Free Minds & Free Markets

Time Is Up For the #NeverTrumpers. Will They Swing Libertarian?

Q&A with senior adviser to the #NeverTrump Super PAC, Rory Cooper.

As Donald Trump takes the stage to accept the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention, the #NeverTrump crowd may be switching off their television sets. Reason got in touch with Rory Cooper, a senior adviser to the #NeverTrump Super PAC, to talk about what's next for #NeverTrumpers and whether they would support Libertarian Party candidate Gov. Gary Johnson in November.

Music by Riot.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I can tell you I don't swing that way.

  • MSimon||

    Love to hear Ted Cruz say, "Drug Prohibition is a failure."

  • R C Dean||

    Hell no, they won't. They are either butt-hurt GOP establishment boot-lickers or hardcore conservative ideologues.

    Both groups would prefer Hillary to Gary Johnson. If the concept of a third party even exists in their brains.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Exactly this.

  • ||

    If Rand Paul had gotten the LP nomination, I bet he could have peeled off a ton of the latter group. Johnson is to obviously socially liberal to have much appeal for the socons.

  • pronomian||

    If Paul was the nominee he could have gotten a lot of the sanders people, but remember, sanders appeal was free stuff, free school, higher minimum wage. Paul wouldn't have gotten the never trumpers, and the neo con democrats.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's exhausting being a compromising true scotsman.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    It's like asking a cosplay Stormtrooper to pick between watching Star Trek or reading an Asimov novel.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Joining the LP doesn't sound very libertarian.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    Constitutional conservatives tend to be illibertarian on a lot of social issues. Not to say that the leftytarians do it any better, but it's amazing how many layers of "government should bash my enemies in the head" exist in the average person's worldview.

  • MSimon||

    The "Constitutional" conservatives. Never seem to notice the missing Drug Prohibition Amendment.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Constitutional conservatives is code for the fourth ku-klux nationalsocialist splinter group, the consta-to-shun party which, like the Prohibition, GOP and Tea parties wants bitches coerced and browns and hippies packed off to prison--with maybe some genocidal Holy Wars thrown in. The problem is that the derivative of change in superstitious fanaticism is negative. The Jesus Jihadists could split into a hundred fanatically superstitious splinters and their spoiler votes would still be wasted now that communism AND all other fanatic revealed faiths are obviously the death machines Ayn identified in 1957.

  • Soylent7||

    Were you always Libertarian? I wasn't. Around the time Medicare part B rolled out, I came to grips that the Republican party wasn't about limited government, capitalism and protecting liberty; shortly after I registered Libertarian. In a two party system I tend to lean towards the Republican party(I was really pulling for Rand Paul) but now the only option, in my opinion, is Gary Johnson. I can say that people are coming around to see the light from both sides of the isle, whether it's in time or enough will remain to be seen but we need to do the best we can to spread the word. If you have no hope and don't do anything then we'll keep seeing a two party system(though the GOP is holding together by a thread). Keep your head up and spread the word.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Listen. The guy is telling Nick that if the LP will actually HELP the Klan force bitches to squeeze out pups for the pro-life-after-death movement (today's bootlicking and currish "good faith" fawning will not suffice), they'll see that Gary gets an added dozen or so votes from their billions of controlled christianofascist ward heelers.

    A dozen national socialist votes is tangible as all get-outtaheah, but small consolation after being castrated, tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for becoming unprincipled, gutless, superstitious republican whores.

  • pronomian||

    So many have been brain washed into thinking if you don't vote this or that way you are voting for the other, or throwing your vote away when actually it could be sending a message, "give us a better candidate and earn our vote."

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Should Betteridge's Law of Headlines be invoked here?

  • ||

    Watch: Time Is Up For the #NeverTrumpers. Will They Swing Libertarian?

    Is this a joke? #NeverTrumpers hate Trump because he's not statist enough. Maybe you meant will they swing with Hillary?

  • Marty Comanche||

    Some of the #NeverTrump delegates were Ron Paul people in 2012. Some are just moderate Republicans who think Johnson and Weld are objectively less crazy than the alternatives. Yes, Johnson will be receiving votes from #NeverTrump National Delegates come November.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    What kind of pathetic schmuck admits to admiring Eric Cantor? This guy clearly doesn't get it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It looks like Gillespie put this guy off by bashing Bush. YOU GET MORE VOTES WITH HONEY THAN VINEGAR, GILLESPIE.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Salt and honey chips don't sound as good as salt and vinegar chips, but maybe that's why I'm a libertarian.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You know what you can get with vinegar but not honey?

    Queso fresco. I WIN.

  • The Fusionist||

    But George W. Bush and Mickey Cantor had *character,* and Trump is such a vulgarian, darling!

  • pronomian||

    We can see where bush's character got us. I bet Europe is loving his character about now.

  • logy||

    Will They Swing Libertarian?
    Clash of Clans

  • The Grinch||

    We'll get neither the NeverTrumpers nor the disaffected Bernie people. Conservatives and liberals have one thing in common: they just love government, different facets of government sure, and the Libertarian Party just doesn't fit in with that very well. Most of these folks will either stay home or, more likely, will hold their nose and vote for their party's nominee.

  • pronomian||

    The never trumpers are the same who believe libertarians are wacko-birds. Besides, libertarians are too freedom minded, can't have that, that's just silly.

  • XM||

    Johnson simply does not have the personality and that third party eccentricity that might capture the imagination of a wider audience.

    Ross Perot got 20% of the vote in 1992. Adjusted for reality, GJ might get 6% of the popular vote. That's in an election year with two of the most unpopular candidates in modern history.

    More importantly, Perot actually made a serious effort to win. He ran ads and apparently even had his own channel. I don't SEE Johnson anywhere.

  • Fanglemeister||

    Interesting point about Perot. Speaking as a registered R (since 1980) who voted for Perot and will be voting for GJ, I do think GJ's naysayers could be vastly underestimating how many of us out here are solidly in both #nevertrump AND #jailhillary camps.

    There is a very real, solid chance that GJ will make it to 15% by the end of August and gain admittance to the televised debates. He'll have it much easier at that point, all he has to do is stand back while the other two tear each other down to the ground. GJ is in position to pick up nearly all the free agent voters by being the defacto "candidate you don't have to hold your nose to vote for" - and plenty of people will be holding their noses by the end of the last debate.

    He's obviously a long shot, but to me his chances look better than Perot's did at this same point in the election cycle. (*most people forget Ross Perot literally dropped out of the race from mid-July until re-entering it in October.)

    Oh yea, I'm definitely game to take some of that 6% over-under action from you. :-)

  • pronomian||

    Both sides will collude and enact the Ron Paul Rule where he'll have to have a certain percentage in so many states to be able to get on stage. The number of states will be determine why how may states he polls at or above 15% + 2.

  • pronomian||

    "Oh, you have 15% in all 50 states? Ooooo, sorry, you needed 52, but you can still try to get two of the other 7 states obama knows about but no one else does."

  • Glide||

    Possibly true. That said...

    I think the chance of Johnson winning by getting on the debate stage is absolute zero.

    On the other hand, I think if they pull shady shit to keep Johnson out of the conversation, there is a nonzero chance that there is a national backlash large enough to make Gary Johnson the president. Small obviously (and dependent on sympathetic media which is itself a longshot), but nonzero.

    I'd be careful about visible tampering if I were the CPD.

  • Winston||

    Well he'll get many of the libertarian NeverTrumpers. However since the GOP contains so few libertarians it won't amount to much. The Establishment types will just vote for Hillary.

  • pronomian||

    He'll get many of the libertarian never trumpers? So there were more libertarian never trumpers that were for trump but he won't get as many now? Doesn't that kind of defeat the whole idea of being a libertarian never trumper if you are/were for trump? I'm confused.

  • Bob Meyer||

    You will see a lot of Gary Johnson until the press decides that he's taking more votes from Hillary than from Trump. At that point the new version of the "journolist" will never mention Johnson except to report that he's losing popularity.

  • pronomian||

    We are seeing a lot of him now? I must not have those super duper cable news sites on my directv.

  • Just Say'n||

    Why would any Never Trump ever vote Gary Johnson? When the Libertarian convention was getting underway, a lot of the Never Trump right-wing magazines praised the party and floated the idea that the LP candidate would be their alternative (even the Wall Street Journal said the LP offered an alternative for Never Trump). But, Johnson has spent all his time courting Lefties that will never, ever vote for him ever. Instead he's trashed the notion of religious liberty (how un-libertarian?); spent most of his time praising the president ('a really good guy') and one of the worst Secretaries of State ever ('a fine public servant').

    Sorry, but the cosmotarian fantasy of attracting Lefties by emphasizing a libertine (different from libertarian) attitude and avoiding all discussion about foreign adventurism (Trump is more of a non-interventionist than Johnson) and the loss of civil liberties is never, ever going to work, ever.

  • Glide||

    Yeah, I agree. I'm a libertarian who still votes in Republican primaries and I intend to vote for Johnson, but after all he's done to convince Sanders people "I'm just like you, I swear", I'm not even bothering to fight the uphill battle to sell him to the Republicans I know, even those who value small government over the social issues they'd definitely hate him on (immigration, abortion, etc).

  • Hank Phillips||

    Riiiight. Like those rent-seeking cowardly remoras have the cojones or gumption to transfer their attentions to a non-parasitical party. 40 to 1 odds feels about right for this one...

  • pronomian||

    Shur wer a lots of wurds in that thar sentanse you dun sed ther.

  • pronomian||

    Libertarian party? Are they still around?

  • Libertarian Barbarian||

    This guy's husband definitely wears the pants in the family.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online