Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld might be the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate but many of his past statements and actions put him at odds with the party.
Weld describes himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, which is a loose description of libertarianism and possibly fits more in line with being a centrist.
In a 2006 Fox News interview Weld described his “dream ticket” as “[Michael Bloomberg] and a — a Republican, or, you know, that might draw in a John McCain, even a Barack Obama, a Hillary Clinton, to pick a running mate of the opposite party.” Two years later in 2008, Weld endorsed Barack Obama for president.
He agreed with many of Obama’s policy stances that the Libertarian Party at the time fervently opposed.
“You can have the billions of dollars for clean tech jobs. You can retool the auto industry. You can do the climate change initiatives,” Weld said in a December 2008 interview. That same month, the Libertarian Party released a statement calling the logic behind the auto bailout “insanity.”
“Where are the Republicans, who claim they stand for the free market? Where are the Democrats, who claim they oppose corporate welfare,” the statement said.
In 1993, as governor, Weld supported an assault weapons ban. At the time he said, “I’m influenced by changing reality. I think it is legitimate to respond to changing conditions in society.” The Libertarian Party has called politicians who push for assault weapons bans “foolish.”
Prior to his nomination as the Libertarian running mate, Weld addressed his previous gun control stance. “I was deeply concerned about gun violence, and frankly, the people I represented were demanding action. Sometimes, governing involves tough choices, and I had to make more than a few,” the former governor said in a Facebook post. “Today, almost 25 years later, I would make some different choices.”
Weld’s running mate Gary Johnson has been an outspoken for libertarian ideals for some time. When he was in office as Governor of New Mexico, Johnson advocated for the legalization of both heroin and marijuana. Weld on the other hand has a strong history on the other side of the war on drugs. Prior to becoming governor, Weld served as a U.S Attorney, where in 1988 he was in charge of developing President Ronald Reagan’s National Narcotics Prosecution Strategy.
Weld also spoke about “reintroducing prisoners to the joys of busting rocks.” Weld has since changed his stance on drugs and currently supports the legalization of marijuana.
With regards to foreign policy, Weld told The New York Times this year that Hillary Clinton did a “good” job as secretary of state. In 1996, Weld supporting President Bill Clinton’s bombing campaign against Iraq. “I don’t think we can let Saddam violate the no-fly zone with impunity,” Weld said at the time.
“There is probably no candidate in recent history who has not differed with specific provisions of his or her party’s platform,” Johnson campaign communications director Joe Hunter told The Daily Caller in a statement Monday. “During his tenure, Bill Weld was described as one of the most libertarian Governors ever to serve,” Hunter added. (RELATED: Where Trump And The GOP Platform Collide)