Presidential Candidate McMullin Talks 'New Conservative Movement' in Boise 

click to enlarge - Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin and running mate Mindy Finn spoke in Boise Oct. 22. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin and running mate Mindy Finn spoke in Boise Oct. 22.
The 2016 presidential election is only about two weeks away, but huge numbers of voters continue to be dissatisfied with the idea of having to choose between Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Independent candidate Evan McMullin and running mate Mindy Finn spoke Oct. 22 before nearly 1,000 people at the Boise High School auditorium, where they presented a conservative alternative to GOP hopeful Trump—whose lewd conduct with women, cozy feelings toward Russian President Vladimir Putin and strained relationship with facts have alienated wide swaths of traditional Republican voters.

"The Mountain West is where people saw through Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and said, 'No, thank you,'" he said.

McMullin and Finn have been running on a platform of a "new conservative movement" based on limiting the role of government, decreasing taxes and adhering to a strict reading of the U.S. Constitution—Republican values, McMullin said, that have been brushed aside in Trump's rise.

"[Trump] is more aligned with Hillary Clinton than he is with our values," he said. "How can you support a candidate who attacks the American people?"

Drawing cheers from the crowd, McMullin said staunch congressional Republicans have hopped on the GOP bandwagon despite reservations about the character and electability of the party's nominee. Rather than working to forward strong conservative candidates, McMullin said, fear of reprisals from congressional leadership or constituents has fueled support for Trump.

"I think we're in this country having a leadership crisis. We're at a place in this country where our leaders lack courage," he said.

Finn, who introduced McMullin at their Boise appearance, said the current major party frontrunners are both proposing to expand the role of government in citizens' lives.

"We're disconnected from the ability to make a difference because of the size of the federal government," she said.

In a recent Emerson College survey, McMullin emerged as a serious challenger to Clinton and Trump for Utah's six electoral college votes. After the Boise High rally, Travis Browndyke, who described himself as a libertarian, said while he agreed with much of what McMullin said, it's unlikely the candidate will gain much more traction in the days leading up to the general election

"I don't think we have the power right now to change the norm," he said.

While Clinton and Trump have soaked up most of the national press, and Clinton has emerged in polls as a safe bet for the next president of the United States, Carl Harmon-Velotti said McMullin may be positioning himself as a leader for Republicans after the 2016 election.

"He seems to want to put himself at the head of a new conservative movement," he said.
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