakaway party, four people involved in the discussions told Reuters.

More than 120 of them held a Zoom call last Friday to discuss the breakaway group, which would run on a platform of “principled conservatism,” including adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law – ideas those involved say have been trashed by Trump.

The plan would be to run candidates in some races but also to endorse center-right candidates in others, be they Republicans, independents or Democrats, the people say.

Evan McMullin, who was chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election, told Reuters that he co-hosted the Zoom call with former officials concerned about Trump’s grip on Republicans and the nativist turn the party has taken.

Three other people confirmed to Reuters the call and the discussions for a potential splinter party, but asked not to be identified.

“Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy,” McMullin told Reuters. “The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new.”

Asked about the discussions for a third party, Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, said: These losers left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden.”

McMullin said just over 40% of those on last week’s Zoom call backed the idea of a breakaway, national third party. Another option under discussion is to form a “faction” that would operate either inside the current Republican Party or outside it.

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Comments: “This is an attempted coup to get rid of the Republican wing of the Republican Party. It needs to be exposed as such. We dint need to call ourselves conservatives. I mean even ROMNEY did that. We are the PLATFORM Republicans.”

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