Jackie Salit Article on Donald J. Trump’s 2000 Run for the Reform Party Presidential Nomination

On September 10, the New York Times ran an article mentioning that Donald J. Trump sought the Reform Party nomination in 2000, for a while. He entered two Reform Party presidential primaries, in California and Michigan, and won both of them. The title of that article was “Bound to No Party, Trump Upends 150 Years of Two-Party Rule.” It says, “In the end, Trump dropped the campaign and the Reform Party.”

Jackie Salit, a former leader of the New Alliance Party, and then the Reform Party, and now President of Independent Voting, has an article in Huffington Post that disputes the New York Times. She writes, “Here’s the correction to the fake news…I was there. I know what happened. The Reform Party dropped Trump, not the other way around.”

The most comprehensive history of the Reform Party is Patricia Muth’s “A Title in the Making: Perot Movement Laid the Foundation to Take Back America. Where Do We Go From Here?” It was published in 2016 and is 468 pages. About Trump’s run for the Reform nomination in 2000, it says on page 450, “There were others taking a look at the Reform Party for a presidential run. Real Estate tycoon Donald Trump joined Buchanan and Ventura. According to the Baltimore Sun, Trump surprised conservatives when he announced he was forming an exploratory committee to seek the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000. On October 8, 1999, the Baltimore Sun reported: “Trump, describing his poll numbers as ‘unbelievable’ said on CNN that he was forming a committee to advise him on a possible run.”

“‘I believe non-politicians represent the wave of the future, and if elected, I would make the kind of president America needs. In the new millenium, I would center my presidency around three principles: one term, two-fisted policies, and no excuses,’ Trump told the Wall Street Journal. Polls put Trump and Buchanan at 7% and 8% respectively. Once Trump made his announcement, Jesse Ventura, a longtime friend of Trump’s, seemed to bow out. He told AP that his friend ‘may end up being a good candidate for us. The builder seems to parallel me a lot.”

“In January 2000, Donald Trump invited Reform Party leaders to his Mar-a-Lago Club — a 126-room mansion in Palm Beach — on the Atlantic Ocean. Gayle and Russ Verney had the pleasure of dining with him after the reception, and found Trump to be ‘a most gracious host.’ But the grand meeting did not evolve into a campaign. As the election drew closer, the master of branding, public relations and negotiations, had succeeded in causing a buzz but decided it was not the time.”


Jackie Salit Article on Donald J. Trump’s 2000 Run for the Reform Party Presidential Nomination — 10 Comments

  1. 2000 Yikes.

    What if there had been a Prez Trump on 9-11-2001 ???

    Instant World War III or worse ???

    PR and nonpartisan AppV

  2. I’d like to know more about the “Make America Great” party that petitioned in Texas in 2012. How did that come in to being?

  3. It didn’t petition. It merely filed the notice with the Texas Secretary of State that it might petition. Texas is the only state that tells new parties that if they intend to petition, they must notify the state in early January. It was just an action in case Trump wanted to get on the ballot outside the two major parties.

  4. Texas requires parties to nominate by primary or convention. Whether the party qualifies its nominees for the general election depends on how many voters attend the precinct conventions in March (rather than affiliating with another party by voting in its primary, or participating in its precinct conventions).

  5. No party in Texas ever qualifies for the general election ballot by having a huge attendance at its state convention. All parties that have got on the ballot in Texas since 1967 (the year the present law was created) have got on by petition. The law says no petition is needed if the 50,000 or so required persons attend the state convention, but the idea that any third party would have 50,000 voters at its state convention is pure fantasy.

  6. It would be interesting to see a major celebrity, like Kanye West, test this law. Maybe he could schedule a concert/convention hybrid event. I wonder if that would be allowed.

  7. “Look, he’s a Hitler lover. I guess he’s an anti-Semite. He doesn’t like the blacks, he doesn’t like the gays. It’s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy.” Trump talking about Pat Buchanan in 1999.

  8. The attendance is measured at the precinct conventions, which is the equivalent of the primary for larger parties. On election day, you either go to the polling place for your party, or to the convention location.

    The convention system in Texas is an indirect process by which attendees at the precinct conventions choose delegates to higher level conventions where the actual nominations are made. Nothing precludes a small party from choosing delegates based on their support for actual candidates.

    If a party does not hold conventions, it can not make nominations. That is too plain for argument.

    It is true that the nominees can qualify by the supplemental petition. I wish that the old system were in place where parties reported their convention attendance prior to beginning the supplemental petition process.

    Do you think that the facts have changed since ‘American Party of Texas v White’ that would cause the SCOTUS to review the case?

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