Two Republican presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.
Getting to Know Gov. Bill Weld
“I am a longtime federal prosecutor…I’ve never seen such evidence in an obstruction case,” said former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. “Extorting a foreign leader to come interfere in a U.S. election for the advantage of the person doing the extorting, that’s as bad as it gets in terms of what the framers were afraid of, and what they thought should be grounds for removal.”
While the statement above seems like the standard issue for Democrats impeaching President Donald Trump, the statement is surprising because it comes from a member of the Republican Party.
Furthermore, that GOP member is so adamant about his opposition to President Trump that he has decided to challenge the incumbent president in the 2020 Republican presidential primary.
Governor Weld has even gone so far with his criticism of Trump that he says the president’s offenses are “way worse than Nixon” in reference to the Watergate scandal that led to the resignations of former President Richard Nixon and former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.
But Weld does not limit his criticism to Trump alone.
He has criticism for his entire political party.
Weld said, “I want the Republican Party to be the party of Abraham Lincoln, not the know-nothing party that says climate change is a hoax and we’re not going to worry about this and all we’re going to do is be very angry all the time. I think that’s the wrong way for the inhabitant of 1600 Pennsylvania (Avenue) to act.”
Although Weld faces an uphill battle to replace Trump on the Republican ticket, the former governor is no stranger to presidential politics.
He ran for vice president in 2016 as a Libertarian with Gary Johnson on the top of the ticket as a presidential candidate.
Weld identified as a Libertarian from 2016-2019.
However, before 2016 Weld identified as a Republican.
He returned to the Republican Party in 2019.
Not only does Weld have to battle Trump’s popularity amongst the GOP, he has to battle him with money.
Despite not having a big treasure chest to battle Trump, Weld is confident about his chances in the New Hampshire primary.
He has spent a lot of time campaigning in the “Granite State.”
The presidential candidate said, “I think we may be in for a surprise in New Hampshire. I just have a good feeling on the ground there.”
Weld served as two-term governor of nearby Massachusetts from 1991-1997.
Before serving as governor of Massachusetts, Weld served as the attorney general for the U.S. Criminal Division from 1986-1988.
From 1981-1986, Weld served as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, some Republicans say that they would support a qualified GOP candidate to replace Trump as the presidential nominee.
A SurveyMonkey audience poll said that 13 percent of voters who slightly consider themselves conservative said they would definitely vote for a qualified candidate who challenged Trump.
Eleven percent said they would probably vote for a qualified candidate who challenged the incumbent president.
Eighteen percent said they would support the president but were open to considering GOP challengers.
Nevertheless, that potential 42 percent of voters would not alone be enough for one Republican to upset Trump in the Republican presidential primary.
Further complicating matters for Weld is the fact that many conservatives do not share some of his positions.
As the Libertarian vice presidential candidate, Weld compared Trump’s immigration plans of mass deportations to Nazi Germany’s tactics.
While serving as governor of Massachusetts, Weld increased access to Medicaid and asked the federal government to expand funding for Medicaid to Massachusetts.
The presidential hopeful believes in climate change and thinks America should do something to address the situation.
Furthermore, Weld wants the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords.
On social issues, Weld leans more to the left than to the right.
Weld is pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights.
He supported overturning the ban on same sex marriage in California before same sex marriage became legal.
Weld also supported allowing transgender students access to the bathroom of their choice.
“Governor William Weld represents what is needed and has been missing within the Republican Party: a campaign message about acceptance for all marginalized communities, including LGBTQ people,” said GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Weld leans more to the right on education issues.
The former governor has supported getting rid of the Department of Education.
Like many fiscal conservatives, Weld wants to reduce the size of government.
Weld wants to decrease the overall spending of the government.
He also signed a bill to increase school standards while serving as the governor of Massachusetts.
Weld also liked the fact that Trump appointed two conservative judges to the United States Supreme Court in Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch.
He said, “I think both the Supreme Court nominees are highly intelligent. I applauded both of them.”
However, some conservatives might not applaud his stance on gun rights.
Weld supported an assault weapons ban in the 1990s despite a lot of Republican opposition.
Furthermore, the Republican presidential hopeful supported a waiting period before people can purchase guns, and supports banning the sale of firearms to people under the age of 21 years old.
Distancing himself even more from some Republicans, Weld has supported legalizing marijuana for over three decades.
Additionally, Weld disagrees with Trump on tariffs.
On foreign affairs, Weld supported former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump reversed.
Weld called nuclear proliferation, “the number one threat to the security of the world.”