“I will build the grandest coalitiion …”
Conservatives in the #NeverTrump category are looking around for other options. Weekly Standard founder William Kristol has been floating the idea of a third-party candidate and Red State founder Erick Erickson just publicly pined for Mitt Romney.
Of course, there are other candidates besides Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton who are already in the race, and TV and radio host Glenn Beck has picked one.
“Austin says all the right things … he’s my guy now,” Beck told his audience, following an interview with Libertarian Party candidate Austin Petersen on his radio show Friday.
In a post on his official Facebook page, the Libertarian candidate expressed his gratitude, “Thank you Glenn Beck! When I am the nominee of the Libertarian Party for president after next week, I will build the grandest coalitiion outside the two major parties that this country has ever seen!”
Petersen, 35, is perhaps best known as producer of Fox Business Network’s Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano, and as the owner and operator of the popular Libertarian Republic website.
Despite some policy differences with conservatives on social issues and foreign policy, he has seemingly gained at least some measure of respect from important members of the right, including National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke and Kevin Williamson (who interviewed him recently) and conservative stalwart Ben Shapiro, who said that Petersen is “probably better than Trump” during a recent edition of his daily podcast.
None of these well-known conservatives have endorsed Petersen yet besides Beck, but his common ground with them on issues like abortion, combined with disenchantment over Trump being the Republican nominee, has at least raised his name recognition in right-leaning political circles.
All of this momentum is nice for Petersen. However, for it to matter for him at all, he will have to win the Libertarian nomination. That may not happen, as he is currently in a fight for the nomination with 2012 Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who has much greater name recognition and has polled in double digits when put up against Trump and Clinton.