Weld to Clinton, Trump: Make way for Libertarians

May 23, 2016

An election year like no other could have unexpected benefits for the Libertarian Party.

“I do think there’s an opening (for us),” William Weld told CNN. The former Massachusetts governor cited polls showing a majority of Americans are not satisfied with either of the 2016 likely major party candidates.

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld speaks at a Reuters Newsmakers event in New York April 10, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld speaks at a Reuters Newsmakers event in New York April 10, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

The high unfavorability ratings for Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is sure to be on the minds of Libertarians meeting at their national convention this weekend in Florida.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Weld, the man Johnson favors as his vice presidential running mate, are expected to be confirmed as the Libertarian candidates at the convention.

Weld said the next step is for the two leading Libertarians–both former Republicans–to be included in presidential polls, where they would need to get 15 percent support to be included in upcoming debates in the fall leading up to the Nov. 8 general election.

“At that point there’s going to be so much attention on the election that I think in the last three weeks money may be just irrelevant,”  Weld said.

Johnson, the party’s 2012 nominee, won nearly 1.3 million votes in that presidential election, more than double the half million the party candidate drew in 2008. His numbers were a record for the Libertarian Party, but represented just 1 percent of the  overall vote.

Libertarians, whose motto is “maximum freedom, minimum government”,  want to offer fiscally conservative voters another choice in November, Weld said on CNN. He said he was not worried about dividing the conservative vote in the general election, which would likely benfit Democrats.

“No, it’s not a concern at all. I think we have our positions. We’re going to press them,” Weld said. “I’d like to ideally nudge the Democrats toward the economic center, get them away from excessive spending. I would like to get the Republicans to get away from their anti-abortion stance, their queasiness with gays and lesbians being able to live openly and married and peaceably.”

Weld also stood by his comments from last week likening Trump’s vow to deport illegal immigrants to the 1938 German Nazi attack on Jews and their homes and businesses known as Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass.” Trump, typically a prolific Twitter user, had not tweeted any response to Weld’s comments by late Monday morning.

 

 

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