How much does “The View” panelist Ana Navarro like democracy? She likes it so much she’s willing to say who can and can’t run for office — and this time, a third-party candidate is out of the question.
In a rant on the ABC show on Monday, Navarro blasted the efforts of a group called No Labels, which might run a third-party candidate in 2024, saying “this is dangerous,” because, unlike prior third-party runs like Ross Perot’s 1992 campaign, this time Donald Trump might be on the ballot.
The moment came in advance of the group’s town hall in New Hampshire that evening. According to USA Today, the group, which wants a third-party candidate in the ballot in all 50 states, is looking for candidates who will “declare their freedom from the anger and divisiveness that are ruining our politics and most importantly, our country.”
Perhaps most notably, one of the organization’s honorary co-chairs is West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who was in attendance at the New Hampshire gathering. Manchin would make significant waves, of course, were he to win the group’s nomination. (Former Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman — who ran in the 2012 GOP presidential primaries — was the other.)
In an interview with Fox News, founding co-chair Joe Lieberman — a conservative-ish Democrat-turned-independent who was Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 election and served as a senator from Connecticut from 1989 until 2013 — said the group has not yet decided on actually running a third-party candidacy, but suggested it was likely.
“We haven’t decided to run a ticket. It’s not even clear that if it ends up being Trump and Biden, as it looks like it will now, that we’ll do that,” he said.
“I think No Labels invited Joe Manchin and Jon Huntsman because they’re former chairs of our organization and they represent centrist Democrats, centrist Republicans, which is what we’re about,” Lieberman continued.
“I guess it’s natural for people to speculate, particularly in Manchin’s case whether it means he will run on a possible No Labels ticket year. It’s way too early to say that. I think Joe hasn’t decided that at all, as he’s said, and No Labels hasn’t decided it.”
Well, cue the freakout from Navarro. While the former GOP operative noted that her husband, conservative political strategist Al Cárdenas, had been involved with No Labels in the past, this was just too far.
“I think this is the stupidest thing ever,” Navarro said on Monday’s edition of “The View.”
“And let me just say this, my husband has been very supportive of No Labels,” Navarro continued. “He’s been a part of No Labels. When No Labels started, one of the things they did was bring together a bunch of people in Congress, Senate and House, with a bipartisan agenda. It was Republicans and Democrats trying to work together on some of the crises that we have in this nation, and I think that part is so needed and so great.
“But this is dangerous because — let’s just put things in context,” she added. “This is not a normal thing. This is not Bill Clinton versus George Herbert Walker Bush with Ross Perot playing spoiler. No. This is Donald Trump.
“He is a threat to national security. He has threatened our democracy. He caused an insurrection. He has weaponized government against his enemies and so if you, Jon Huntsman or Joe Lieberman — I love you, Joe Lieberman, but you’ve got to stop this, Joe. Joe, Joe, this is insane, and you cannot do anything, anything that could possibly help Donald Trump become president. You cannot be an accomplice on that. You are better than that, Joe.”
Just so we’re clear, it’s great when third-party candidates spoil the chances of a Republican incumbent — notice she didn’t mention Ralph Nader or Jill Stein’s 2000 and 2016 respective Green Party runs, which the professional Democrat class continues to blame for GOP wins in those years. But at times like this, it’s dangerous, because Donald Trump is literally the scariest person ever — or at least until the next Republican nominee for president.
What’s funny is that, ordinarily, one would expect a No Labels candidate — particularly Manchin — to detract more from Trump, if Trump were to be the GOP nominee.
Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party run in 2016, for instance, took 3.3 percent of the vote, an abnormally high tally for a Libertarian candidate. Most of these voters were likely moderate Republican defectors. Johnson could well have taken more, too, were it not for a series of gaffes that made the former New Mexico governor look far more unready than either of the major-party presidential candidates. (“What is Aleppo?“)
Instead, Democrats paradoxically blamed Johnson for giving the election to Trump because the conservative voters who defected to the Libertarian Party should have voted for Clinton, dagnabbit.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein Handed the Presidency to Donald Trump,” a Vanity Fair headline after the election declared. Feminist outlet Jezebel’s headline was a bit more to the point: “F*** Gary Johnson.”
This is the modern Democrat’s approach to undecided centrist voters. If they’re not absolutely, completely sold on Donald Trump, they shouldn’t vote for him or for anyone else but the Democratic candidate, no matter what the office is. Because, you know, anyone who’s on Trump’s side is nothing short of an enabler of deplorable malignity.