Donald Trump has his first Republican challenger for 2020.
William Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, said Friday he would run against Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.
“We have a president whose priorities are skewed towards promotion of himself rather than for the good of the country,” Weld said at a recent gathering in New Hampshire. “He may have great energy and considerable raw talent, but he does not use that in ways that promote democracy, truth, justice and equal opportunity for all. To compound matters, our president is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office in the land.”
On Monday, he made it official.
In 2016, Weld ran with Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket for president, and received 4.5 million votes.
Trump, who remains wildly popular with much of his base, now becomes the first GOP incumbent since George H.W. Bush to receive a primary challenge.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Weld was asked whether he was surprised he was the first Republican to come out against Trump.
“I’m very surprised that I’m the only one,” Weld replied. “There are plenty of capable office holders in the Republican Party, and I bet you there’s a couple of dozen of them who, like myself, think they could do a better job than the incumbent. But it’s partly a miasma of fear that I have seen before in Washington, D.C. And it’s partly whistling past the graveyard and saying, ‘I’m happy, happy, happy.’ And partly it’s just not being willing to say that the emperor has no clothes. And this emperor does have no clothes!”
Weld describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but takes pains to point out that his positions have been much more consistent than those of the current president.
“Mr. Trump, and this is not an indictment, had been a New York City Democrat most of his life,” Weld told Rolling Stone. “My principles have never changed. I’m the same guy who said in 1992, at the Republican convention, “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.”
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