On Sunday, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol suggested that an "impressive" candidate might soon enter the race. Kristol tweeted Sunday to keep a heads up over the holiday weekend, as "There will be an independent candidate--an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance." Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump was not happy about the news, taking to Twitter to call Kristol "an embarrassed loser," and referring to him as "dummy Bill Kristol."
Bloomberg Politics confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Kristol might be seeking conservative lawyer David French for the job. According to their report, the news was confirmed by "two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts to recruit an independent presidential candidate." The sources also noted that French would be open to the idea of running, but has not yet confirmed whether he would join the race at this time.
French is a staff writer for National Review and a conservative constitutional lawyer. French is a veteran of the Iraq War, where he served in Diyala Province after being deployed in 2007. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts, and is a United States Army Reserve major, according to his bio.
While French has yet to confirm whether he would join Kristol's efforts to become a conservative alternative to Trump in the general election, as recently as May 24, he made a call in National Review for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to run against Trump:
Mitt Romney is the only man who combines the integrity, financial resources, name recognition, and broad public support to make a realistic independent run at the presidency.
With that in mind, is it likely that Kristol's plan for a French candidacy would succeed? According to Bloomberg, neither Kristol nor French has responded to their request for comment on the matter. Their sources have also noted that French "has yet to line up vice-presidential pick or significant financial support."
It's unclear whether a third-party conservative candidate would split Trump supporters or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's supporters, especially considering that 19 percent of Republicans have said that they would vote for Clinton over Trump.