Former Governor Bill Weld (R-Mass.) announced that he is considering taking on President Donald Trump to be the Republican candidate for president in 2020, but it doesn’t look as though he is gaining much traction.
Weld, who ran for vice president under Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in 2016, expressed concern about the character of the president, telling the Boston Herald, “We have a president whose priorities are skewed toward promotion of himself rather than toward the good of the country.”
This is not simply an act of protest. I will not sit quietly on the sidelines any longer while our President praises despotic leaders, insults democratic allies, unravels arms control agreements and rails against the rule of law. https://t.co/aDtLd9malV
— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) February 15, 2019
With comments like that, it is clear that Weld hopes to gain support from those who are not opposed to the president’s political agenda but are opposed to his personality. In 2016, a large number of conservatives, identified as “Never Trump Republicans,” questioned the conservatism of the president.
While it would make sense that some of the Never Trump Republicans would latch onto a candidate like Weld, he’s received an icy welcome into the race.
According to a report by the Washington Examiner, the group of Republican activists who are opposed to Trump’s re-election doesn’t think Weld has what it takes to even land a scratch on President Trump.
The group, who meets at the conservative think tank Niskanen Center, wants a primary run to mean something for the GOP and they don’t think Weld has it in him.
“As far as what I’m looking for? I’m looking for someone who can draw blood in the primaries. Whether [Weld] can draw blood in the primaries remains to be seen,” said Jerry Taylor, president of the Niskanen Center.
Even Liz Mair, a Never Trumper who endorsed Weld’s 2020 bid admitted he will struggle with Republicans, telling the Examiner, “There are some people that are going to have problems with Bill Weld.”
Although some Never Trumpers clearly don’t see Weld as a strong candidate, he might be their only option.
As IJR previously reported, two of the Republican frontrunners to go against Trump have taken other career paths, with both former Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) and former Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) joining media outlets as political commentators.
Additionally, the number of prominent Never Trumpers has dwindled. Several former Never Trumpers, including Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), told IJR they would be supporting Trump as the nominee.