For anti-Trump Republicans looking into the possibility of fielding a third party presidential ticket if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, one thought is to recruit a respected military leader like retired four-star General James Mattis to run.
Mattis’ name came up earlier this week when the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, one of the masterminds behind a potential third party plot, appeared on The Federalist Radio Hour to discuss how such an effort might work.
“In a recent poll of the Armed Forces on this subject which saw Donald Trump doing very well there was one write in vote for James Mattis,” host Ben Domenech noted as Kristol was discussing potential candidates.
“Jim Mattis would be great,” Kristol replied.
Search Mattis’ name on Twitter and you will find nearly two dozen mentions just this month by Americans longing for the former commander of U.S. Central Command, who is known for his fierce intellect and blunt speaking, to make a run for the White House.
But the “Warrior Monk” told The Daily Caller in an email that he hasn’t heard any of the speculation about him possibly joining or leading a third party presidential ticket this fall.
“Haven’t seen the reports and I’m quite sure it’s just idle talk,” Mattis, who is currently a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, said.
When pressed whether he would consider a third party run if drafted, Mattis said he didn’t really want to pursue the line of questioning any further.
“I prefer not to discuss further, Jamie,” he replied. “I think it’s merely idle chatter.”
This isn’t the first time Mattis’ name has been raised as a potential presidential contender. Responding to calls last summer that he consider entering the presidential fray, Mattis explained during an appearance at Columbia Basin College why he probably wouldn’t make an ideal candidate.
“I’ve lived a very colorful life and I’ve said some things,” noted the man who once advised Marines under his command to “Be Polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
For those still hoping Mattis might consider a presidential run, you can grasp onto the fact Mattis wasn’t exactly Shermanesque in his response to TheDC. While he didn’t exactly express great interest in a third party presidential run, he didn’t definitively rule it out either.