Donald Trump's 2016 presidential run seems custom-made for a third party. The billionaire developer has never held political office, never run as a Republican or Democrat. He doesn't need a party's moneyraising apparatus. His anti-politician appeal -- "Politicians are never going to bring us to the promised land" -- cuts equally against Republicans and Democrats. And as far as Republicans are concerned, Trump appears to connect with GOP voters who are so disgusted with the party's current Washington leadership that they would be open to a third-party campaign.
But in an interview Tuesday, Trump said he has no interest in running as a third-party candidate, at least for the moment.
"I've had many, many people ask me about running as an independent," Trump told me in a telephone conversation. "My sole focus is to run as a Republican. I'm a conservative Republican."
"My sole focus is to run as a Republican," Trump repeated, "because of the fact that I believe that is the best way we can defeat the Democrats."