Report: Group Wants to Flee 'Extremist' GOP, Form 3rd Party

Evan McMullin tells outlets about anti-Trump idea
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2021 9:55 AM CST
Report: Group Wants to Flee 'Extremist' GOP, Form 3rd Party
Then-presidential candidate Evan McMullin, who ran as an independent, speaks to his supporters during an election night watch party after Donald Trump won Utah on Nov. 8, 2016, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – Just how divided is the Republican Party? Divided enough that some 50 former Republican officials are on board to form a third US political party to serve as a counter to a GOP under the thumb of a wannabe autocrat, according to Reuters. The outlet cites "four people involved in the discussions," said to involve former elected Republicans as well as officials who served in the past four Republican administrations. Evan McMullin, the former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference who ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election, tells Reuters that more than 120 people—including former Rep. Charlie Dent—participated Friday in a Zoom discussion about a center-right party that would focus on adherence to the Constitution and rule of law. McMullin notes that about 40% of those on the call supported the idea.

"Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy," McMullin says, noting call participants were shocked that so many Republicans in Congress voted to block certification of Joe Biden's election victory. An "extremist" wing led by former President Trump "has taken the [GOP] over," McMullin tells the Washington Post, adding that some officials believe the party is "irredeemable." Asked to respond, Trump spokesman Jason Miller tells Reuters that those involved in the talks are "losers [who] left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden." The Republican National Committee has a very different take, however, pointing to a recent statement from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. She noted infighting would distract from the 2022 elections, and that winning is only possible "if we come together." (Read more Republican Party stories.)

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