Is Gary Johnson's Running Mate Still In the Race and, Relatedly, What Is His Name Again?

Bill Weld in 2014. Photo via AP

In today’s Who? Weekly: Politics Edition, we turn to Bill Weld, we squint politely at Bill Weld for a sec, and then we Google Bill Weld’s name. Oh, right: Bill Weld is the running mate of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. It is unclear to me whether Bill Weld is really in this thing to win it!

Weld told the Boston Globe that he’s newly focused on defeating Trump, the paper reports, rather than attacking Clinton. That makes it sound like he’s coming around to the idea that Gary Johnson, polling at around 7 percent nationally, might not be our next POTUS.


It also sounds like Weld, who was a Republican for most of his time in public life, including two terms as Governor of Massachusetts, might want to come back:

While Weld insisted he still supports Johnson, he said he is now interested primarily in blocking Trump from winning the presidency and then potentially working with longtime Republican leaders such as Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour to create a new path for the party after the election.

“Maybe somebody is going to come up with a new playbook, and I don’t know who it’s going to be, but it would be fun to participate,” Weld said in a telephone interview from Atlanta, where he was holding a fund-raiser and rally and planned to watch and tweet about Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate featuring his major-party rivals, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence.

Weld said he and Johnson are still running, and that while Trump has his “full attention,” he’s still a Libertarian for the moment: “I’m certainly not going to drop them this year.”

The Globe also reports that after Johnson’s numerous policy gaffes, Weld’s strategists investigated whether he could take over as the presidential candidate on the ticket. But Johnson, the paper adds, “peeved at the suggestion, flatly rejected the idea.”


There have been reports since mid-September that Weld was thinking about dropping out of the race over concerns that he and Johnson could help throw the election to Trump. But Weld told the paper he and Johnson are still “happy warriors,” and here he is today tweeting about why you should vote for the two of them:


Besides being a bit of a doofus in the geography arena, Johnson holds a series of ideologically incoherent positions that would displease people on virtually ever side of the aisle.

This is all an extended way of saying: Bill Weld, what are you doing? And why, precisely, are you continuing to do it?

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About the author

Anna Merlan

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

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