MANCHESTER, NH — The only prominent Republican currently challenging President Trump for the party’s nomination tweeted out Sunday night that the President has become unhinged.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, speaking to more than 60 members of the Manchester Rotary on Monday at Fratello’s, said by 8:30 a.m. today his tweet had 25,000 likes.
“I tweeted last night after the President’s latest attack on the congresswomen that the President has become unhinged and is going down the drain and is not going to win reelection,” Weld said. By 2:15 p.m. Monday, the tweet was liked by 33,100 people and was retweeted 5,125 times.
Calling himself an insurgent, Weld quoted his friend Thomas D. Rath for why he is running to be the Republican Party’s nominee.
Last June, Weld attended Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America, event at which Rath, who was New Hampshire Attorney General when Weld was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, was honored as the 2019 NH Distinguished Citizen for his dedication to shaping a bright future for the state.
Weld quoted Rath as saying: “We are better than this. We are (former Executive Councilor) Peter Spaulding. We are (former Executive Councilor) Ruth Griffin. We are better than this.”
Rath, he said, “didn’t articulate what he meant but he didn’t have to.”
Weld, who describes himself as an economic conservative, said he believes in zero-based budgeting and said while he was governor in Massachusetts, from 1991 to 1997, he never raised taxes and instead cut them 21 times. They weren’t large tax cuts, he said, but it helped small businesses, allowing them to buy large pieces of equipment or expand their businesses. That is notable for a state that is often derided as Taxachusetts.
When it comes to balancing a budget, he said Washington doesn’t care. They go in each time and automatically increase the budget by 10 percent annually, he said.
Weld said another issue Washington is not watching is the elimination of jobs because of artificial intelligence and robotics. One area that will be hit in the future are cross-country trucking jobs because of self-driving trucks, he said. Those are well-paying jobs, $100,000 to $150,000 a year, he said, and they are Trump’s base. He proposes displaced workers receive free training at community colleges so that, in two years, they will be able to find work in another field.
He said at a state level, the cost to train those displaced workers would be a fraction of one percent.
“I don’t see this coming out of Washington,” Weld said.
He said he has “nothing in common with Mr. Trump. So it’s a real choice this Republican primary. My wife says we are two large orange men with nothing in common,” which drew laughter.
Weld said another issue he takes seriously is Climate Change.
“Here in New Hampshire if that polar ice cap melts, the White Mountains are not going to be white,” he said.
He said there is a moral issue that goes along with Climate Change and that is who is going to end up paying for all the havoc that’s wreaked. He says it is the millennials and the Gen Xers.
And then there are the deficits.
“The real brunt of trillion-dollar deficits every year is going to fall on those younger voters. They’re going to have to pay that debt and they’re not going to have Social Security,” he said.
Weld is clearly looking to appeal to a wider group of voters since in the First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary independent voters can cast either a Republican or Democratic ballot.
An ardent pro-choice advocate, Weld said the atrocities of legislation coming out of Louisiana and Georgia concerning reproduction rights are being made by male legislators and are turning women into carriers and treating them as chattels and not as individuals with the same rights as everybody else.
He is considered a long-shot against the president who this quarter raised $105 million for the election, $54 million from his committees and $51 million for the Republican National Committee.
Weld has raised $700,000, which includes his loaning the campaign $170,000.
Weld is a politician, businessman and attorney who was graduated from Harvard and Oxford universities.
He left in 2016 to run as the vice presidential running mate of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
He returned to the Republican Party this year.