While Bill Kristol's potential third-party presidential candidate caused a buzz during the long Memorial Day Weekend, it was by no means clear who the actual person making a White House run would be. On Tuesday, Bloomberg offered some insight, reporting that two Republican sources told them that David French was Kristol's chosen candidate to act as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump. French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and author of Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore. Neither he nor Kristol has yet confirmed anything.
If French does indeed decide to pursue the presidency, his main task will be taking aim at the presumptive Republican nominee. Kristol has made his criticism of Donald Trump crystal clear, but what, if anything, has French said about Trump? Well, he's said plenty as well. As a writer at National Review, French has devoted a number of columns to skewering Trump, from why he's a "Liberal — And A Lunatic Conspiracy Theorist" to stressing that "Conservatives can’t trust Donald Trump."
French has spilled plenty of ink over the past few months arguing that Trump is not a true Republican who will uphold conservative values — not unlike the arguments that Kristol himself has made. He's accused Trump of "running left of Hillary" on many issues, and proclaimed that he will effectively destroy the GOP. In one column from earlier this month, French said: "America’s most conservative party will have a formidable foe — its own nominee for the highest office in the land."
So by no means do French's many critiques of Trump translate to him being a more progressive option. On the contrary, he has slammed Trump for his quasi-critique of North Carolina's bathroom bill. He cited it as evidence that "When Trump has an opportunity to protect women from sexual predators and render aid and comfort to real-life Republicans enduring assaults from social-justice warriors, he backs the wrong side. Even worse, by using the example of corporate pressure to justify his stance, he actively encourages further progressive corporate bullying."