Reince Priebus Dismisses Third Party Effort: ‘The People Involved With It Are Embarrassing Themselves’

Screen Shot NBC

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

Asked about the effort by some in the Never Trump movement to get conservative writer David French to run for president as a third partier, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said Thursday: “I have to say, I think the people involved with it are embarrassing themselves.”

“I think it’s sort of silly, to tell you the truth,” Priebus said while appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.

 Speaking of French, Priebus said: “Look, I don’t want to say anything disparaging against the guy because I don’t know him and I’m sure he’s a good person, but I think it’s also just this sort of suicide mission, and a huge distraction.”

“I don’t see it going anywhere,” Priebus said. “I think in order to be a viable third party candidate, I think you have to have national name ID and a ton of cash in order to get even a blip on the radar. So I don’t really even think about it.”

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the person Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol had been hinting could enter the race was French, a lawyer, veteran and writer at National Review.

French has not announced a campaign, but tweeted in response to the news: “I’m incredibly humbled by and grateful for the many expressions of support — thank you.”

French also tweeted: “All the normal political rules apply. The conventional wisdom has been right. An underdog can’t win. Right?”

While Priebus is dismissive of a French candidacy, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a reliable Trump critic, offered encouragement. “I know David French to be an honorable, intelligent and patriotic person,” Romney tweeted. “I look forward to following what he has to say.”

Follow Alex on Twitter