Trump challenger Bill Weld knows that he’s the biggest long-shot to win the 2020 primary, but the former two-term Massachusetts governor suggests that the late Senator John McCain could provide a blueprint for his victory. In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Weld suggested that McCain’s two New Hampshire primary victories were the result of his relentless style of politics.
“John McCain made that work here twice. Not once but twice. He was the underdog both times.”
Weld formally launched his campaign on Monday, and so far, he’s the only GOP politician to announce a primary challenge to Trump’s re-election campaign. But he has a tough road ahead in his fight against Trump, who is popular with Republican voters not just in New Hampshire but across the United States.
Weld was the Libertarian Party nominee for vice president in 2016 alongside ex-New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, per CNBC. The pair won nearly 4.9 million votes, which is about 3.28 percent of the popular ballots casts. Although this number is impressive for the Libertarian Party, it is a far cry from Trump, who won 46 percent of the popular vote.
Despite having the odds stacked against him, Weld believes that he can beat Trump. He also claims that he’s used to being the underdog.
“When I ran for governor of Massachusetts, I was less than an asterisk. And I went out to every event all summer long and into the fall and I was often all by myself. And little by little, people said, ‘This kid keeps showing up.’ And the same thing would be the plan here” in New Hampshire.”
Gov. Bill Weld is Trump's first primary challenger. https://t.co/5pvMS3Au9I
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 16, 2019
Weld has been openly critical of Trump and claims that he can do a better job as president. He said that he has the political will to cut spending, pointing to his time in Massachusetts as proof, and also suggests that Trump is not an economic conservative.
The former Massachusetts governor also says that he “wouldn’t turn my back on climate change and global warming the way Mr. Trump has,” and warned that the GOP shouldn’t ignore the effects of climate change.
Lara Trump, the president’s re-election campaign adviser and daughter-in-law, claims that Trump’s 2020 team isn’t worried about any Republican challengers, suggesting that anyone that decides to do so is wasting their time and money.
Weld also faces a struggle with the New Hampshire GOP due to his previous membership in the Libertarian Party. State party chairman Steve Stepanek wonders how he can consider himself a Republican, although he said that Weld will still get a chance to prove himself.