Weld Versus The Libertarians: Weld Under Fire For Renewed Pro-Hillary Comments and Questions Of Commitment

During the Libertarian convention, I was asked how libertarians generally felt about Gary Johnson’s preferred running mate, former Massachusetts government William Weld.  At the time, I said that Weld made for a remarkably strong ticket for the Libertarians and broadens the base for libertarians but that there was widespread suspicion that Weld did not have libertarian values in his DNA.  Many resented the view that the Libertarian party is treated as a back stop for Republicans and others viewed Weld as a classic establishment figure, including his well-known friendship with Hillary Clinton.  To make matters worse, Carl Bernstein and others who were quoted as saying that Weld was considering withdrawing because he did not want to hurt Clinton’s chances against Donald Trump.  He denied that he was withdrawing. However, this week, those past suspicions are in full rage on libertarian sites after the Boston Globe reported that Weld had told reporters that he was going to focus on trashing Trump and again saying how he thought Hillary Clinton is remarkably well qualified to be president.  Weld has again denied the stories, but he has repeatedly stated his admiration for Clinton.  The result is a total mess for libertarians who hoped that this could be the year that the ticket could make it to one of the presidential debates.

Weld brought a needed element to the Libertarian base in broadening the appeal. Many of us have libertarian values but can differ on some issues. Johnson and Weld show that such principled and sometimes nuanced differences in their views. For example, you can differ on the merits of policies but agree on the limited role of the courts. You can differ on climate change but agree on the need for properly enacted solutions or generally favor market approaches when possible. For that reason, I think Weld was an important step for the party if it wants to emerge as a true and viable option politically on the national scale. However, the recent controversy has reignited this tension and the uncertainty of some libertarians.

The Boston Globe reported that Weld told its reporters that he was changing his focus to campaigning against Donald Trump and that he did not want the Libertarian ticket to undermine efforts by Clinton to defeat Trump.  The response on the Internet was thunderous.  Weld critics immediately proclaimed that he was showing his true colors and returning to the establishment fold.  Some even suggested that Weld wanted a position with Clinton.  There was no support for claiming such  quid pro quo but it was the rage.  However, it is clear that Weld stated recently that “I’m not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States.”  That is pretty awkward when you are supposedly the vice presidential candidate supporting a different person for president.

To make matters worse, the Globe reported that Weld stated that “it would be fun to participate” in an effort to “come up with a new playbook” for the Republican Party after the 2016 elections.   He also is quoted as saying that he  is “not going to drop [Libertarians] this year.”  Those quotations, which have not been denied, has been used by many critics to charge again that Weld’s appearance on the ticket is merely a marriage of convenience and that he does not view himself as a libertarian.

Weld has not denied many of these quotes but insisted that the article misrepresented his intentions and added “Let there be no doubt. I am the Libertarian nominee for Vice-President, proudly running with Gov. Gary Johnson, and both Gary and I will be running hard and making our case right up until the polls close on November 8. Our ambition is to serve our country.”

90 thoughts on “Weld Versus The Libertarians: Weld Under Fire For Renewed Pro-Hillary Comments and Questions Of Commitment”

  1. Libertarian? That explains a lot. Apparently you can’t read their platform and principles.

    1. A Libertarian is politics by the Golden Rule. He who has the gold makes the rules and to hell with the commoners.

    2. A libertarian is someone who happens to be in a good place in their life, where they don’t need any help from others for the moment, and they believe everyone else should feel the same.

      All cats are libertarians–totally dependent on others for their survival, but completely convinced of their independence.

  2. There are NO genuine Libertarian candidates running for President or Vice President. ALL candidates–without exception–favor increased government controls under the pretense of providing greater “security.” ALL favor gutting the Fourth Amendment, which has been a trend in effect for some time. And NO candidate dares criticize or point to the total failures of the CIA, the FBI, and Homeland Security to protect Americans, even though these failures are obvious and even indicate that the failures were deliberate. (Not surprisingly, the FBI is the leading government agency publicly advocating for gutting the Fourth Amendment.)

  3. This is funny! I guess that Turley will have to expel Weld from the party for ideological deviation! I will love to see that trial before the control commission.The FACT that Johnson is totally devoid of any knowledge of our world, and is totally unconcerned about that fact, is of NO matter to ideological hacks. Incredible! Turley should also be proud of the fact that Johnson’s buddies in New Mexico have brought back the death penalty,but what is a little capital punishment between friends and co thinkers?

  4. Mr. Weld just wants people to know that he’s not insane for getting on the ticket or to back Trump.

    1. I think he must be having major cognitive dissonance. His conscious brain says he has to keep pretending to support his own ticket. His unconscious brain is motivating him to say he’ll do whatever he can to beat Trump, that Clinton is indeed the most qualified candidate, etc.

      He is getting a first hand lesson from Johnson about the long term effects of marijuana use on the brain.

      If he lived in a swing state, do you honestly think he’ll be casting a vote for Johnson/Weld?? Doubtful.

  5. T=spaz,

    That is true for people who will dig up the truth and then, when they find it, pay attention to its implications. Right now, the propaganda is so thick and both the willful and genuine ignorance so deep that it’s hard for actual information to reach and/or move voters.

    1. Actual information did reach me in the form of your link. I repeat: It was the Steve Harvey Show.

    1. That’s not ‘everything we see and hear’. That’s evidence that the media and the Democratic National Committee are two aspects of the same social nexus. We knew that.

      1. So then what? Do we have to wait for this model to crash and burn before a real sorting out can occur? If you are indeed correct, this whole season is a wasted effort. Dismantling has to occur another way.

    2. FOR GOD’S SAKE, IT WAS THE STEVE HARVEY DAYTIME TV TALK SHOW!!! Do you think just maybe he does this with all his guests so that his interviews go really well – mostly for him and his ratings and his sponsors???

  6. If a 3rd Party can not make it this year, with the two most unpopular Presidential candidates in our entire history, then it’s never going to.

    At a time when Establishment Congress has an approval rating worse than cockroaches, the Democratic Party showed utter disdain for its people by putting forth the ultimate Establishment candidate. Plus, their candidate is a confirmed liar whose people got an immunity deal from the FBI and pled the 5th.

    And yet, many voters will choose her.

    What does that say about us as a country, and our tolerance for lies and corruption? Can we really complain about the influence of Monsanto and the Koch brothers, when she sold State access and jobs to her foundation donors? When she’s been caught lying so many times, even trashing the victims of alleged sexual abuse?


    In 1996, William Safire of the NYT wrote, “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.”

    What’s changed in the past 20 years, besides her Frequent Flier Miles?

    1. We don’t have ordinal balloting, so people are inhibited from voting for 3d party candidates and the social basis for 3d parties is weaker in the U.S. than it is elsewhere.

      That aside, the two notable 3d party candidates this year stink.

    2. I disagree that if third parties can’t make it this year, they never will. The reason the Greens and the Libs aren’t making it is because they are not established grassroots parties. They show up every four years and throw out a platform and think that people will just vote for them as an alternative [talk about a sense of entitlement!!] They need to start at the bottom and work their way up and show voters what they stand for AND that they are electable. Until then, no matter how much people may love some or all of their platforms, they are not going anywhere.

      1. There are local Libertarian organizations. Few people want to run for office generally, especially just to run it up the flagpole. If we replaced first-past-the-post with ordinal balloting, the incentives would be different.

    3. Quoting Safire as any kind of a source is funny. He was guilty of plagerism, was a speech writer for the most dictatorial and corrupt President in our history, and complains about lying? Give us all a break!

      1. was a speech writer for the most dictatorial and corrupt President in our history,

        Don’t know much history, do you?

        Richard Nixon’s corruption consisted of taking a tax deduction he wasn’t entitled to. His post-presidential buckraking was more circumspect than that of anyone (other than J. Carter, perhaps) who had departed office since 1973. He was not dictatorial at all. He had on a good day the slimmest of effective majorities in Congress, and his party never controlled the congressional committee architecture. See Nicholas von Hoffman, “Nixon’s civil liberties record will hold up well next to that of any wartime president”. He did have an in-house unit which did some bag jobs (against Lewis Fielding and the Democratic National Committee). He could not corrupt the IRS or the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice or the FBI, all of which the current administration has done.

  7. As long as the majority of voters can be corralled into “issue” voting then you can forget the 3rd party candidate option. The political class OWNS the voter class and it’s all driven by fear. In a constitutional republic, what the voter class is supposed to fear is the creation of a government that does not consider the rule of law as a barrier to their will. The fundamental purpose for government is to provide security of its citizens rights and they are supposed to do that within their constitutional limits. This administrative state has exceeded those limits and their is no response from the voter class. Why? Because they no longer have the same worldview of government as the generation that created it.

    I follow this “legal” blog primarily because I’m trying to discover why seemingly intelligent people will support a utilitarian rather than constitutional government. Elections are supposed to have consequences but that was always meant to be for the politician, not the voter. If they did not honor their oath of office then the voter was to elect someone that would. As Issac likes to say, we’ve evolved, but we’ve evolved into a utilitarian democracy where the political class wins on issues; majorities think they’ve won on issues, and the entire voter class suffers the consequences of a political class that exists above the rule of law.


  8. fundamentals,

    Interesting propaganda. This is sophisticated and aimed at a more politically involved/thoughtful set of people. Yet the message remains the same as other propaganda-vote Clinton.

    Weld should not be on the ticket. We don’t need more phonies in our political parties. As Weld believes Clinton is the most qualified candidate, he should resign to go work for her. Johnson should show he has integrity and executive ability by insisting this happen.

    Given the complete willingness of Democrats and establishment Republicans to vote for Clinton, a candidate who is pro war, torture, assassination, banking fraud, big energy and the treacherous trade bills, the last thing we need is another candidate who has zero ethics or integrity. That’s not the basis of a citizens’ movement to right the social and environmental disasters we face.

    1. Propaganda?? Really? Interesting how people label an opinion different from theirs. I’m surprised you didn’t call me a troll.

      Trump is a dictator in waiting with no principles whatsoever. And if he quits or is impeached, then we get Pence who is a rabid right wing fundamentalist Christian. Good luck with either of them helping to right the social and environmental disasters we face! Not to mention the Supreme Court.

      Clinton is an awful candidate [and I agree with your assessment of her] BUT she is not a dictator. All I’m suggesting is that electing her gives third party movements four more years to get their grassroots s*** together, including the Sanders movement. But with Trump and/or Pence, you will be squashed like a bug.

      1. Trump is a dictator in waiting with no principles whatsoever. And if he quits or is impeached, then we get Pence who is a rabid right wing fundamentalist Christian.

        If you wanted to persuade someone you were a fanatic who should be kept away from jobs which allow you discretion over anyone, you’ve succeeded.

        1. :). Hardly. I’ve just been paying attention to the candidates directly and not paying attention to what’s said by the chattering class on both sides of the debate because they’re all biased.

          1. Pro tip: the term ‘rabid right wing fundamentalist Christian’ applied to a standard-issue midwestern Republican who belongs to an evangelical megachurch (only fundamentalist in the notional sense that Billy Graham was) affiliated with the same denomination of which John Anderson was a member, it’s an indicator that (1) you do not know what these descriptors mean or (2) you live in a thrift-shop markdown version of Pauline Kael’s ‘special world’. Neither is an indicator of perspicacity.

  9. Johnson is vacuous and Weld is clearly the brains of the pair. In interviews I’ve seen with them, Weld has had to jump in and answer questions that Johnson struggled with. He wasn’t there for the Aleppo question and Johnson struck out. If libertarians really want to have some influence in the country, they need to start with local politics, then state, then national. It will take time, money, and effort. Then, attempt a real presidential run with a candidate who is intelligent and highly informed.

    Weld has had to twist himself in knots to continue to support his own ticket. He is smart enough to understand the threats that Trump presents. I get that Clinton is a corrupt politician and I am deeply concerned particularly about her corporatist war-mongering.In any kind of normal year, I’d never vote for her and would vote third party as I have done for a long time.

    But Trump’s profound limitations and deformed character as well as the violent potential of some of his supporters are more concerning to me. So, I give Weld high marks for recognizing his responsibility to do what he can to keep Trump out of power.

    On a peripheral note, here’s an interesting article about Trump’s campaign and their attempts to use a NC museum for a photo op.


    1. He is smart enough to understand the threats that Trump presents.

      What’s the ‘threat’? That the immigration laws might be enforced? That there might be a cultural shift wherein the inane p’s and q’s which have been suffocating everyone for 50 years goes away?

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