Election 2020

Weld: If Libertarian Ticket Takes More Trump Votes, 'I'm Happy About That'

Vice presidential nominee William Weld speaks at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando, Fla., on May 29, 2016. (Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP)

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld stood by his assessment that Hillary Clinton is more qualified to be commander in chief than his running mate, Libertarian presidential nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

But, Weld told CNN this morning, Johnson has qualities that ultimately make him a better choice than Clinton.

“Well, I said I’m not sure there’s anybody more qualified than she is on paper. I mean, she’s got quite a resume. Six years as — six or eight years as a senator. She was known for mastering her brief in the Senate. And four years as secretary of State. On paper, that’s a pretty good resume. Pretty good qualification to be president of the United States,” Weld said.

“You know, I went on to say that I think Gary Johnson would be the best president because of the policies. Fiscal and military and otherwise that he would implement.”

Weld brushed off Johnson’s recent hiccups on knowledge of world events as “pop quizzes on TV are just not Gary’s long suit.”

“But I think having the right policies is more important than doing well on a pop quiz,” he added.

Weld rejected the argument that the Libertarian ticket is just stealing votes from Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, stressing that “in this year of all years, I think having an alternative to the two establishment parties is a good thing and healthy for the country.”

“On the technical question of who we’re taking votes from, I’m quite sure at the end of the day we will wind up with a lot more moderate Republican votes than we will votes coming from Mrs. Clinton,” he said. “…I’ve said this before, but I can’t imagine anyone who’s really a Republican voting for Donald Trump. I consider him what he said he was at the beginning, a liberal New York City Democrat. And he’s doing just the opposite of what everyone in the Republican Party decided that we had — we Republicans, as I used to be.”

“After the 2012 election we said we’ve got to emphasize free trade, we’ve got to have outreach to Latinos, outreach to women, all minority groups, people of color. Donald Trump is just doing the opposite of all of those things, so it’s hard for me to see how he keeps Republicans of good will.”

Weld later added that if “we’re going to take more votes from Trump than from Clinton then I’m happy about that.”

“And it’s not a bad thing for the country to have somebody standing up and saying look, here’s a way to do it and it respects everyone, it doesn’t try to pit group against group and stir up envy and resentment, and even hatred, the way Mr. Trump does,” he said.