POLITICS

The #NeverTrump Push Hits A Brick Wall In Nebraska

Delegates at the state GOP convention rejected fielding a third-party presidential candidate.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has been leading the effort to get a third-party alternative to Donald Trump. 
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has been leading the effort to get a third-party alternative to Donald Trump. 

Nebraska Republicans publicly distanced themselves from the #NeverTrump movement on Saturday, a rebuke to their home-state senator who has been leading the push to find a third-party candidate to challenge Donald Trump

Delegates at the state GOP convention overwhelmingly approved a resolution opposing Sen. Ben Sasse's (R-Neb.) push for a third-party challenge and confirmed they back the presumptive GOP nominee. 

"If you support a third-party candidate, you are going to elect Hillary Clinton, and she is going to nominate the next three or four members of the U.S. Supreme Court," convention attendee Pat McPherson said, according to the Omaha World-Herald. 

The measure didn't specifically name Sasse, but it was clear that it was aimed at the freshman senator. Sasse was one of the first GOP politicians to say he would never back Trump, and has become one of the movement's most high-profile spokesmen. 

Republican officials exploring whether it would be possible to launch an independent bid against Trump have even been eyeing Sasse as a potential candidate

Sam Fischer, the nephew of Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), introduced the pro-Trump resolution. He told the Omaha World-Herald that his aunt had nothing to do with the resolution, and the senator herself sent Sasse a message Friday confirming her lack of involvement. 

Trump handily won the Nebraska GOP presidential primary last week. Delegates at the weekend convention also rejected a resolution condemning Trump for his "degrading" comments toward women and minorities. 

McPherson was the one who made the motion to put aside that resolution, according to the Guardian. The state school board member has been criticized for articles on his blog that refer to President Barack Obama as a "half breed." In 2003, McPherson also faced sexual harassment allegations.

Supporters of an independent bid admit it's a long shot. But they've been exploring the idea of suing states over their deadlines for ballot access so they can be afforded more time to find a candidate. They're also looking at the possibility of starting a new political party rather than running with an existing one, an approach that could be easier to use to get onto ballots. 

Even if all that is accomplished, the movement still needs to find a strong candidate willing to run and convince skeptical Republicans that it's worth it. 

Sasse's spokesman declined to comment on Saturday's proceedings.

This piece has been updated with additional information about the Nebraska GOP convention.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.


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