The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Sunday that the "Stop Trump" movement would ruin the Republican Party's chances of winning the 2016 presidential election if Donald Trump is the party's nominee.
"Well, sure it would. Of course it would," Reince Priebus said when asked Sunday on ABC's "This Week" if recruiting a third-party candidate would "doom" the party's chances in a general election, as Trump himself has suggested.
A report Saturday said influential conservatives are looking to recruit former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn or Texas Gov. Rick Perry to attempt a third-party candidacy to challenge Trump if he got the GOP nomination. Some Republicans say such a bid would effectively ensure Hillary Clinton's election by splitting the GOP vote, but argue that course is worthwhile to distance the party from Trump.
Willam Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, who is part of the of the bid to find an independent challenger, said Saturday that the candidate would have an outside chance to win due to the unpopularity of both Clinton and Trump.
"With HRC at 56% & Trump at 67% unfavorable, victory isn't at all out of the question," Kristol tweeted Saturday.
But Priebus said is "far too late" for an outside challenge or to change the overall chaotic climate within the party, in which the establishment has refused to embrace the often controversial GOP front-runner.
Priebus also said it is "far too early" to make conclusions, since the nominee has yet to be determined.
Asked about the prospect Trump will not receive the 1,237 delegates required to lock the nomination, Priebus said that possibility and the resulting contested convention has become more likely. The RNC chief said the resulting candidate would likely be one of the three remaining candidates. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are the two remaining GOP candidates in the race, from what was once a field of 17 candidates.
"I can't imagine right now sitting here believing it would be anyone but the three remaining candidates," Priebus said.