A meeting of conservative activists here in Washington, D.C. did not seem to immediately bear fruit on how best to defeat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for President, as a statement issued by organizers continued to hold out the threat of a third party bid for conservatives in November.
“We are committed to ensuring a real conservative candidate is elected,” the group said in a statement released by Erick Erickson on his website, the Resurgent. “We believe that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump, a Hillary Clinton donor, is that person.”
Here is the full statement:
We are a group of grassroots conservative activists from all over the country and from various backgrounds, including supporters of many of the other campaigns. We are committed to ensuring a real conservative candidate is elected. We believe that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump, a Hillary Clinton donor, is that person.
We believe that the issue of Donald Trump is greater than an issue of party. It is an issue of morals and character that all Americans, not just those of us in the conservative movement, must confront.
We call for a unity ticket that unites the Republican Party. If that unity ticket is unable to get 1,237 delegates prior to the convention, we recognize that it took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party’s nominee and if it is good enough for Lincoln, that process should be good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots.
We encourage all former Republican candidates not currently supporting Trump to unite against him and encourage all candidates to hold their delegates on the first ballot.
Lastly, we intend to keep our options open as to other avenues to oppose Donald Trump. Our multiple decades of work in the conservative movement for free markets, limited government, national defense, religious liberty, life, and marriage are about ideas, not necessarily parties.
Meanwhile, across town on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan – who would be in charge of running the Republican convention – said he thinks an open convention, where no one candidate has a majority, remains a possibility.
“Nothing has changed other than the perception that this is more likely to become an open convention,” Ryan told reporters at the U.S. Capitol.