In a rare gathering of presidential contenders from both parties, eight candidates will address a conference by the group No Labels in New Hampshire on Monday, including Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders.
No Labels, co-chaired by former Senator Joe Lieberman, who started his political career as a Democrat and ended as an independent, and former Utah governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, is devoted to pushing the major parties and independents to cooperate more in day-to-day governance. They’re perhaps best known for encouraging Democrats and Republicans to sit together during the State of the Union after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was wounded in a mass shooting in her Arizona district.
Trump is an unconventional Republican with a mixed ideological background, so in a literal sense he’s a perfect No Labels candidate. But in practice, the group tends much more towards encouraging civility and moderation, making his habit of continuously insulting his opponents and his hardline take on immigration an unusual fit.
Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic nomination, also has some claim to the No Labels ideal in that until recently he identified as an independent rather than with the party he now seeks to lead. Sanders usually stands on the far left of the Democratic party on policy, making him the polar opposite of Lieberman, who was considered one of the most conservative Democrats while in office and endorsed John McCain for president over Barack Obama in 2008.
Other candidates speaking include Ohio Governor John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on the Republican side along with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Sen. Jim Webb on the Democratic side.