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Back to the Future: Trump Won’t Rule Out Independent Run

Back to the Future: Trump Won’t Rule Out Independent Run

“We’ll see what happens.”

This development is cause for concern for many on the right. If Donald Trump runs as an independent, he’ll obviously take more votes away from the Republican candidate than the Democrat.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Donald Trump: Open to Independent Bid if GOP Doesn’t Treat Him ‘Fairly’

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Sunday he is open to running for president as an independent if he concludes Republicans are not treating him “fairly.”

He made his comments on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about a Wall Street Journal story first published online Friday that reported an effort by Republican establishment figures to unite to knock Mr. Trump out of the race. The group plans a “guerrilla campaign” backed by secret donors to “defeat and destroy” the celebrity businessman’s candidacy, the Journal reported.

The notion of an independent Trump bid worries some Republicans, who fear he would siphon votes from the GOP nominee and help elect a Democrat.

Asked if he would reconsider his promise not to run as an independent, Mr. Trump didn’t give a direct answer.

“Well, we’ll see what happens,” he said. “It will be very interesting. But I’m leading every poll by a lot. It’s not even a little bit anymore, it’s a lot.”

Asked again if he was open to an independent run, he repeated, “Well, I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly. You know, when I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly. If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want to do is a level playing field.”

Here’s the clip of Trump on ABC. Skip to the 10 minute mark for the exchange:

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

The Hill has more:

Trump refuses to rule out third-party run

Donald Trump is refusing to rule out an independent White House run if he fails to win the Republican presidential nomination…

Trump was asked about whether he would launch a third-party bid amid news that GOP operatives are planning to launch an anti-Trump “guerilla campaign.”

“You know, when I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly,” Trump said. “If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want to do is a level playing field.”

The GOP primary front-runner signed a pledge ruling out a third-party run in September.

But he has previously been open to the idea.

Trump first raised the possibility of a third-party candidacy in an exclusive interview with The Hill in July, saying the Republican National Committee “has not been supportive.”

Pressed on whether he would run as a third-party candidate if he fails to clinch the GOP nomination, Trump told The Hill that “so many people want me to, if I don’t win.”

“I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans,” Trump added. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”

Trump knows what he’s doing and this may just be a way for him to keep the GOP establishment at bay. Let’s hope that’s what’s really going on here.

Featured image via ABC News video.


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What a non-story. I heard the interview. It was framed around the report of a possible massive and concerted GOP attack plan against him. He responded in a totally sane and self-respecting manner. If he’s singled out for destruction — alone among all the other candidates — by an establishment-backed campaign, why wouldn’t he make them think twice?

I’m still on the fence as to who I’ll support in this election, but if the story of a GOP attack plan against an outsider candidate who is leading universally because he (and other candidates) are tapping into a massive anti-establishment dissatisfaction among GOP

I’d be happy, except that he’ll take the moron vote with him. Both parties rely on their share of the moron vote, and without our share we can’t win.

And that is why, of course, Trump is running in the first place.

    Radegunda in reply to Same Same. | November 22, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Trumpsters are now extolling Trump’s supposed wisdom and prescience for warning about the dangers of Muslim migrants (or “refugees”). “Trump was right!” they crow.

    Trump, of course, was late to the party in expressing concern about Muslim migrants who might be terrorists, and it isn’t at all clear that he has an informed grasp on the threat of Islam itself. Not long ago he was blustering about how wrong it was to “offend” Muslims with cartoons.

    But Trump fans practically worship him, so they think he’s always wiser than everyone else. It’s very bizarre.

      Common Sense in reply to Radegunda. | November 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Guess it’s like Hillary fans?
      They all know she a bold faced liar but they still support her!
      Just saying!

      When voters were asked to say the first word that came to mind when they thought of Hillary Clinton, the most popular responses were “liar,” “dishonest,” and “untrustworthy.”.

party voters, then the GOP establishment should be more afraid than ever for the future of their party. Such an attack could spectacularly backfire.

Subotai Bahadur | November 22, 2015 at 6:42 pm

A Third [really a SECOND] party run is far from outrageous. I might take issue with the concept that This development is cause for concern for many on the right. It is of concern to the GOPe, but conservatives have been marginalized by them for decades. It may be a boon to the American right.

While the GOPe’s plans are falling apart, and their anointed choice ¡Jeb! is ankle deep in organic end product [in head first, mind you]; the rules of the game were changed at the 2012 Republican convention. Specifically Rule 40b which determines who can be placed in nomination. It makes it far more likely that delegates won will not count, and back room deals will.

If Trump goes in, even with a majority of the delegates, he can still be denied. Because the rules now say that you have to have 50%+1 wins in 8 separate states [old rule was “the most votes in 5 states”] to be placed in nomination. Between proportional awards of delegates and the difficulty of winning an absolute majority in 8 states, it may well be [as intended] that no one can be placed in nomination at the convention and it becomes a back room deal.

If Trump goes into the convention with the most delegates, and the GOPe ends up naming ¡Jeb! or a ¡Jeb!-clone as the candidate; Trump running separately makes a great deal of sense.

It is not like a candidate supported by the GOPe if elected is going to do anything different than the Democrats have been doing to the country. Nor is it possible for the Republicans to win if they deliberately reject a significant fraction of their voters, and more importantly, campaign worker activists.

The promises by the Republicans made in the 2014 campaign -v- the ongoing betrayal of those promises from the day after the election has driven Trump’s rise.

A SECOND party can be the basis for action in whatever is to come in our poor country.

    Good points and informative. I didn’t realize the new rules require 50% + in eight states. It’s very possible nobody meets this threshold (was that the point, to ensure under all circumstances that a populist candidate would NEVER win?) If Trump goes in to the convention with most delegates and he’s denied in back room deals, it will be impossible to reckon with the grassroots rage. All bets will be off.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to pesanteur. | November 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      The rule change in 2012 was specifically to give the GOPe a way of halting the any challengers to their choice. In 2012, the choice was Romney and the goal was to keep Ron Paul from being placed in nomination. They wanted a smooth coronation of Romney. That rule is still in effect. And I am sure that its use is one of the fallback plans of the GOPe.

      There is either a total disconnect with reality in place. As in, if they go out of their way to infuriate enough of their base, they cannot win. They have been doing so since the day after the 2014 election. OR, they really do not mind Hillary being president. I am leaning towards the latter. It fits more with their actual actions.

The GOP would rather elect shrillary than trump or cruz, or carson for that matter.

    This is a public response to an ongoing off the record dialog between Trump’s people and the RNC’s people, in my considered opinion.

    Trump’s strength is his supporters and second tier supporters wanting him as a second choice should their first choice go down.

    This broaching of the third party option is a gambit to be played now to apply popular pressure on the RNC which is threatening an all out attack with uncertian results, I strongly suspect.

    The RNC is weak because they and their based dismissed each other.. Guess what? That base is broader than anyone really knows, not smaller.

    This is high-stakesmanship and Trump is in his element; the RNC, not so much.

Any other year I would blast a candidate for saying such a disloyal thing but after seeing the establishment go after Trump and the Senate vote in MS I would follow him even though I am not a fan. The RNC cares only about the gravy train and not about their voters. They want to perpetuate the slime in DC because they live off of it. They really don’t care who is in power and neither do the Demorats. Hillary smillary, they don’t really care.

    If Trump doesn’t get the nomination because of GOPe skulduggery and instead it goes to Jeb, Rubio, Fiorina or Kasich, etc., I and millions like me, whether Trump runs 3rd party or not, will either stay at home and not vote, hurting the GOP all up and down the ballot, or we will go to the polls and vote for Trump 3rd party or Trump as a write-in. Either way the GOPe will be denied for their lack of integrity and respect for their base. Some of us will be tempted to go to the polls and vote against every republican on the ballot from dog catcher to President if the GOP tries to pull any underhanded sh*t.

    And yes we don’t care if that means Hillary or Bernie or anyone else gets elected. If that is the only way to force the GOP to respect its base, then that is the only way.

If Cruz wins Trump won’t run.

If the RINOs running the RNC fuck around with the rules to put up Rubio or god forbid Jeb, he’s going to run, and I wouldn’t blame him.

The GOPe has a tiger by the tail. They’re afraid to hang on and afraid to let go. Either way they’re not in control.

How come these articles never seem to ask the GOPe candidates if they will back Trump 100% if he is the nominee?

There could be many people on the right not voting in 2016, no matter who wins. The right is experiencing growing pains and there are a lot of petulant and angry folks out there right now who won’t support anyone but their candidate. Candidates maliciously criticizing other candidates will find out as the other candidates start dropping out, so to will their supporters drop out. If you incessantly attack another’s choice in that manner why would they support you? Thank you GOPe for betraying us and neglecting us. This is your doing. You have pissed off too much of the base. Now that base is bitterly divided and is unsure of what it wants to build to replace you. All they agree upon is that your existence is useless.

Trump is tapping into the mindset of the entire unhappy voter base of all persuasions and at the end of the day, may garner tremendous support across all party lines.

That which doesn’t kill him most likely makes him stronger.

“Donald Trump won’t rule out an independent run.

Of course, he already did rule out an independent run.

But of course he is a gigantic liar whose word is worthless, so nobody believed him which makes the lying OK.”

Yep. Das Duh Donald.

    platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | November 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Uh, rags, when exactly did Trump rule out an independent run? I am pretty sure any “ruling out” he did was predicated on the GOP/RNC treating him fairly.

    But I could be wrong so if you will direct me to where your claim can be verified, I’d appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Kurt Schlichter @KurtSchlichter

BS. Trump unequivocally promised to support the GOP nominee. He lied. He’ll lie to you next. Bet on it. @sarmitageca @TheRickWilson
12:11 PM – 22 Nov 2015 · Los Angeles, CA, United States

Col. Schlicter has T-rump pegged!

When or if Cruz and/or Carson unite under a Trump candidacy, it’s game over for any possible GOPe primary shenanigans as Trump will go over the magic 50 percent.

Even if not, Trump could very well win as a third party as his support crosses party lines like no candidate since Reagan..

    gasper in reply to DrJim77. | November 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    This is the mindset that will lose the race for us. Name one third party candidate who has ever won a national election? Who has even come close? All this does is influence the outcome and the outcome will not be good for the country.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to gasper. | November 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      What constitutes winning and losing? If the Democrats win, yeah, electoral politics are over and they will do as they want until forced out by whatever means.

      If the GOPe wins the nomination race, there is no way that they will win the general election for President and will lose at least the Senate. Because we know that with a GOPe president the Democrats will do what they want with the help of the GOPe. 2014 showed that the Republicans will promise all sorts of opposition to the Left, right up until the votes are counted. Then they will collaborate with the enemy and brag about it. And THAT will also be the death of both the Republican Party and electoral politics. In fact, if the reports that the Republican Congress is preparing to rescue Obamacare with Federal money are true, that may well kill them off before the primaries begin.

      If a non-GOPe candidate wins the Republican nomination, there is a chance, not a great one, but a chance of someone fighting the Left. And makes electoral politics worthwhile in any putative 2016 election. If the GOPe functionally ejects anyone not GOPe, there are not enough votes for their candidate to win and there would be negative coattails down ticket. So, the one hope for saving the country at that point is a SECOND party movement. I admit the odds are not good, but there is zero chance with the GOPe.

      The last time the country was this split was 1854-1860. Events move a lot faster nowadays. If electoral politics fail, it feels awful 1860 out.

Trump signed a paper not all that many months ago that said he would not run as an independent.

    platypus in reply to Twanger. | November 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I don’t think you know that because I do not think that paper was ever publicly disclosed. It was waved around by Trump at a news conference.

The paper or pledge that Trump signed to not run as an independent was specifically and categorically based upon the GOPe promising Mr. Trump that he would be treated fairly by the GOPe.

That was the consideration for Mr. Trump’s promise (not that this “paper” is an enforceable agreement).

If the GOPe breaches its promise to treat Mr. Trump fairly then that action releases Mr. Trump from his promise not to run as an independent due to a failure of consideration upon which Mr. Trump’s promise was obtained.

Basic contract law and basic fairness of which Mr. Trump is obviously quite familiar. Not that such simple matters of analyses keep the usual suspects here at LI from running around in hysteria calling Mr. Trump a liar when all Mr. Trump is doing is reminding the GOPe that his signature was obtained based upon their promise to treat him fairly throughout this process all the way to the end of the convention.

Mr. Trump’s recent statements about his no third party run promise were specifically in response to a WSJ story that the GOPe was about to break its promise regarding treating Mr. Trump fairly. It was a quite understandable shot across the bow of the GOPe that Mr. Trump is not a person with which one should trifle.

Finally, if the GOPe doesn’t keep its promise to treat Mr. Trump fairly it won’t matter whether Mr. Trump runs as third party or not as to the republican nominee chances, because Trump supporters will if necessary to punish the GOPe, stay home and not vote, or go to polls and write in if necessary Donald Trump or go to the polls and vote against every GOP candidate all up and down the ballot from dog catcher to president and everything in between just to teach the GOPe a lesson.

So if the GOPe wants any chance at all of not suffering YUUUUGE losses they need to support Trump just the same as if his name were Rubio or Bush. They can’t and won’t win without the Trump supporters. So don’t piss us OFF. Better to take their shot at winning with Trump than to guarantee their losses without Trump.

    platypus in reply to Gary Britt. | November 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for that monologue. It is refreshing.

    Well stated sir. A “Level Playing Field” was a fundamental condition of Trump’s pledge, and one we all should support, regardless of our preference of candidate.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | November 24, 2015 at 10:31 am

    In other news, SJW Fascist Snowflakes bitch, moan, and blow snot bubbles about “fairness”.

    Just like the American oligarch, T-rump.

    “Fairness”, of course, HAS no objective meaning, and is certainly not assured in politicking or WAAAAAR (as Crazy Cat Lady would have it).

    In a related story, Putin went all T-rump on Turkey for “unfairly” shooting down a Russian plane, thus starting WWIII, and causing Gary (the liar) Britt to soil his thong.

    You guys are hilarious…!!!

      But not nearly as funny as the meaningless drivel you post when unable to construct even the simplest of rebuttals.

      I’m beginning to realize you actually think the nonsense you write such as the post to which this replies are actually intelligent or humorous when in reality a Monkey hitting random keys on a keyboard could write things more applicable to the topic at hand and with greater humor.

      Like Obama you open your mouth with nonsense and then BAM !! News like the CNBC poll referenced below completely repudiates your entire world view and shows the complete lack of knowledge about Mr. Trump and this election cycle.

      You and Obama just two intellectual equals like peas in a pod.

      Rags says “Fairness”, of course, HAS no objective meaning, and is certainly not assured in politicking..

      If true then you are saying Trump really out smarted and out negotiated the GOPe for making the consideration for Mr. Trump’s promise something that is undefined in the agreement.

      Gotta hand it to Mr. Trump, he knows how to make a deal..

      Poor Ragsy, Foiled Again.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | November 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

        What is best in life?

        To think of Gary (the liar) Britt sitting at his keyboard, brow furrowed, TRYING to compose a cogent sentence to defend his little, lying, pissing and moaning, yellow god!

        When all he can contrive is a series of ad hominem.

        Duck and cover, Gary! WWIII…!!!!!

        (Try Depends; the commercials say they’ll provide you security.)

So much for all the phony claims by know nothing LI commenters, talking heads and so called republican consultants stating GOP loses if Trump is on ballot.

The actual truth as shown by this CNBC poll is that Mr. Trump is absolutely the best chance for GOP to win whitehouse !!!!!!!!!!

If Donald Trump were the GOP nominee, he would cause the highest voter turnout, relative to any other Republican hopeful.John Kasich, on the other hand, would keep people at home.

No matter what party affiliation you consider, Trump brings them out. Republicans, Democrats and independents are all most likely to show up if Trump is on the ballot. (In our analysis, we assumed a constant variable: the Democrats nominating Hillary Clinton.)

Not only do they show up to vote, but they vote for Trump. He’s got the highest percentage of voters — across both parties and independents.

Subotai Bahadur | November 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

***UPDATE*** Yesterday, Fergus Cullen, who chaired the NHGOP in 2007 and 2008, filed a complaint on Monday with the state Ballot Law Commission to have Donald Trump removed from the Primary ballot in New Hampshire. Cullen is a ¡Jeb! supporter [¡Jeb! announced his New Hampshire campaign in his living room], but the complaint is also filed on behalf of a Kasich PAC.

The only three legal conditions to be on the New Hampshire Republican Primary ballot are: 1) to be a registered Republican [Trump is in New York], 2) to have paid the required fee [he has], and 3) to have submitted the required number of signatures of New Hampshire registered Republicans [he has].

Cullen is alleging that because Trump has made statements that do not agree with the Republican Party and its platform means that he is not really a Republican and therefore should be ejected from the ballot. Aside from the fact that the Republican Platform specifically bars any form of Amnesty, which would trip up most of the field; there is no such legal requirement.

SECOND Party, anyone; if they pull this off?

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | November 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm


    The State Ballot Commission just unanimously rejected the attempt to throw Trump off the ballot. Mind you, the fact that the GOPe would try something this stupid does not indicate that they intend to have an honest nomination.

      There is apparently no end to the stupidity of the little weasels of the GOPe. Kasich is just a little fool with an oversized ego opposed to his meager talent and skills which are in proportion to his tiny size (oh and he’s short too) ;-).