Two months after former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld launched an exploratory committee to pursue the possibility of challenging President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, he is now an officially declared candidate. Other Republicans have publicly flirted with their own challenges, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich, one of the many Republican candidates whom Trump defeated for the party's presidential nomination in 2016.
"I'd be ashamed of myself if hadn't raised my hand and said count me in", he told ABC news shortly after his announcement. When asked about the President's historically high approval rating and whether Weld believes he can beat him in the primary, Weld said, "Yeah, I do". "I've been a Republican, unlike Mr. Trump, since I was 18 years old", he added. He also endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, has long supported abortion, and was named U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by President Bill Clinton. While they, of course, lost, they received 4.5 million votes - the most votes ever for a Libertarian ticket.
In a two-minute campaign video, Weld's team highlighted his accomplishments as governor of the more progressive state of MA from 1991 until 1997.
Weld said his career as a federal prosecutor stands in stark contrast to the president.
He is the first Republican to challenge Mr Trump in the 2020 race, saying "it is time to return to the principles of Lincoln - equality, dignity and opportunity for all".
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While holding the line on spending and taxes, Weld as governor embraced liberal positions at odds with national Republicans on abortion and gay rights. "The country deserves to have some fiscal constraint and conservatism".
Bill Weld is a businessman and attorney who was Governor of MA from 1991 to 1997.
The campaign promo ends with the slogan: "A better America Starts Here".
Despite Trump's almost 90% support within the Republican Party, Weld said he is not daunted by the odds.
Yet his stance on abortion, his advocacy on LGBT issues, and his frequent support for Democrats place him more in the Libertarian than the Republican camp. Weld resigned in 1997 after President Bill Clinton nominated him to be the United States ambassador to Mexico.