U.S.

‘Fear for the Republic’: Former Republican Governor Bill Weld Announces 2020 Run Against Donald Trump

Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts and 2016 vice presidential candidate to Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, said Monday that he is officially running for president as a Republican candidate in an attempt to unseat President Donald Trump in the 2020 primary.

In a roughly three-minute campaign video featuring his previous accomplishments as governor and as a U.S. attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan posted to his website, Weld took aim at Trump, highlighting the president’s more controversial comments he’s made in recent years.

“It is time for patriotic men and women across our great nation to stand and plant a flag,” Weld said in a statement. “There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight.”

Previously, Weld formed an exploratory committee for a potential run. No stranger to his distaste for the current president, he told CNN Monday afternoon that it would be a “political tragedy” for Trump to win re-election.

“I would fear for the republic. I would be ashamed of myself if I didn’t raise my hand and run,” he said.

republican, bill, weld, 2020, donald trump Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld asks a question of Martha Raddatz who received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism at Harvard University' Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy on March 6, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Weld has a tough task ahead of him, considering the man he seeks to unseat has maintained a high approval rating amongst Republicans. And in the first quarter of 2019, Trump’s re-election campaign raised $30 million, eclipsing all Democratic candidates.

But a Monmouth University poll in February found that 43 percent of Republicans would like to see Trump face a primary challenger. Weld said he believes he has a realistic shot at taking on the incumbent president, pointing to his own record of working across party lines during his time as governor as to reason why Trump loyalists should put their faith in his candidacy. 

“He seems to have difficulty, in my opinion, and I was a prosecutor for quite a while, he has difficulty conforming his conduct to the requirements of law,” Weld told CNN. “That’s a serious matter in the Oval Office.”

Weld’s campaign video took aim at some of Trump’s most controversial remarks, such as the Access Hollywood tape where he bragged about groping women as a star, saying there were “some very fine people on both sides” of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of a woman, and criticizing the late Republican Senator John McCain for getting captured as a prisoner of war.

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