Mitt Romney has been saying for months that he does not want to mount a run for the White House, but The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol said Tuesday that there is still a possibility that the 2012 GOP nominee could stand out as an alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as an independent candidate.
"I think he really does not think that Donald Trump should be president of the United States and he knows he has one of the few people who has the stature to possibly step up and present an alternative," the conservative editor told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
And should Romney or another independent candidate decide to jump in, that person could "get on almost every ballot," said Kristol, who met with Romney last week, said, noting that there are some states, like Texas and North Carolina, where the deadline to be included on the ballot has either passed or is coming close.
Kristol also mentioned Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse as a possibility, telling the show he has a "real vision of new politics going forward" and it's possible that Americans would say "we can do better that [Hillary] Clinton or Trump.
Sasse, though, has ruled out a run at this time, reports MSNBC
, and Kristol admitted the odds are against an independent candidates winning.
"If it were easy, independents would be running every four years," said Kristol, but still, he thinks "it's possible" that a third-party candidate would succeed.
But meanwhile, Sasse has said publicly he doesn't want to support Clinton or Trump, said Kristol, and he's in the same place.
"We talked about it and talked about the American politics in general, and I certainly made the case it's not out of the question," said Kristol.
"It's very important, in my view, for conservatism and for the longer term future of the country that someone hold off a decent banner for conservatives and independents to rally behind. I think that's the case for anyone running."
But for someone like Sasse it's a risk, as he's still young, said Kristol, and "the easiest thing to do is sit on the sidelines and wait for four, eight, 12 years to run for president."
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