Romney Tries to Recruit Kasich, Ben Sasse for Third Party Run Against Trump

By Jonathan Zhou, Epoch Times
May 15, 2016 Updated: May 16, 2016

Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP presidential candidate after both his rivals dropped out of the race, but a number of Republicans are working on a hail Mary.

The most notable member of this group is the 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who has reportedly solicited potential third-party runs from a number of Republicans in office, including John Kasich and Nebraska senator Ben Sasse. 

But Kasich’s spokesperson said the Ohio governor had ruled out an independent run, the Washington Post reports. 

The path for a third-party bid is strewn with obstacles, as the candidate would likely have to challenge the missed filing deadlines in court just to get on the ballot in some states. 

Romney has been a vocal critic of Trump, giving a lengthy speech in March denouncing the candidate. Recently, Romney asserted that Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns disqualifies him from the White House. 

Sasse drew attention when he publicly declared his opposition to Trump after Kasich and Ted Cruz dropped out of the race, citing the need for a “conservative,” “Constitutionalist” candidate. Many were quick to encourage Sasse to run. 

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) leaves the Supreme Court, March 2, 2016 in Washington, DC.  On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case, where the justices will consider a Texas law requiring that clinic doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that clinics upgrade their facilities to standards similar to hospitals. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) leaves the Supreme Court, March 2, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sasse’s spokesperson said he’s not running, but others remain hopeful he may change his mind. 

“I’ve never met Ben Sasse, and I don’t have a connection with him, but I’m really moved by what he says,” Stuart Stevens, Romney’s former chief of staff, told the Post. “He has a wonderful tone, and he’s exactly right. … If Ben Sasse ran, I’d guarantee that he’d have higher favorability at the end than any other national politician.”