"I'm unapologetic about challenging him here because I don't think that he's a real Republican," Weld said on the
No president in modern history has lost a renomination campaign to a challenger, and Trump remains popular among Republican voters.
Nevertheless, Weld is undeterred. He is offering a unique and refreshing policy platform, mixing conventional conservatism with sizable portions of centrist and libertarian views.
On fiscal issues, Weld is concerned with the enormous bipartisan budget deficit. He advocates zero-base budgeting, which would eliminate automatic budget increases for federal departments.
Climate change is real, Weld acknowledges, and he would champion the expansion of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydro. He also supports nuclear energy, contrasting with many climate activists on the left.
On foreign policy, Weld favors "robust engagement" but is wary of excessive troop deployments.
As a former federal prosecutor, Weld is open to "red flag" laws, which would authorize the government to confiscate guns from some individuals in certain cases. He opposes "a supercharged background check on everybody every time they buy a gun."
In other words, Weld is what he calls a "New England Republican."
"We're people who are fiscally conservative, worried about taxpayer money, but socially we're embracing and we're welcoming," Weld said.
This is not a political persona crafted for the current moment. It is the same old Weld from the early 1990s.
Weld recalled speaking at the 1992
Weld remembers being booed for that statement, but
"This disagreement is not unhealthy. Unlike the
I was still wearing diapers in 1992, so I can't say whether Weld's optimism about intraparty disagreements was realistic at the time.
Nearly 30 years later, I wish it were true that
I'm worried this has become the Trump party, not the party of limited government.
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