On Monday, ex-CIA officer Evan McMullin shook things up in America by announcing his run for the White House.
McMullin, who spent 11 years in the CIA, worked for Goldman Sachs, and was chief policy director for the House of Representatives, is running as an Independent.
Since jumping into the race, McMullin has gone from being someone Americans had no clue about to a candidate whom people are talking about nonstop.
Independent Journal Review spoke with McMullin about his decision to run and how he plans to win against what some might see as staggering odds.
He explained how he intends to be on the ballot in enough states to compete with Hillary and Trump:
“For ballot access, we have a multi-pronged strategy with petitions and minor parties. There’s a strategy for each state.
We expect to be on a number of state ballots and that will be able to compete in the race.”
Then, we asked McMullin how someone with virtually no name recognition can gain the support they need:
“It’s a challenge. But in this day and age with digital media and the opportunities, I think it’s very possible. I went from being someone people didn’t know because I wanted it that way to someone who is engaging nationally and being considered seriously.
A few days ago Google told my campaign more people were searching for my name than Donald’s. And people are hearing more about me every day and continuing to want to learn more.”
As presidential campaigns cost a lot of money and require a grassroots army, we wondered how he plans to stay afloat.
He isn’t concerned, saying:
“In the first 24 hours, we had 60,000 volunteers. It’s really tens and tens of thousands of people across the country. A crazy number of people for just a few days.
As far as funding, we are raising a lot of money from individual donations of people who are supporting this effort. And we are talking to major donors and moving those relationships forward now that we are in the race.”
We received a glimpse into his ISIS strategy:
“We have to be much more serious about taking the fight to them in Iraq and Syria. And the second thing is we need to get serious about fighting the ideology of Islamism terrorism. This is as much as a traditional battle on the battlefield as it is a battle of ideas.
I think we can get a lot more done with our special operations guys and indigenous forces.
We need to be far more engaged in that way. We need to work with neighboring countries who are willing to put their own guys in.
But we don’t need to go to traditional ground troops for now, but I also don’t think we should take anything off the table.”
Then, we asked McMullin if he had a few moments with Trump, how he would convince Trump to take him seriously:
“I don’t think I need to convince Donald Trump that I’m a viable opponent. He wouldn’t want to have that conversation because he can’t talk national security or government reform. He just wouldn’t want to have that conversation.
He’s failing to compete with Hillary Clinton. I entered the race at a time where he was losing by 10% and he’s doing worse and worse.”
He added, “I think that some of his supporters are going to think twice and look at another option. And then I think they will consider me.”
McMullin kicked off his campaign in Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday night. Where things go for the former CIA officer from here depend on how well he and his growing grassroots army can juggle a lot of moving parts in the short 88 days until the elections.