The Corner

Ex-GOP Bad Boy Roger Stone Eyes Florida Run

Roger Stone, an infamous political consultant, tells National Review Online that he will probably run for governor of Florida.

The former campaign adviser to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan says he wants to run as a libertarian, third-party challenger to incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott and the Democratic nominee.

“I don’t have any illusions about winning, but I’d like to carry the flag for the liberty movement,” Stone says. “The Republican party is dead and it can’t be revived, so it’s time for the Libertarian party to be a force.”

Stone will make a final decision on a gubernatorial run by the end of the year. In the meantime, he’ll ask libertarian activists for their support.

His politics have evolved since he once practiced the “black arts,” as Stone describes his past activities, for Nixon and other Republican contenders. He now supports marijuana legalization and open borders; on social issues, he is pro-choice and pro-gay-marriage. He’s also a fiscal hawk and detests “Beltway Republicans” for their frequent “spending orgies.”

“If I run, I’m going to be provocative, and I’m going to punch up,” he says. “It’s going to be like Bill Buckley’s mayoral run in 1965. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this campaign. It’s going to get people’s attention.”

Stone, a former adviser to Libertarian-party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, is confident that he can cause serious trouble for Scott and the probable Democratic nominee, Charlie Crist (like Stone, a former Republican).

“If I’m on the ballot, you won’t be able to shrug at my candidacy,” he says. “And if I’m on the Web and TV, and I’m entertaining, then watch out.”

“Crist is a chameleon who thinks he’s going to have a coronation, and Scott is trying to kiss up to the teachers’ unions,” Stone adds. “Come next year, Floridians are going to ask whether this is really the best they can do.”

“Will this be a lark? Maybe,” Stone admits. “But let’s remember that people thought Marco Rubio’s campaign a few years ago was a lark, too.” 

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

White House

Rachel Maddow’s Turnberry Tale

To a certain kind of Rachel Maddow viewer, there are few more titillating preludes to a news segment than the one she delivered Monday: “If you have not seen it yet, you are going to want to sit down.” Maddow’s story began, as many of her stories do, with President Trump, this time focused on his hotel ... Read More
Elections

The Problem with Pete Buttigieg

In a 2018 midterm election that didn’t give Republicans a lot to laugh about, one development that no doubt left them smiling was watching progressives across the country donate $80 million to Beto O’Rourke, in a Texas Senate race that was always going to be a steep uphill climb. Democratic party leaders can ... Read More