Bill Weld is one of two primary challengers to President Trump. He’s pitching himself as the anti-Trump Republican.
Massachusetts governor from 1991 to 1997, 2016 Libertarian VP nominee alongside former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for president.
The Elephant in the Room
An incumbent president hasn’t lost a renomination bid since Chester A Arthur in 1884. Weld is a fiscally conservative, progressive-leaning libertarian who supports abortion rights, gay rights, and marijuana legalization. And he’s running for the GOP nomination at a time when all signs show the party’s base is behind Trump. So...he’s got his work cut out for him.
The 2020 Policies
On education…as governor in the ‘90s, he signed legislation to improve school standards. He’s also cited a Stanford study to point to the success of his charter school programs there. As president, he’d eliminate the Education Department as part of his goal to reduce government size. And reportedly replace it with more local oversight. He wants to make community college tuition-free for people who lose their jobs to things like automation. And to allow students to refinance their college loans.
On guns…he’s apparently not a fan of President Trump’s idea to arm teachers with guns. He thinks legally-acquired rifles in the hands of private citizens are "a bulwark against government oppression." But he thinks there should be red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness. He also want waiting periods when it comes to gun purchases, and to ban handgun sales to people under 21.
On climate change…he sees it as a major issue and supports rejoining the Paris climate deal.
On health care…he’s all about whatever makes health care both cheaper, more accessible, and higher quality. He has said that there’s “too much government” involved in the Affordable Care Act. But he supports expanding Medicaid access and wants people to be able to buy health insurance across state lines to help bring costs down.
On abortion...he’s pro-choice and wants to expand legal access to abortion. As governor in the ‘90s, he intro’d a bill to make abortion more accessible in Massachusetts.
On the economy...he opposes Trump’s tariffs, wants to cut the deficit, and to cut taxes. Budgets are his love language. He was named the most fiscally conservative governor in the country at the time and if elected, he says he’ll prioritize cutting government spending. When Weld stopped by Skimm HQ, we asked him for his best budgeting tip. Answer? Always balance your checkbook. Yes, he still uses a checkbook.
On immigration...he’s compared Trump's proposals for mass deportations of undocumented immigrants to the practices of Nazi Germany. He supports some form of legal status for undocumented immigrants.
It’s not unheard of to win a party’s nomination over the incumbent president. It just hasn’t been done in more than 130 years.
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