Weld argues scrapping GOP primaries and caucuses shows Trump is ‘nervous’

  • Former Mass. Governor Bill Weld spoke with reporters at the State House Tuesday after unveiling the first 19 members of his presidential campaign steering committee in New Hampshire. Paul Steinhauser—For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 9/10/2019 4:36:10 PM

Bill Weld figures President Donald Trump would prefer to just “be appointed” to a second term as president.

The former two-term GOP governor of Massachusetts was reacting to the move just days ago by the Republican parties in South Carolina and Nevada – two of the first four states that kickoff the presidential primary and caucus calendar – to cancel their nominating contests next year. The Republican Party in Kansas also announced they won’t be holding their caucus.

Weld, who launched a primary challenge against Trump in April, said on Tuesday that the scrapping of the contests is a sign that the president’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee are starting to worry about the challenge from Weld – as well as those from former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford and former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois.

Weld, who’s been campaigning in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state nearly every week since first flirting in February with an up-hill primary challenge against the president, told the Monitor that “it indicates that there’s a nervousness in Washington DC and I think for good reason.”

He went on to accuse the New Hampshire GOP of denying him a fair shake as he campaigns in the state.

“They’ve been under direct orders from the Republican National Committee and Mr. Trump’s organization in Washington to disregard us, block us at every way,” Weld said.

He charged that the state party “sent out a memo to Republican town and city chairs saying ‘if anyone representing Bill Weld comes to a meeting, move to adjourn. If the motion to adjourn fails, walk out of the room. On no account give him or his representatives any ability to speak to a Republican city or town committee. I’d say that borders on paranoia.”

The NHGOP told the Monitor they had not sent out any such memo and that they remain neutral in primary contests, as dictated by the state party’s bylaws. They noted that Weld spoke on Saturday at the Seacoast Republican Women’s annual Chili Fest, a group that is officially affiliated with the state Republican Party.

Reacting to comments by the president’s 2020 re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale, who predicted that a Trump family “dynasty” would last for decades, Weld said that combination of words sounds wrong.

“The word ‘Trump’ and the word ‘dynasty’ in the same sentence gives me considerable pause,” Weld said.

Weld spoke with reporters at the State House after unveiling the first 19 members of his presidential campaign steering committee in New Hampshire.

One of Weld’s three co-chairs is former longtime Executive Councilor Peter Spaulding of Hopkinton, who currently serves on as a commissioner for Merrimack County.

“When my children or grandchildren ask me ‘what did you do when Donald Trump was running for re-election’ and I could not bring myself to say ‘I did nothing,’” Spaudling said. “So I’m proud to be part of this campaign.”

And he predicted that “we’re going to have some surprises in this campaign.”

Former state House of Representatives chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee Betty Tamposi – who later served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs under President George H.W. Bush – took aim at Trump.

“He’s absolutely an anti-Republican,” she argued. And she called the explosion of the nation’s debt under his administration “fiscal insanity.”

The president enjoys strong support among Granite State Republicans. Some recent evidence: a poll last month from the University of New Hampshire showing Trump with an 82 percent approval score among Republicans.

State and national surveys suggest the president overwhelmingly ahead of his rivals in primary showdowns.




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