Tuesday, a group of prominent conservative leaders—including several evangelical leaders—drafted an open letter to Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting Donald Trump in which they implored him to nominate a conservative as his running mate.
The letter states:
With less than a week to go until the Republican National Convention opens, we believe your number one job is to unite conservatives and center-right Republicans behind your candidacy.
This is the most important decision you will make between now and Election Day and if you don't get it right it will crash your campaign and crush your chances of defeating Hillary Clinton.
And getting it right means avoiding candidates for Vice President who will alienate conservatives and call into question your commitment to govern according to conservative principles.
We therefore urge you to avoid considering candidates with anti-conservative records, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and others who have failed to defend our constitutional liberties and use the power the Constitution bestowed upon them to stop President Obama's fundamental transformation of America. We also urge you to not consider pro-choice candidates such as Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Mr. Trump, in the past several election cycles millions of conservative voters have stayed home because the Republican candidate for President failed to campaign as a conservative. Conservatives are not a wing of the Republican Party that can be bought-off or mollified with interest group-type favors—we are the Republican Party.
To close the deal with right-of-center voters, your choice of Vice President is the clearest and most important signal you can send to conservatives that you will govern as a conservative.
We therefore urge you, as partners in the new populist-conservative coalition that will elect you President if it remains united, to choose a principled limited government constitutional conservative as your running mate.
The letter was signed by nearly two dozen conservative leaders, including:
- Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com;
- Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center;
- Foster Friess, conservative Christian megadonor;
- Rick Scarborough, president of Vision Action America;
- Dick and Rich Bott of Bott Radio Network; and
- Ginni Thomas, president of Liberty Consulting
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