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Bill Weld on Principles & Values

Libertarian Party nominee for Vice President; former Republican Massachusetts Governor

 


2016 election: Johnson-Weld exceeded 3.6% of vote in MI & WI

Democrats have long complained--with good reason--about the role of the Green Party in depriving Al Gore of the White House in 2000. Nader received 2.74% of the vote, including 1.63% in the critical state of FL that Gore lost by 537 votes. That 2.74% was a strong showing for a third party, but in 2016, the Libertarian Party topped that total.

The Libertarian Party had never before received more than 1.1% of the vote in a presidential election. But with NM Gov. Gary Johnson and former MA Gov. William Weld serving as their ticket, the party rocketed to 3.24% of the vote. In two of the critical states that Trump flipped, MI and WI, Johnson topped 3.6%. In Pennsylvania, the third normally Democratic stronghold that voted GOP, Johnson received 2.4%.

It is not clear from the polling, but one of the reasons for Trump's surprise victory was the cratering in support for Johnson in the waning months of the election. In September, he was polling at 9%, which fell off heavily by Election Day.

Source: Houston Chronicle on 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 13, 2019

500 prosecutors: we'd indict Trump based on Mueller evidence

We are former federal prosecutors. Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice. The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:
Source: Letter from 500 ex-prosecutors on Mueller Report , May 6, 2019

500 prosecutors: Letting Trump go risks system of justice

[On] witness tampering and intimidation: The Special Counsel's report establishes that the President tried to influence the decisions of both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort with regard to cooperating with investigators. Some of this tampering and intimidation, including the dangling of pardons, was done in plain sight via tweets and public statements; other such behavior was done via private messages through private attorneys, such as Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani.

As former federal prosecutors, we recognize that prosecuting obstruction of justice cases is critical because unchecked obstruction?--?which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished?--?puts our whole system of justice at risk. We believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report.

Source: Letter from 500 ex-prosecutors on Mueller Report , May 6, 2019

Quit Reagan Justice Department over ethics scandals

William F. Weld is not likely to become our 46th president. But he was here in New Hampshire--no other Republicans were--and that was something. "I think it's important to at least call out the current incumbent of the White House for the pettiness, his vindictiveness and the unreconstituted meanness he displays," Weld told the crowd.

Weld, a 2-term Republican governor of Massachusetts more than two decades ago, is 73, tall and slim with a mop of orange hair and a face the hue of Pepto-Bismol. A Harvard and Oxford graduate, Weld worked in the Reagan Justice Department but quit over a series of ethics scandals involving his boss, Attorney General Ed Meese. He ran briefly for governor of New York after leaving Massachusetts, endorsed Obama in 2008 & raised a bunch of money for Romney in 2012. He has written thrillers, dabbled in historical fiction and was last heard from in 2016 as the vice-presidential running mate to the Libertarian nominee, Gary Johnson. He sets off some dilettante alarms.

Source: NY Times, "Other Resistance", on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 24, 2019

Trump used power of Oval Office to protect himself

The relationship between a democratic government and its citizens is based on mutual trust and respect. How can a president function if he instinctively lies to not only the public but to his own staff? There is one essential truth that leaps from the pages of the Mueller report: No one can trust Donald Trump.

Following the release of the Mueller report, Trump claimed with his usual arrogance and ignorance that he has been vindicated. In truth, the Mueller report revealed that Trump is a one-man crime wave.

Time and again, Trump tried to use the power of the Oval Office to protect himself and his associates from the consequences of their actions. The only defense Trump has to obstruction of justice is that he was too incompetent to carry it off. Over the past two years, several Trump aides derailed his criminal conspiracies by distracting the president, or simply ignoring him. Trump's failure to stop Bob Mueller does not negate how hard he tried.

Source: Commentary on Mueller Report: "Time for Trump to Resign" , Apr 24, 2019

Five Trump associates convicted; maybe 12 more redacted

The Mueller report lifted up the rock and left Trump's minions scurrying for cover. Already, five Trump associates have been convicted of serious crimes, including his former campaign manager, his longtime personal attorney, and his former national security advisor. And we don't yet know the extent of criminality within the Trump campaign or the Trump White House because he Mueller report includes 12 criminal referrals that have been redacted to protect ongoing cases.

Trump pressured then-FBI Director James Comey to go easy on National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, hoping Comey could "see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go." When Comey refused to put Trump and his inner circle above the law, Trump fired him. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

Source: Commentary on Mueller Report: "Time for Trump to Resign" , Apr 24, 2019

Mueller Report found ten instances of possible obstruction

Fortunately, Bob Mueller was able to do his job despite Trump's constant interference. For two years, Trump tried repeatedly to derail Mueller's investigation and repeatedly lied to the public about his own words and actions. He even dangled pardons for witnesses who were telling Mueller exactly what Trump had been doing in the Oval Office. In total, the special counsel found ten instances of possible obstruction of justice.

Whether this clear pattern of obstruction warrants impeachment is the purview of the House of Representatives. But regardless of what they decide, the facts revealed in the Mueller report confirm that Trump is not to be trusted.

Just as concerning, the report reveals his tenuous grasp on government and the chaos within his administration. No one in his administration trusts him, they feel free to ignore his orders, and they are as dishonest with him as he is with them. No government can function effectively this way. There is a crisis of trust in this presidency.

Source: Commentary on Mueller Report: "Time for Trump to Resign" , Apr 24, 2019

We can't go on pretending the president is normal

Bill Weld has not held public office since the 1990s. But the former Massachusetts governor is getting closer to mounting a bid for the highest office in the hand-- as a Republican--he told Cheddar from South by Southwest (SXSW). "We can't go on pretending the president is normal," Weld said, in some of his most pointed comments yet about a potential primary challenge to President Trump. "If it doesn't get better, I'm going to run."
Source: Cheddar.com blog on 2019 SXSW South-by-Southwest conference , Mar 11, 2019

Government leaders should inspire and unite, not divide

America is stronger, and can afford to be more generous, when it is united rather than divided. There is a place and time for opposition and dissent, there is always room for healthy debate. But there should be no hatred, no intimidation, no name-calling between the various arms of the federal government, or between groups of citizens. Our leaders in government should seek to unite us and make us all proud to be Americans--and never, ever seek to divide us.
Source: Speech in New Hampshire by 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Hillary's "public and private view" makes her vulnerable

Q: [WikiLeaks released excerpts of Hillary Clinton's paid speeches, which she had refused to release, and in one line Clinton says], "You need both a public and private position on certain issues." Can you have public and private views?

Hillary Clinton: "You have to figure out how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically. Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.

Bill Weld: Hillary is vulnerable on both the "public and private position" and the "people in the industry know what regulation is best" quotes. She skated on this, by quoting Honest Abe [Lincoln, who applied that concept as president].

Source: N.Y. Times on Second 2016 Presidential Debate , Oct 10, 2016

Trump's agenda is hurtful to America & the world

The Libertarian vice presidential candidate, William Weld, said that he plans to focus exclusively on blasting Donald Trump over the next five weeks, a strategic pivot aimed at denying Trump the White House and giving himself a key role in helping to rebuild the GOP. Weld's comments mark a major shift in his mission since he pledged at the Libertarian convention in May that he would remain a Libertarian for life and would do all he could to help elect his running mate, Gary Johnson.

While Weld insisted he still supports Johnson, he said he is now interested primarily in blocking Trump from winning the presidency. Weld said he is focusing on Trump because, while he disagrees with Hillary Clinton on fiscal and military issues, Trump's agenda is so objectionable it's "in a class by itself."

"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," Weld said.

Source: Boston Globe on 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate , Oct 4, 2016

Republicans and Democrats both perpetuate their own duopoly

The two-power monopoly of the Republican and Democratic Parties has now run the course of all monopolies, becoming arrogant and calcified. They're like an electric utility with a guaranteed rate of return. Hyper-gerrymandering has resulted in extreme partisanhood on both sides of the aisle. The two major parties seem to agree on only one thing: perpetuating their own duopoly. But the duopoly is sick, it's not producing results. It has lost all creativity. No one's listening to anyone. A storm is brewing this year, and it seems possible the Republican Party may even crack in two. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's happened twice before to the Republican Party in times of political ferment. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt founded the Bull Moose party and nearly won the presidency. In the mid 1850s, the southern faction of the Whig Party split off to become the Know Nothing Party, driven by three things: anti-immigrant fervor, violent rallies and conspiracy theories. Sound familiar?
Source: Johnson-Weld interview at National Press Club , Jul 7, 2016

Chaired Mitt Romney presidential campaign in New York

Q: You have been in the hardest position in politics on several different occasions, which is the one to pick up the phone and ask for the money.

WELD: And I like doing that. If you can't sell yourself or your candidate, what can you sell? So I was Pete Wilson's finance chair nationally when he ran for president, and I had the honor of serving Mitt Romney's co-chair in New York for both of his presidential runs, and I've hung around the Republican National Committee for a long time. So half of the big Republican donors have said they're not going to support Mr. Trump. That's a lot to work with.

Q: What's your pitch?

WELD: Oh, the pitch is that we're the people who say we want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom, and if people don't subscribe to that, then it's a longer conversation. But that was my pitch to the Republican National Convention in 1992.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Considered run for presidency in 1996

William Weld, the 49-year-old Massachusetts governor had spent several months considering a run for president, asking himself questions. Am I the man? Is it my time? Could I embarrass myself? Would it be premature? His reelection victory in 1994 with an astounding 71% of the vote meant he could at least talk about the presidency without being laughed out of town.

A Republican in the heavily Democratic state of John Kennedy and Michael Dukakis, Weld's gubernatorial campaign had been drawn from 3 themes: tough on crime, tough on welfare reform, and lower taxes. But he also argued that government had little or no role in personal decisions such as abortion and sexual orientation. So he was pro-choice on abortion and pro-gay rights. If he ran, his message would be "fiscal conservative, socially libertarian, pre-environment, tolerant, inclusive."

Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.113-114 , Nov 1, 2005

Mixes fiscal conservatism and social liberalism

The constant description of Weld as a "moderate" Republican is not inaccurate, but it is misleading. Moderates like Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe are not just the left of the Republican platform on social issues. They are also usually to its left on economics. Moderate Republicans tend to be less eager to cut taxes, more generous with social spending, and generally cautious about deregulation.

Bill Weld, on the other hand, truly mixes fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes sixteen times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, and vetoed minimum wage increases.

Yet Weld does live up his socially liberal reputation in spades. Does this strange combination of thorough economic conservatism and social liberalism make Weld a libertarian? Not unless libertarians also support expansive environmental regulations, gun control, and affirmative action.

Source: American Spectator, "Understanding Bill Weld" , Aug 25, 2005

I've worked with both parties to get the job done

Relying on the unpopular images of Republican extremism in the traditionally Democratic state, Kerry said, "The mask is coming off--my opponent is a Republican," Kerry said. "He supports Bob Dole's $550 million tax cut."

Weld steered clear of the labels Kerry tried to pin on him by building himself up as a politician who can look beyond party lines in order to get the job done. "I've worked with both parties to achieve these objectives," Weld said. "I call them like I see them."

Source: Harvard Crimson on Kerry/Weld debates , Oct 29, 1996

Member of the Republican Leadership Council.

Weld is a member the Republican Leadership Council:

Dedicated to building a stronger Republican majority by promoting the fundamental conservative ideals of lower taxes, less government and more personal freedom....

The Republican Leadership Council was formed in 1997 by leading Republicans throughout the country concerned that the Republican Party is being increasingly defined by the actions of an intolerant vocal minority that divides the GOP.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads. We now face a situation similar to that of the Democrats of the 1980`s who were dominated by a vocal minority from the far-left liberal wing of their Party. Our challenge now is to unite all Republicans behind a common agenda that helps us expand our majority.

The RLC believes that we must articulate a vision, and a message, based upon the Reagan legacy of limited government and expanded personal freedom. The GOP must unite around the core Republican principles of less government, lower taxes, substantive education reform, anti-crime initiatives and a strong national defense.

The RLC seeks to promote these core issues that unite Republicans, and as Ronald Reagan successfully accomplished, attract conservative Democrats and Independents to forge a winning electoral coalition in congressional and presidential elections. This is the RLC`s vision for the 21st century.

The Republican Leadership Council is committed to playing a key role in electing common-sense conservatives and promoting the core issues of the Republican Party.

Source: RLC web site 01-RLC0 on Jan 1, 2001

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Page last updated: Jun 04, 2019