Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer in the Middle East and South Asia, presented himself to frustrated Americans Sunday as a fresh-faced unifier with foreign policy experience.
"I'm the only candidate in this race now that has any firsthand experience fighting terrorism," McMullin said on ABC's This Week. "We need someone who will bring this country together. I firmly believe the time has come in this country for a new generation of leadership."
The native Utahn drew a contrast between himself and Donald Trump, who he said is sowing division in America.
"Donald Trump can't control what he's says. He's never had to control what he says. Never in life has he had to do that. It's unrealistic to expect him to do that now," he said. "He's dividing the country."
McMullin estimated that Trump would not win the election in any case, judging by the businessman's lagging poll numbers.
"It's so likely that Donald Trump will lose," he said. "My entrance into the race doesn't affect that."
He also set himself apart from Hillary Clinton, who he said represents decades-old, corrupt power politics.
"She favors these old ideas about government — the centralized, top-down solutions from Washington that keep insiders in the know and give them influence, but regular Americans have no voice," he said.
McMullin, who announced his bid in early August, admitted that "it would have been much better" had a well-known candidate entered the race months ago. But, he said, he could not sit quietly and watch the growing frustration in America.
"A change is needed," he said. "As I waited and as millions of Americans waited for that to happen, it became clear at this last stage of the race, the general election, that if somebody didn't make a move soon, that all hope would be lost."
The independent candidate is facing a steep road to victory, with ballot-access deadlines already having passed in many states.
Asked if he believed he had a "prayer of winning," McMullin answered firmly.
"We do," he said. "We absolutely do."