Prominent Pro-Life Attorney David French Recruited as Conservative Alternative to Donald Trump

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 31, 2016   |   6:53PM   |   Washington, DC

The conservative leaders of the #NeverTrump movement are reportedly trying to recruit pro-life attorney David French as a conservative alternative to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Bloomberg Politics reported that Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and others are eyeing David French, a constitutional lawyer and veteran, to run for president. French is an Iraq War veteran and a staff writer at the National Review and a Harvard law graduate. He is a pro-life advocate who has frequently spoken before pro-life groups like Students for Life of America.

Reached in Israel late Tuesday afternoon, Kristol declined to comment on his efforts to induce French to run. The two Republicans confirmed that French is open to launching a bid, but that he has not made a final decision. One of the Republicans added that French has not lined up a vice-presidential running mate or significant financial support. However, according to this person, some conservative donors look favorably on the prospect of French entering the fray.

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In Kristol’s piece in the Standard’s June 6 issue, he argued that “the fact of Trump’s and Clinton’s unfitness for the Oval Office has become so self-evident that it’s no longer clear one needs a famous figure to provide an alternative.” After mentioning Mitt Romney and other possibilities such as Judd Gregg and Mel Martinez, Kristol invoked French’s name and résumé, writing, “To say that he would be a better and a more responsible president than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is to state a truth that would become self-evident as more Americans got to know him.”

Ever since Kristol tweeted on Sunday that an “impressive” independent candidate “with a strong team and a real chance” is now prepared to enter the presidential fray, the political world has been engaged in a fevered guessing game over whom that person might be.

French is the former Senior Counsel at American Center for Law and Justice and former attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund and someone who is well-known in pro-life circles.

The attorney has previously written columns at

“An abortion is the intentional killing of an unborn child inside (or partially inside) the womb,” he’s written.

And this:

As I’ve argued before, there’s no other issue in American politics of equal moral weight as abortion, and there’s no other issue in American politics where the partisan divide is so stark.  From the environment, to war, to the economy, to entitlements, the differences (while important) are often differences in degree and tactics, not fundamental goals.  Both parties want to protect the environment, both parties prefer peace to war, both parties seek a strong and growing economy, both parties want to accomplish the aims of the Medicare and Social Security programs, and both parties engage in robust intra-party debate on those points.  Yet one party wants to preserve the “right” to pay another person to kill an innocent child for any reason or no reason at all.  The other party wants to preserve that child’s right to life.  The difference is stark.

French also wrote in response to the HHS mandate that pro-life groups opposed:

Statists often redefine government giveaways and mandates as “rights.” Thus enshrined in the language of rights, legal battles are fought as if the citizen and the state are on the same plane, with diminishing legal advantages given to the citizen. Desires (What do we want? Free abortifacients! When do we want them? Now!) become entitlements, and entitlements swallow individuals — by requiring their liberty and property in ever-greater measure.

I do not have a right to the fruits of another man’s labor. I do not have a right to another man’s liberty. Yet we teach our citizens that they can demand both — and that they should be outraged when the individual objects.

Competing liberties? No, certainly not. The mandate cases represent instead the age-old competition between liberty and tyranny.

Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino appeared to mock the report in a tweet posted moments after the news emerged: