Dozens of neocons, ranging from former government officials to former elected Republicans, held a Zoom call to discuss a new anti-Trump centrist party.
The call, which was hosted by Evan McMullin, the failed third party anti-Trump presidential candidate in 2016, was full of neocons upset at the direction the Republican Party under President Donald Trump, believing that a new “centrist” or “center right” party would be the best option to return to “normalcy.”
The new party, which could potentially be named either the “Integrity Party” or the “Center Right Party,” would run on a platform of “principled conservatism,” which included “adherence to the Constitution and the rule of the law,” which the participants in the call claim had been “trashed” by President Trump.
Participants in the call included people from the last four Republican administrations, including President Trump’s, former elected Republicans, and previous Republican ambassadors and strategists. Members included former Congressman Charlie Dent, Elizabeth Neumann, Trump’s deputy chief of staff in the Department of Homeland Security, and John Mitnick, the general counsel for DHS under President Trump. It is unclear, but seems likely, that the party would have the support of longtime Republican insider Karl Rove.
According to Reuters, the new party would not field candidates across a total national platform, but would instead only run candidates in some races, then endorse “center-right” candidates in others, from any political party. Over 40% of participants on the call agreed with this strategy, while others suggested that they form the “Center Right Republican” faction within the GOP itself.
“Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy,” McMullin said. “The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new,” he added.
Jason Miller, a spokesman for President Trump, described the call participants as “losers,” who “left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden.” A representative for the Republican National Committee referred back to a recent statement from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who said that “the only way [for Republicans] to win is if we come together.”
It would come as no surprise to many that McMullin is currently leading the charge for a new party, given he has been pursuing that option since even before the results of the 2016 election were announced.
McMullin failed dramatically challenging Trump in 2016 as a “principled alternative,” coming 5th nationally and receiving just over 0.5% of the vote.
Following his 2016 victory, President Trump referred to McMullin as “McMuffin”, the popular McDonald’s breakfast sandwich, during one of his speeches.
“I never heard of this guy before. Nobody did. And the polls said he’s even with Donald Trump. My wife said, she looked at the television and she said he’s not even with you. Believe me, he’s not even,” Trump said.