Conservatives led by Erick Erickson on Thursday called for a unity ticket and a convention fight to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
"If that unity ticket is unable to get 1,237 delegates prior to the convention, we recognize that it took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party's nominee and if it is good enough for Lincoln, that process should be good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots," Erickson wrote in a statement after conservatives gathered in Washington DC.
Erickson said his group is "committed to ensuring a real conservative candidate is elected."
"We believe that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump, a Hillary Clinton donor, is that person," he wrote.
The group left the door open to potentially supporting a third party race if Republicans are unable to stop Trump.
"We intend to keep our options open as to other avenues to oppose Donald Trump," the statement said. "Our multiple decades of work in the conservative movement for free markets, limited government, national defense, religious liberty, life, and marriage are about ideas, not necessarily parties."
Rep. Trent Franks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, attended the meeting briefly. So did conservative leader Bill Wichterman.
The meeting, a breakfast of more than two dozen people held at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, was hosted by longtime conservative activists Bill Wichterman and Bob Fischer.
The full statement of the group is here.
(via CNN and WaPo)