Shortly after Donald Trump crushed Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary that the Texan’s backers has set up as the final “firewall” against the billionaire’s seizure of the Republican Party, one of the GOP’s most ardent #NeverTrump activists was casting his gaze across the party line.
Wisconsin state Assembly majority leader Jim Steineke, a stalwart conservative who played a critical role in the most successful “Stop Trump” intervention in the Republican primary process—when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, radio hosts and conservatives diehards rallied behind Cruz and delivered him a sweeping victory in the state’s April 5 primary—tweeted: “Might be time to check out this @GovGaryJohnson guy…. #JustSayin”
That wasn’t any kind of formal endorsement. But Steineke, who announced that he was relinquishing his position as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in July was “#JustSayin” to reporters in Wisconsin, “At this point there is not a major party candidate who has earned my vote.” And the legislator was generous enough to tweet not just a reference to Johnson but a link to the Libertarian’s website—where Johnson seeks support from politically homeless #NeverTrumpkins.
Johnson knows about disenchanted Republicans. A former GOP governor of New Mexico, he briefly sought the party’s 2012 presidential nomination. Johnson proved to be too open-minded for the GOP—the party and its media partners excluded him from the majority of the GOP debates—and jumped ship to the Libertarians that year. He is again seeking the Libertarian nomination this year. At the same time, he is making an overt appeal to #NeverTrump Republicans—opening a recent video with the line: “Two-term Republican governor Gary Johnson here…”
Pitching himself as a fiscal conservative who supports free trade policies, Johnson sounds like an easy fit for renegade Republican establishment types—telling them, “Look, I can’t support Trump. You can’t either. We can fight for small government and conservative values.”