Path 27

Weld takes GOP bid to oust Trump to NH, voters confused.

Path 27

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — Bill Weld jokes about not kissing the back of a child’s head because he doesn’t want to be accused, like Joe Biden, of making people uncomfortable. He tells voters they wouldn’t know how obese Americans truly are until they go to county fairs, where “those overalls are working overtime.” And he believes his opponent’s policies are trending in the direction of Adolf Hitler.

For now, Weld is the most prominent Republican in revolt, mounting a primary challenge to President Donald Trump.

But in places like New Hampshire, where there’s a healthy contingent of Republicans uneasy with Trump, Weld is still a hard sell. As he’s toured the state in recent months, the 73-year-old’s eccentricities have left Republicans and independents who are cold on the president scratching their head.

“(I’m) still looking for my white knight,” said Fergus Cullen, a former state Republican Party chairman who opposes Trump.

To say Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, faces an uphill battle would be a dramatic understatement.

Trending:
Trump Puts Democrats on Notice with 'Virtually Unprecedented' Midterm Fundraising Haul

The long odds are why other Republicans who have criticized Trump, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, haven’t jumped at overtures to challenge a president who remains popular inside his party.

“I don’t know how successful the campaign is going to be, but I admire him for being willing to step up,” Hogan said.

The people who see Weld speak want to like him, or at least like him more than the man in the White House. But he’s still a novelty rather than a viable contender, they say.

“It’s an exercise in futility,” said Wayne Chick, a longtime GOP supporter who says he’s “sick and tired” of Trump’s negative rhetoric.

Those loyal to Trump don’t spare him their scorn.

“It’s just going to be a joke,” said Dan Chicoine, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran. “He’s not going anyplace.”

The heart of Weld’s campaign depends on New Hampshire because of the ability of independents to vote in the GOP primary. Still, he has fewer resources in New Hampshire than even the longshot Democratic contenders.

As of late May, Weld estimated that only eight staffers work for his campaign. He says his job is to raise money, appear on national TV and campaign in New Hampshire and a handful of other states.

“I don’t need 25 people as an entourage to do what I’m doing these days,” Weld said.

Related:
Popular Online Meeting Platform Forced to Pay $85 Million in Settlement After Being Accused of Violating User Privacy

He tries to comfort voters by telling stories of his 1990s tenure as governor of Massachusetts. He speaks less about running in the election that sent his opponent to the White House in the first place.

Weld doesn’t regret his involvement in the 2016 race as former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson’s running mate on the Libertarian presidential ticket and dismisses any blame for Trump getting elected.

Johnson, who has ruled out running for president again in 2020, doesn’t begrudge his former running mate’s presidential run and return to the GOP.

“Hey, by proxy I get to debate Trump through Weld,” Johnson said.

Weld’s sporadic New Hampshire campaign has taken him to a house party of fewer than 30 people where he rested his weight on a creaky banister as his wife gently prodded him from the back of the room about topics he may be forgetting. And it’s taken him in front of baseball fans where he turned a troubling shade of red shaking hands outside a minor league game.

But the voters Weld needs, the independents who he thinks give him a path to victory, aren’t going to see him speak. They’re watching the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates instead.

Mary Tanzer, a 60-year-old doctor and independent voter, voted for Kasich in the 2016 GOP primary and isn’t moved by Weld’s attempt.

“I’m not really crazy about him,” she said, leaving a Democratic event. “If I thought there was a chance (Weld) could win, I would probably vote in the Republican primary and vote against Donald Trump.”

Former small-business owner Jay Buckley, 66, has held out hope for Kasich, the man he voted for in the 2016 GOP primary. He voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump in the general election and spent a recent Sunday watching Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speak.

“I’m not crazy about Bill Weld,” Buckley said. “I wish somebody really good would challenge Trump.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation