April 17, 2019
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld—who served the Bay State from 1991 to 1997—announced on April 15 that he would challenge President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln—equality, dignity and opportunity for all,” Weld, age 73, said in a written announcement that made no mention of Trump, the Journal noted. Instead, he referenced “great political strife” and blamed both parties for a “win at all cost” mentality.
Weld represents a flank of the GOP that sees Mr. Trump as disruptive to longstanding party ideology on topics such as foreign policy and trade, but this group has been largely muffled since the 2016 election.
Trump commands widespread support among the Republican base, and he has a formidable re-election war chest. The Trump campaign said it raised $30 million in the first three months of this year and had $40 million in the bank as of March 31. The campaign also is fully integrated with the Republican National Committee, giving it an additional $42 million in available cash.
“Trump’s grip on the party is strong,” Republican donor and Trump fundraiser Dan Eberhart said. “The party isn’t looking for a Massachusetts liberal.”
Mr. Weld served two terms as governor in the 1990s and was viewed as a moderate, reflecting the state’s electoral makeup. In 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama over fellow Republican John McCain. In 2016, he ran as the running mate to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
The Massachusetts resident is banking on a strong performance in New Hampshire, which will hold the first-in-the-nation primary in February 2020
The weekly news magazine has said that there are four other Republicans who could possibly challenge the Trump machine for the presidency—naming the possibilities as Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, newly re-elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Nebraska Senator Benn Sasse.
Research contact: @WSJ