Weld: ‘All of this is totally unprecedented’

Trump challenger slams state GOP’s ‘looney-tunes’ move

AS A YOUNG LAWYER working for the congressional committee investigating President Nixon, Bill Weld’s job was to study every impeachment that had previously occurred in Great Britain and the United States.

Now he’s running in the Republican primary against the third president ever to be impeached by Congress: Donald Trump. He has some perspective.

“All of this is totally unprecedented. We’ve never had a president who came anywhere near this,” said Weld.

The former federal prosecutor and twice-elected Massachusetts governor visited The Codcast on Friday to share his thoughts on President Trump, the impeachment, and his campaign.

Weld plans to compete in every state where he is legally permitted to be on the ballot, and he thinks it is “looney tunes” that the Massachusetts Republican party suggested he should not be eligible for the ballot here.

Taking on his party’s incumbent, he would consider it an “achievement,” but not a victory, if his sole effect was to torpedo Trump’s re-election bid.

Although he fundamentally disagrees with him on numerous matters, Weld found Trump “refreshing” in the earlier days of his last campaign, and he said he can see why people supported him.

“He had the universal reputation of being the most dishonest businessman in New York, so I was surprised to see him kind of shining in these debates,” Weld said.

In the 1990s, Weld hired Charlie Baker to serve in his cabinet, and then Baker was elected Massachusetts governor in 2014. Baker still speaks highly of Weld’s brand of Republicanism, but Weld hasn’t yet asked Baker about the possibility of an endorsement.

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Andy Metzger

Guest Contributor

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger is currently studying law at Temple University in Philadelphia. Previously, he joined  CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger is currently studying law at Temple University in Philadelphia. Previously, he joined  CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

“I try to make it a point never to ask anyone to do something that’s not in their own best political interest,” said Weld, though he didn’t clarify what he thought would be in Baker’s political interest.

Weld is concentrating his early efforts on New Hampshire, and somewhat ironically looks at Pat Buchanan as a precedent for his campaign. In 1992, Buchanan, running on similar themes that Trump would pick up a generation later, lost the Granite State primary but took more than a third of the vote in the contest with President George H.W. Bush, wounding the incumbent’s campaign, which ended in defeat later that year.