Mitt Romney has big new role–leading the push for third party candidate to take on Trump

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The effort to launch a third-party presidential bid is in high gear, led by conservative political commentators William Kristol of The Weekly Standard and Red State’s Erick Erickson as well as 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Joined by strategists Mike Murphy, Stuart Stevens and Rick Wilson, they’re engaging in private polling, seeking funding sources and recruiting candidates in an effort to deny the presidency to front-runners Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The effort began several months ago, and intensified after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

The top two prospects under consideration for recruitment are conservative freshman Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a moderate, The Washington Post reported.

Earlier prospects that were considered were retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. “Maddog” Mattis and former Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, famous for his annual “Wastebooks” of the most outrageous examples of wasteful government spending of the year.

In an attempt to out-trump Trump, brash billionaire and cast member of the ABC reality series “Shark Tank” was even considered, but the recruiters all received the same “thanks but no” response.

Cuban was recruited on the basis of his “bluster and volume, combined with substance and the ability to connect with voters on a more personal basis.”

Although he agreed he could beat Trump, he didn’t “see it happening,” within the short time frame.

“He could come after me all he wanted, and he knows I would put him in his place,” Cuban said of Trump in an email, according to The Post. “All that said, again, I don’t see it happening. There isn’t enough time.”

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Clip via The Washington Post.

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