5 Facts To Know About Bill Weld, The Republican Challenging Trump in 2020
On April 15, a former governor stepped up to challenge POTUS in the primaries. And for those wondering what Bill Weld facts there are to know about Trump's Republican challenger, you might be surprised that this technically isn't the first presidential campaign Weld has been involved in. What's more, his reason for running shows that he isn't afraid to take on Trump in the coming months.
According to CNN, in an interview with Jake Tapper on The Lead on April 15, Weld explained that part of his motivation to run had to do with his fear for "the Republic" under Trump's presidency. He said, "I really think if we have six more years of the same stuff we've had out of the White House the last two years that would be a political tragedy, and I would fear for the Republic. I would be ashamed of myself if I didn't raise my hand and run."
Getting even more specific, Weld argued that Trump "mocks the rule of law," adding later, "I've never seen such bitterness in this country." Weld was the vice presidential nominee for the Libertarian ticket in 2016, with Gary Johnson as his running mate. Here's what you need to know about who he is, where he's from, and where he stands on some key policies:
Former Governor Of Massachusetts
Weld has a lengthy political history. He served two terms as the governor of Massachusetts, then ran for senator of Massachusetts and lost to John Kerry. He also ran for governor of New York in 2005, unsuccessfully.
His Past With The Libertarian Party
Weld jumped on the Libertarian ticket in 2016, running unsuccessfully with Johnson — and speaking out consistently against Trump on the 2016 campaign trail. Weld also has often displayed an individual approach to voting in elections, rather than swearing by party loyalty. He endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, then endorsed Mitt Romney over Obama in 2012, per Axios.
He's A Pro-Choice, Pro-LGBTQ Rights Republican
Weld has long distinguished himself in the Republican Party for his socially progressive views. He is pro-choice, and has been for a while; according to PBS, he fought to remove anti-abortion language from the Republican Party platform during the 1990s.
In 2003, Weld did say, paradoxically, that he was pro gay rights but against gay marriage. However, he has since changed his stance and now supports gay marriage; it's worth noting that a number of Democratic politicians were also against gay marriage in the early 2000s, including Joe Biden and Obama.
He's Defended His Decision To Campaign Against Trump
Even before he officially announced his run for president, Weld has maintained that he has every right to run against the incumbent president, even if that risks "splitting the vote." In February, Weld said on ABC News' This Week, “I think the Republicans in Washington want to have no election, basically. I don’t think that would be very good for the country."
He's A Year Older Than Trump
At 73 years old, Weld is one year older than Trump. If he wins, he will become the oldest president in U.S. history. He's not the only candidate to face this potential record. Both Trump and Bernie Sanders will also break the record if they win (for Trump, a second time). Sanders is 77 years old.
Whether you personally connect with his platform or not, Weld's presidential bid is significant. His decision to run matters because he has now ensured Trump's journey to attempted reelection won't be handed to him until the Republican primaries. And while the Democratic field is exponentially more crowded than the Republican field, there's still plenty of time for more Republican candidates to come out of the woodwork.