A puncher needs someone to punch. Now, President Trump has one if he chooses to treat former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld with any level of seriousness. That remains to be seen. It’s just as likely he’ll Tweet a few jabs and be done with him as he would actually take Weld seriously enough to make an ad.
But either way, the President’s campaign team will certainly do one thing: run fundraisers off of him.
Weld officially entered the race yesterday, and despite claims by my colleague that most #NeverTrumpers will still support the President when push comes to shove, I found more than a few on social media who were excited about the prospects of Weld taking him on. On Weld’s own Twitter feed, there were a handful of people who expressed interest in changing parties to vote for him in the primaries. Whether that means they are currently Democrats, Independents, or Libertarians (Weld was the Libertarian nominee for Vice President in 2016 before dropping out and endorsing Hillary Clinton) is unclear.
He has a track-record of fiscal conservatism, which alone gives him GOP credentials in the eyes of some. But he is staunchly pro-choice. The very notion of a pro-abortion Republican candidate for President seems obtuse in these polarized times, but if Weld thinks that’s the way to get votes, so be it.
The only thing he really has going in his favor is an ability to focus almost all of his efforts in New Hampshire. It will be the second state after Iowa to hold a vote. If Weld could somehow win there, it would demonstrate enough division within the GOP – at least in the one Libertarian-friendly state – to raise some eyebrows. Believe it or not, there’s a strategy that could work if he is able to perform well in New Hampshire, one that a strong campaign team and a good amount of money could potentially pull off.
Of course, it could all be moot. The RNC has already declared Trump will be the 2020 nominee. I’m not familiar enough to know if this is binding through primaries and caucuses, but I assume Weld did which is why he declared and has his team focusing on New Hampshire.
I am personally not a fan of President Trump, but I wouldn’t vote for a Democrat. I reached out to some associated with or directly in the Weld campaign and Tweeted at the candidate himself to get information about his stance on abortion, but so far nobody has given me a straight answer. Perhaps that’s intentional. Rather than acknowledging he’s still pro-choice, they’d rather just avoid the issue altogether.
It’s a shame, really, because I’d love to learn more from Weld or his staff about the issues. Unfortunately, his website is only a fundraising portal with a short video. As for his team, I received a single sentence reply from one adviser encouraging me to listen to Bill without actually addressing anything in my communication with him. Not very inspiring.
Weld may help the President raise money. He may end up being a thorn in the President’s side if he can make a fuss in New Hampshire. But one thing is certain: Bill Weld will never come close to being President of the United States if nobody is willing to answer the simple question about his stance on abortion.
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