GOP ‘Star’ Governor Defects From Trump Over 2020 Election


Opposition to President Donald Trump is growing — even within the Republican Party. Now, Vermont Governor Phil Scott has endorsed the only active, high-profile candidate running against Trump in the Republican presidential primary, Bill Weld, who is himself a former governor of Massachusetts. National and state-level polls suggest that there’s no chance for Weld to really topple Trump during the primary process — some states have even cancelled their primary elections — but Weld insisted not too long ago that “unless the roof falls on my head,” he’ll “keep going as long as I can.”

Weld publicly thanked Scott for the endorsement. On Twitter, he commented:

‘I’m a great admirer of @GovPhilScott of Vermont, and am delighted to have his endorsement in the Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday. VT has been well served in the past by Republican governors, and Gov. Scott admirably extends that tradition.’

On Saturday, Scott — who has criticized Trump before — told reporters at a press conference, in reference to Weld:

‘I’ve met with him before. I think a lot of him and his platform, so I would be supporting him.’

Scott had originally suggested that he could support someone other than Trump all the way back in May 2019. Besides Weld, a couple of other Republicans including former Congressman Joe Walsh and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford have also come and gone with Republican presidential primary bids against Trump. In Iowa, Weld did actually secure one delegate — but that pales in comparison to the 39 pledged party nominating convention delegates that Trump secured. Weld did not get any delegates from New Hampshire, which is the only other state to have voted so far, although he nabbed about nine percent of the total vote.

“Super Tuesday,” on which states across the country including Vermont will hold their presidential primary elections, is on March 3 this year, which is pretty soon. There’s not been much polling of the Republican presidential primary race, but neither Weld nor any other candidate have come anywhere close to toppling the incumbent.

Trump hasn’t himself paid much attention to any of his Republican challengers, although he has complained about them somewhat. When Sanford ran for Congress in 2018, he tweeted:

Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!’

Although she won the Republican primary, Arrington ended up losing her general election bid for the Congressional seat to a Democrat. She was one of many Republican candidates to come up short in that cycle.

Heading into November, Trump himself might be looking at the looming end of his time in office. Many polls show him losing to leading Democratic presidential primary candidates in hypothetical general election match-ups. The Democratic primary field itself is still in flux at present — currently, Sanders leads in polls, with Biden and Bloomberg close behind.