Who is Trump up against within his party in the 2020 primaries?
President Donald J. Trump has been vocal about his desire to run for a second term next year, but there has not been much attention on his Republican competition. Only one other candidate has announced they are running for presidency.
Former governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, announced his bid for presidency in February. This is his first presidential race as a Republican. Weld ran as vice president for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential race. He switched to the Libertarian party after serving as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997.
Unlike the Republicans, there is a wide range of diversity present within the candidates running in the Democratic party. The 20 candidates that are running include Kamala Harris, a Black woman; Bernie Sanders, a Jewish man; and Julian Castro, a Hispanic man. Currently, there is an array of media coverage of the Democratic candidates and Trump, but Weld and his campaign have not garnered much attention. So where does Weld stand?
In the past, Weld vocalized his views and critiques of Trump’s tactics and antics as president.
“Our president is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office in the land” Weld said in Bedford, New Hampshire in February when he announced his plans to run for office, according to Politico.
Weld does not fit the mold of the typical conservative Republican, and is more liberal than previous Republican candidates. He has been open about wanting to legalize marijuana nationwide and reducing taxes across the board. Additionally, he is adamant on the United States joining the Paris Agreement and shrinking the government as a whole.
According to The New York Times, Weld wants to reach across the aisle to unite conservatives and liberals, if elected president. Weld’s moderate views include him being in support of LGBTQ+ and abortion rights. Weld also publicly supported former President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election.
Weld’s unconventional and liberal leaning views as a Republican could prove to be an advantage over Trump. Trump’s conservative rhetoric and right-winged views, such as not taking action to combat climate change, are often seen as hate speech or close-minded. USA Today reported that Trump has said at least ten bigoted comments while on record.
Weld resigned from his position as governor in 1997 because he was nominated by former President Bill Clinton to become the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. He later withdrew his name from consideration after a few months because conservative Republicans were planning to block his nomination, according to The New York Times.
During the 2016 primary elections, there were 17 candidates running as Republicans, compared to just Weld as of now. By March of 2015, Ted Cruz had already entered the race.
By Weld aligning himself with the Republican party, he is giving himself a better chance of being covered by the media and drawing more attention to himself. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received just 3.2 percent of votes in the 2016 presidential election.
So far, Trump has been quiet about his fellow Republican candidate and doesn’t seem to be bothered by his recent bid. Trump is notorious for using Twitter to voice his opinions, and Weld has yet to be mentioned in one.