The Libertarian vice presidential candidate, William F. Weld, said Tuesday that he plans to focus exclusively on blasting Donald Trump over the next five weeks, a strategic pivot aimed at denying Trump the White House and giving himself a key role in helping to rebuild the GOP.
Weld’s comments in a Globe interview mark a major shift in his mission since he pledged at the Libertarian convention in May that he would remain a Libertarian for life and would do all he could to help elect his running mate, Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico.
But things have changed. Johnson has committed several high-profile gaffes in recent weeks that revealed apparent weak spots in his foreign-policy knowledge. Meanwhile, Trump had seemed to be surging back into contention after he fell well behind in the polls in early August.
While Weld insisted he still supports Johnson, he said he is now interested primarily in blocking Trump from winning the presidency and then potentially working with longtime Republican leaders such as Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour to create a new path for the party after the election.
“Maybe somebody is going to come up with a new playbook, and I don’t know who it’s going to be, but it would be fun to participate,” Weld said in a telephone interview from Atlanta, where he was holding a fund-raiser and rally and planned to watch and tweet about Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate featuring his major-party rivals, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence.
Insert joke about Libertarians just being Republicans who want to legalize weed here.
In all seriousness, if Bill Weld wants to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, the best thing he can do is talk Gary Johnson into dropping out and supporting Hillary Clinton. We all know that's never going to happen, but that would be not only the most effective way to stop Trump, it would also be the right thing to do.
At least Weld has his eyes on the larger picture.
As far as rebuilding the GOP, well the Republican party will still exist in some form after 2016, what form that takes I couldn't tell you. The last time they tried to fix their problems, the post-mortem of 2012 was thrown in the nearest incinerator and it produced Trump and the current era of overt GOP racists.
Fixing the party again may get us somebody worse. You know, like Ted Cruz.