Fmr Massachusetts Governor Challenging Trump in 2020
Weld's announcement highlighted a call to return to "principles" and "dignity" in politics. (Daily Wire)
"It is time for patriotic men and women across our great nation to stand and plant a flag," Weld said in a statement announcing his candidacy Monday. "It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln – equality, dignity, and opportunity for all. There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight."
In a three-minute video announcing his candidacy released Monday, Weld highlighted some widely criticized comments by Trump, including Trump saying then-Sen. John McCain was not a war hero, his infamous "grab them by the p***y" comments caught in the "Access Hollywood" tape and President Trump's initial response to the Charlottesville, VA tragedy in which he said there were "very fine people on both sides" in the protests and counter-protests over Confederate monuments that erupted into violence, ending in the death of a peaceful liberal protester.
The announcement video also touts Weld's record on helping to fight corruption, particularly Democrat corruption in Massachusetts, as well as his connection to President Ronald Reagan, who appointed him to be a "crime-fighting" U.S. attorney. Among his achievements presented in the video are busting politicians for fraud and saving millions in tax dollars in the process. His platform when he ran for governor as a Republican in the "one party" Democrat-controlled state: "Guts. Integrity. Independence." After his "historic victory," Weld "cut taxes 21 times," "balanced the budget," "reformed welfare," and went on to win re-election "by the widest margin ever" in the state's history, the video states.
"Today we need Bill Weld more than ever because America deserves better," the video states before transitioning to Trump's various controversial comments.
Weld faces formidable odds challenging a sitting president in the Republican primary. In all likelihood, President Trump will clinch the nomination without breaking a sweat. No incumbent president has lost a bid for renomination since Republican Chester A. Arthur in 1884. And Trump enjoys a better approval rating among his party than Ronald Reagan did.
However, if the moderate Weld were to perform well in states like New Hampshire that could suggest Trump is struggling to retain independent voters and foreshadow trouble in the general election.
All three incumbent presidents to face serious primary challenges in the modern era: Gerald Ford (challenged by Ronald Reagan in 1976), Jimmy Carter (challenged by Ted Kennedy in 1980), and George H.W. Bush (challenged by Pat Buchanan in 1992) went on to lose.