“But were a centrist third-party candidate to enter the race, that candidate could take a much greater share of voters from Mr. Biden than from Mr. Trump.”
A new report from the New York Times details how No Labels is continuing its duplicitous passion project to bolster a third-party candidate that would play spoiler and hand Donald Trump the 2024 presidential election.
New York Times: With a Centrist Manifesto, No Labels Pushes Its Presidential Bid Forward
Key Points Below
- A new political platform focused on cooperative governance by the bipartisan group No Labels has something for everyone to embrace — and just as much for both sides to reject.
- No Labels’ possible third-party challenge for the presidency next year has drawn fire from liberals, centrists and even some members of Congress who support the group’s principles but fear that their efforts — based on the seemingly high-minded ideals of national unity — could greatly damage President Biden’s re-election campaign and hand the White House back to Donald J. Trump.
- Skeptics will say that the 67-page, 30-point document on the “politics of problem solving” by No Labels’ chief strategist, Ryan Clancy, is too heavy on identifying problems and too light on concrete solutions. But within the manifesto are surprisingly substantive policy proposals, many of which will anger conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats but could please the less activist center.
- “We like puppies and kittens and pie,” said Rick Wilson, a former Republican and a founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. “They think they can be tapioca vanilla pudding as long as possible, to keep up the message, ‘Hey, we’re just centrist do-gooders. What could possibly go wrong?’ And the thing that could go wrong is the election of Donald Trump.”
- Opponents of No Labels argue that Mr. Biden is already governing by consensus. They say that two of the president’s biggest economic achievements — a major infrastructure bill and a law to reinvigorate domestic semiconductor manufacturing — were negotiated by the administration and Republicans and Democrats in Congress, many of whom are already affiliated with No Labels.
- The coalition opposing the No Labels effort — which already includes Third Way, the progressive group MoveOn.org, the Democratic opposition research firm American Bridge and the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, formed by Republican consultants — will be joined next week by a bipartisan coalition headed by Richard A. Gephardt, a former Democratic House leader.
- To No Labels’ most ardent opponents, the group’s lofty rhetoric and appeals to centrism mask a secret agenda to return the Republicans to the White House. They point to a number of No Labels donors, such as Woody Hunt, senior chairman of Hunt Companies, John Catsimatidis, head of Gristedes Foods, and Ted Kellner, a Milwaukee businessman, who have given lavishly to Republicans, including Mr. Trump, suggesting such donors know full well that No Labels’ main role now is to damage the Democrats.
- Polling conducted by an outside firm for Mr. Gephardt appeared to indicate that a candidate deemed moderate, independent and bipartisan could not win the presidency but would do great damage to Mr. Biden’s re-election effort. In a national survey by the Prime Group, a Democratic-leaning public opinion research and messaging firm, Mr. Biden would beat Mr. Trump by about the same popular vote margin he won in 2020. But were a centrist third-party candidate to enter the race, that candidate could take a much greater share of voters from Mr. Biden than from Mr. Trump.
Published: Jul 17, 2023
Last Modified: Feb 21, 2024