Former Massachusetts Republican Governor and Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate Bill Weld announced he is forming an exploratory committee with the intention of challenging the president of the United States in the GOP primaries.
Fox News reports that Weld made the announcement at “Politics and Eggs,” “a must stop in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire for any White House hopeful.”
“I am establishing an exploratory committee to pursue the possibility of my running for the presidency of the United States as a Republican in the 2020 election. I encourage those of you who are watching the current administration nervously but saying nothing to stand up and speak out,” Weld declared.
Weld is living a fantasy, as are most anti-Trump elements in the Republican Party who are looking for someone to save them from the president. They believe that there is a large number of Republican rank and file who have been intimidated into keeping their mouths shut about their opposition to Trump. This is silly. All signs point to Trump being embraced by almost the entire Republican Party. Any challenge to Trump makes Ahab’s hunt for the white whale look reasonable.
Weld warned in his speech that “our country is in grave peril and I cannot sit quietly on the sidelines anymore.”
And he slammed Trump, claiming “we have a president whose priorities are skewed toward promoting of himself rather than toward the good of the country.”
Weld also described the president as “compulsive” and “irrational.”
And he lamented the state of the GOP, arguing “the president has captured the Republican Party in Washington. Sad. But even sadder is that many Republicans exhibit all the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome, identifying with their captor.”
Curiously, Weld refuses to say if he will vote for a Democrat in 2020 if he loses:
Asked about his return to the GOP, he said: “I want to not dribble around the court but go right to the hoop and if you want to go one-on-one here, it’s got to be as an R.”
“It feels good to be back there with the R on my name but I will say I’m not rejoining the no-nothing party. I’m rejoining the party of Lincoln,” he added.
When an audience member asked whether Weld would support a Democrat in the 2020 general election if his likely primary challenge is unsuccessful, he answered, “I’m not sure about that.”
Asked by Fox News if he was concerned his efforts could even help a Democrat win the election, Weld said, “I’m in the Republican primary and I’m going to say what I think the Republicans should do. I’m not going to worry about the Democrats now.”
For those who think this is some kind of vanity run, think again. Of course, it takes a lot of supposing, but suppose the special counsel really does have something really, really bad on Trump. The president can bellow that it’s “fake news” all he wants, but beyond his GOP base, a lot of people who voted for Trump in 2016 might think twice about backing him again.
Not that the party would turn to Bill Weld in a million years if that scenario played out. Trump will never resign and he would have to be six feet under not to run again. Weld gives NeverTrumpers a forlorn hope, nothing more.