So far, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is the lone Republican who has expressed his intent to take on President Donald Trump in the approaching Republican primary, HuffPost reports.
At age 73, Weld describes himself as a conservative with respect to spending and taxes, even going as far as to cut taxes beyond what has already occurred under both Trump and George W. Bush’s respective presidencies. Unlike either of the former, however, Weld commits to cutting spending first to accommodate.
Yet fiscal conservatism aside, Weld stands out among Republican politicians with an apparent commitment to diversity and inclusion, standing with racial minorities as well as with members of the LGBT community. He has expressed traditionally left-leaning sentiments on other topics as well, such as when he met with advocates for domestic violence victims and explained that, as governor, he had judges go through training in the proper way to relate to women who have been abused.
“He really has been a leader in elevating victims’ voices,” says Lyn Schollett. She is director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. “When we see offenders getting away with this behavior, we see it being normalized,” Schollett says, going on to paint a stark contrast between what she sees as Trump’s normalization of sexual misbehavior and Weld’s opposition to it.
"It is time for all people of good will to take a stand and plant a flag...It's for this reason that I have today established an Exploratory Committee to pursue the possibility for my running for the Presidency of the United States as a Republican in the 2020 election." pic.twitter.com/LUrsyyo1fP— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) February 15, 2019
Weld himself, in addition to advocating for the political values he has established over his career, is not shy about his overall intent to take aim squarely at President Trump.
“Basically, for his career, he was a New York and Palm Beach socialite who spent his time judging beauty contests, and that’s not preparation for being in the Oval Office,” Weld said. “It’s almost small wonder that he would say, ‘Oh, yeah, you tell women you’re a star, you can grab ’em anywhere you want.’ Well, we don’t need to put up with that in the Oval Office.”
In any case, Weld sees big political opportunities in what he describes as “Weld-friendly” demographics, including young voters and suburban women who may have generally voted Republican, but have found themselves looking elsewhere due to Trump’s influence.
“My task here, frankly, is to enlarge the electorate,” Weld says. “They deserve a choice.”
At this time, Weld is literally the only choice for Republican voters who want to see Trump challenged in their party’s primary. While several other potential candidates have expressed interest in recent weeks, Weld is, as of now, the only one formally moving forward.