Bill Weld, the Libertarian Party’s V.P. hopeful, just said the unthinkable. In a live video stream Q&A in Atlanta, he admitted that he’s never read any of Ayn Rand’s books in their entirety.
Oh, and Bill Weld also told the Boston Globe he’s shifting his attention from campaigning with his running mate Gary Johnson so he can
help get Hillary Clinton elected — oops — focus on keeping Donald Trump from getting elected.
‘While Weld insisted he still supports Johnson, he said he is now interested primarily in blocking Trump from winning the presidency and then potentially working with longtime Republican leaders such as Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour to create a new path for the party after the election.’
Bill Weld declared that while he disagrees with Hillary Clinton on many things, he finds Donald Trump’s terrifying agenda to be “in a class by itself.”
‘I think Mr. Trump’s proposals in the foreign policy area, including nuclear proliferation, tariffs, and free trade, would be so hurtful, domestically and in the world, that he has my full attention.’
But even more alarmingly, if you happen to be a conservative, is this…In an interview with MSNBC, Bill Weld basically said that Hillary Clinton’s more qualified to be president than his own running mate.
‘I’m not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States.:
Now, that ought to rattle a few cages.
Will Bill Weld stay with the Libertarian Party?
When Bill Weld agreed to play second fiddle to Gary Johnson at the Libertarian party’s convention in May, he swore he was a “Libertarian for life” and would go full-tilt for Gary Johnson. The anti-establishment cycle for the 2016 election, along with Johnson’s and Weld’s credibility as two-term governors, have given their ticket some traction. Gary Johnson served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 and Bill Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. Both left the GOP for the Libertarian Party.
So what’s changed? For starters, taking 8 percent of likely voters in national polls may get them some press coverage and make both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton nervous. Alas for Johnson and Weld, it doesn’t clear the 15 percent bar needed to win a spot in the televised debates.
And there’s this…On Tuesday, Gary Johnson all but admitted defeat in an interview with Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s New Day. There, he spent much of their chat mounting a bizarre defense for his inability to name a single foreign leader he admires. At one point, the former New Mexico governor even sneered:
‘I’m a real skeptic, so I point out an elected leader, foreign leader that I admire and all of a sudden I have to defend them against things that I’m not even aware of, So in that context, Alisyn, look, if that’s a disqualifier to run for president, so be it.’
Gary Johnson later defiantly added that if neither knowing nor caring that the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo exists makes him unfit for office, “I guess I wasn’t meant to be president.” And if he reminds you of Pee Wee Herman pouting while insisting, “I meant to do that,” there’s a reason for that.
The Boston Globe also mentions that some of Bill Weld’s staff believe the Libertarian Party’s prospects would fare better with Bill Weld at the top of the ticket. After all, he’s far more well-versed in global affairs. His business interests take him around the world and President Bill Clinton once nominated him as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (though N.C. Sen. Jesse Helms shut that down because Weld wasn’t conservative enough for him).
Bob Durand, a political operative in Bill Weld’s corner, told the Boston Globe:
‘Unfortunately, if the ticket was flipped, they might have more success.’
At one point, Weld’s strategists looked into putting him at the top of the ticket only to have Gary Johnson clap a stopper on those capers. Their party’s top brass already looks askance at Bill Weld as an opportunist and fair weather libertarian looking for the main chance…And they may not be too far off.
Although he swears he’s “certainly not going to drop them [the Libertarian Party] this year,” many find that far from reassuring. Especially now that Bill Weld has told the Boston Globe it might be “fun” to help reboot the Republican Party.
‘Maybe somebody is going to come up with a new playbook, and I don’t know who it’s going to be, but it would be fun to participate.’
But in the meantime, Bill Weld’s new focus on dumping Trump is bound to give a helping hand to Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats.
Featured image: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images.