David French announced Sunday night he will not be running for president.
French, a constitutional lawyer, Iraq war veteran and writer for National Review, made the announcement in a column at National Review Online
"I'm not the right person to challenge Trump and Hillary, but the path remains open for others," French wrote of Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump and expected Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol had urged French to run as a third-party conservative alternative to Trump, whose impending nomination has caused a rift in the GOP, with some, such as Kristol, saying they will never vote for the brash businessman they say is not a real conservative, and others saying a third-party attempt will cause the election of Clinton..
French called both major party candidates "dishonest" and "deceitful," saying they "should be disqualified from running for town council, much less leader of the free world."
Both "habitually lie," he added, citing the FBI investigation over Clinton's use of a private email server for official business as secretary of state and Trump's recent claim that a federal judge could not fairly rule over a case against his Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.
"His supporters believe it demonstrates 'strength' when he mocks the disabled and bullies women," French writes. "He has attracted an online racist following that viciously attacks his opponents and their families — including my wife and youngest daughter," who is black.
French appears to believe his relatively unknown status would make it impossible for him to win, though he said he does believe 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, among others, would have a chance.
French said those involved in the effort to find an independent candidate are patriots who are standing on principle as the GOP leadership is marching in lockstep to Trump's beat.
He wrote that his decision came after "days of prayer, reflection and serious study of the possibilities."
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