Why are some states canceling their GOP primaries and caucuses?


-The three people
are a total joke. They’re a joke. They’re a laughingstock. -Some Republican Party
state officials are canceling GOP primaries and caucuses
for the 2020 election. So far, Nevada, South Carolina,
Arizona, and Kansas have nixed plans
to hold these events. This means that residents
of these states will not have the option
to vote for President Trump’s Republican
primary challengers, Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford,
and Bill Weld. This is especially significant
in South Carolina and Nevada, two of the earliest
voting states in the primary
election cycle. Winning primaries
and caucuses here is key for any candidate seeking
their party’s nomination. -I would say this —
they’re all at less than 1%. I guess it’s a publicity stunt. -While the move clearly benefits
Trump by eliminating his competitors
from these early ballots, canceling primary elections
is actually common. The decision to hold a primary
or caucus is ultimately left up to the
party officials in that state. There are several instances
of state party leadership making the decision to forego
their nominating contests during a sitting
incumbent’s reelection year. This happened in 1992
during President George H. W.
Bush’s reelection bid. Eight states canceled
the Republican primaries and caucuses. His son, who faced
no major challengers, received the same treatment during his reelection
campaign in 2004, when 10 states canceled
their primaries. And it happens on both sides
of the aisle. When President Barack Obama
ran for a second term in 2012, 10 states canceled Democratic
primaries and caucuses. As for the 2020 primary season,
President Trump has said that canceling these elections
will save states money. -And those four states
don’t want to waste their money. Having primary campaigns and having a primary election
is very expensive. -His primary opponents
see it differently. -South Carolina, Arizona,
Nevada, and Kansas. I mean, think about this,
Anderson. They are denying Americans
the right to vote. -The odds of these candidates securing the 2020
Republican nomination are slim, and without primaries
or caucuses in key states, they’re looking at even
more of an uphill battle.

Why This Republican Governor is Running Against President Trump


MICHAEL ISIKOFF: It
was that rare event in Washington, an actual
resignation based on principle. 31 years ago this
month, William Weld was assistant attorney general
in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. But then, in a move that
shocked the capital, Weld, along with five Justice
Department colleagues, including the deputy attorney
general, quit in protest. The then-attorney
general, Edwin Meese, was embroiled in controversy,
under investigation by a special prosecutor over
allegations of corruption. Weld and his colleagues
were convinced the swirl of
allegations around Meese were tarnishing the
reputation of the department. “These are truly
resignations of conscience. They simply couldn’t work
for Ed Meese any longer,” one department official
told the New York Times. Weld’s resignation was only one
of a series of pivotal events in a lengthy career that
has included serving on the staff of the House
impeachment Committee that investigated Richard
Nixon, serving as US attorney in Boston, where he
prosecuted mobsters and big financial
institutions, and being elected twice in the 1990s
as governor of Massachusetts. He got some bit of
attention three years ago when he bolted the
Republican Party to run for vise president on
the Libertarian Party ticket. But now, he could get
a lot more attention. He’s recently announced he’s
set up an exploratory committee to test the waters for
a primary challenge to Donald Trump, who he
recently said is, quote, “simply too unstable to carry
out the duties of the highest executive office.” How serious is Weld? Does he have a chance? And how is a one-time
top prosecutor? Does he assess the
president’s legal troubles? We’ll talk to him about that,
and lots more on this episode of “Skullduggery.” RICHARD NIXON: Because people
have got to know whether or not their president’s a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. RONALD REAGAN: I told
the American people, I did not trade
arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions
still tell me that’s true. But the facts and the
evidence tell me it is not. BILL CLINTON: I did not
have sexual relations with that woman. DONALD TRUMP: There
will be no lies. We will honor the American
people with the truth and nothing else. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
I’m Michael Isikoff, chief investigative
correspondent for Yahoo News. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: And
I’m Dan Klaidman, editor in chief of Yahoo News. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: You know, it
is so interesting to look back at that moment at the end of
the Reagan administration, when people at the
Justice Department actually quit on an issue
of conscience and principle. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Yeah. I started covering Justice
just a few years after that. And I remember that
that event kind of hung over the department. It was this kind
of dramatic thing. And what it said was that if
you politicize the Justice Department, or if you acted
as attorney general in a way without integrity, there
were consequences for that, you know? People would
actually take action. And you sort of wonder, like,
man, have times changed? Because there was always this
question in the first couple of years of the
Trump administration, all the crazy things that
were happening at Justice, and this president
attacking the Justice Department, and Sessions. And meanwhile, Rod Rosenstein– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right,
right, you know– DANIEL KLAIDMAN: He didn’t quit! Right? He would have had reasons to
quit in an act of conscience. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: He got used
by the president to fire Comey. He had serious questions about
the president’s stability, based on all the
reports we’ve gotten, and actually even raising
the issue of 25th Amendment. And he watched the president
attack the special counsel, Robert Mueller,
who he, Rosenstein, selected, and was overseeing. And yet, rod, just
continued into– I guess he’s stepping
down in the next few days. But, man, it would be
interesting to hear his perspective– DANIEL KLAIDMAN: With a
whimper, not with a bang. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah. But hear his perspective on
what Bill Weld did 30 years ago. DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
And that’s why I’m really excited to interview Weld
on this episode of the show. He is such an
interesting character. And look, I mean, right now,
does he have any chance? Do we think he has any
chance of defeating Donald Trump in his primary challenge? Probably not. Certainly, a real
kind of long shot. but he’s going to be
a really interesting candidate out there. And it’s funny, I was thinking
that maybe within a few weeks, Trump won’t have Robert
Mueller to contend with. Because his report will be out. And Mueller will shut down. But he may have Bill Weld
out there, a former head of the Criminal
Division, US attorney, mob-busting, corruption-busting,
gun-slinging prosecutor. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right. A guy who knows how to make
criminal cases, RICO cases, to put pieces of
evidence together to build the grounds
for making a crime, for charging somebody
with a crime. So it’ll be really interesting
to hear how he assesses Trump’s legal vulnerability. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: And the
other thing I’d say about Weld is, I’ve always thought that
whoever challenges Donald Trump, to be successful,
either on the Democratic side or in a primary challenge,
you’ve got to be, in some ways, kind of a
larger-than-life character to deal with Donald Trump’s
oversized personality. And I think that is Bill Weld. I mean, a lot of
people may remember this really amazing moment
when he was governor, governor of Massachusetts. He was touting his
environmental record, having cleaned another Charles River. And he was giving a press
conference right there on the Charles River. And at the end of
it, what did he do, in is Brooks Brothers suit? He just turned around and
he dove into the river. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah. Well, actually my favorite
anecdote from those days is, Weld is a true Brahman. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Blue blood. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
One of his ancestors was among the earliest students,
class of 1650, at Harvard. And then 18 more
Welds went to Harvard. Two buildings are named
for the family when the then-Massachusetts Senate
president Billy Bulger teased him about his
all-American heritage, and Weld pointing out
that his ancestors had come over on the
Mayflower, Weld corrected him. Actually, they weren’t
on the Mayflower. They sent the servants over
first to get the cottage ready, which I thought was
a pretty good line. Anyway, on that note, why
don’t we bring in Bill Weld. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Excellent. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: OK. We are now joined
by Governor Bill Weld, who recently launched his
exploratory bid for president. And, Governor, welcome
to “Skulduggery.” BILL WELD: Great to be here. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So
when you announced, you called the president
a schoolyard bully. And you said,
Washington Republicans were exhibiting all the
symptoms of Stockholm syndrome. How do you break somebody
of Stockholm syndrome? BILL WELD: Stockholm
syndrome, just for the record, is when you are captured
by somebody, or some group, and you identify
with your captor. You kind of give up. And you throw in with them. And I get a little bit of that
sense of Washington these days, that that’s what has happened in
some of the halls of Congress. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: And to
what do you attribute that? BILL WELD: I don’t know. I find it hard to follow. I mean, I have long said
that the two-party system in Washington has gotten
inefficient, to put it mildly. Because all they really care
about is getting re-elected. And that means demonizing
the other party, so you can motivate your base
to give you a lot of money, so you will have the
funds to pay for ads, so you can get re-elected. It’s kind of a vicious circle. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Well,
I guess, Governor, you were talking about
Republicans in Washington, elected officials. But, I mean, all
the latest polls show that 90% of Republicans
around the country support Donald Trump. Are they experiencing
Stockholm syndrome? BILL WELD: What I say to that
is that six months is forever in politics, as we all know. Which means two years
is four times forever. And don’t tell me nothing’s
going to change between now and election day of 2020. Matter of fact, it could come
sooner rather than later. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: And, plus, they
haven’t had a choice, right? Because there’s no one. And now, they might. Because you may– BILL WELD: Yeah. I mean, the reason I spoke
up and raised my hand is we know a lot more
about Donald J. Trump, and what his style of
governing, and the substance of his decisions in government,
than we did two years ago. I wouldn’t have raise
my hand and say, we have to throw this guy out
the day after he was elected. He won the election, after all. But now, we got a track record. And I think it
leaves a great deal to be desired, both domestically
and internationally. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well,
what disturbs you the most about the president’s conduct? BILL WELD: I think his meanness. I mean, he says he’s
a counter-puncher. Baloney. That’s vindictiveness. And it’s often directed
at little people. Instincts, very bad. And it’s no secret that
his stock and trade is divisiveness, and trying
to stir up the pot, and pitch groups against each other. And as long as everyone’s
teeth are on edge, he’s happy. He thinks that’s good
for his politics. And that’s Steve Bannon
and Breitbart politics. And it’s something new
in the United States. And it’s nasty. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: But you
said something else about it. And let me read this quote. “Our president is
simply too unstable to carry out the
duties of the highest executive office in the land.” The Constitution, under
the 25th Amendment, contemplates a
scenario in which, if the president is
unstable, and can’t carry out his or her official
duties, they can be removed. Would you support the
cabinet and vise president invoking the 25th Amendment? BILL WELD: No, I don’t
think we’re quite there. But, apparently, there were some
such conversations very early in the administration, which got
the president’s full attention when he learned of it! MICHAEL ISIKOFF: At
the Justice Department! DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
And maybe there’s some people out there
who think you wouldn’t have to elaborate on this. But what do you
mean by “unstable”? BILL WELD: I remember
saying this in 2016. I said, the president’s
too unstable to lead the United States. If one of our children,
aged 10, acted that way at the dinner table,
we would require him to leave the dinner table. And that’s a 10-year-old child. So it’s just corking
off in all directions constantly, taking everything
personally, making himself the center of everything
that has to be considered. They call it narcissism. There’s a form of narcissism
called malignant narcissism, where an additional
wrinkle is you’re not happy unless other people are losing. And that has characterized the
president’s business career. Every time he went bankrupt in
Atlantic City, first of all, he would tell the banks,
unless you give me a lot more money than I had before
I declared bankruptcy, I’m walking, and
you’ll lose everything. You’ll lose all your collateral. So the banks went along and
gave him a lot of money. But my current point is, he made
certain that the little people didn’t get paid, the vendors
who had worked for him there, maybe $0.5, $0.10
on the dollar, maybe for great big ones who sued
him maybe, $0.30 on the dollar. But nobody got paid except him. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So we’re
not quite at 25th Amendment territory, in your view. What about impeachment? BILL WELD: Well, I mean,
I think I’ve said often that the president is way beyond
anything Richard Nixon ever did in terms of fomenting
disrespect for the rule of law, trying to keep the Justice
Department from doing its constitutional duty of doing
justice without fear or favor– that’s kind of the
motto of the Justice. On the walls of the
Justice Department building in Washington, at
10th and Constitution, it says “a government of
laws, and not of men.” That, obviously, means nothing
to the current president of the United States. And that’s a sad state of
affairs, beyond sad, actually. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: All right. Well, you can speak with
some authority on this. Because you were on the staff
of the House Judiciary Committee during Richard
Nixon’s impeachment. DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
In fact, you were hired to research the legal
grounds for impeachment, right? BILL WELD: Yeah. No, that’s right. I worked on that
memo for five months. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
So are you saying that the president’s conduct– that’s already been made public,
that we know about, right now– is grounds to impeach him? BILL WELD: Well, impeachment
would lie, put it that way. But it’s a political remedy. And I understand that Speaker
Pelosi doesn’t want to go there if she feels that there are
never going to be the votes in the Senate to convict. So she’s fast forwarding
to the 2020 election. And I’ve come
around to that view. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: You think
that’s the right judgment? BILL WELD: I do. I do. I knew so much about the
grounds for impeachment that, months ago,
I was thinking, oh, boy, that’s what’s coming. But I now think, because of the
essentially political nature of the impeachment process,
that discretion may be the better part of valor. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Are you saying
that, even if the Democrats had the votes in the Senate, that
because the process would be perceived as being so
political, that impeachment shouldn’t be an option? BILL WELD: Oh, no. If the Democrats had
the votes in the Senate, this thing would go through
like suet through a goose. Are you kidding me? DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Right. And under that scenario,
would you be in favor of pursuing impeachment? I know you’re not a Democrat. BILL WELD: Well, it’s
not my yob, as they say. I don’t think all the
facts are out there. But I do think that the
facts that are public put this president well beyond
what President Nixon did. And if memory serves, there were
three articles of impeachment that were voted through– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well beyond
what Richard Nixon did. BILL WELD: That’s my view. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Give me
the particulars that– give me the particulars. BILL WELD: Well, where to start? Expressing disrespect
for the rule of law; telling the head of the
FBI that his job was to be loyal to the president,
that everyone had to be a respecter of persons, and,
in particular, one person, and that’s how the world works. Well, that’s not
how the world works when the constitutional
scheme is being carried out. And that’s the ultimate
grounds for impeachment, of removal of an
officer, is interference with the constitutional scheme. And this president has done
almost nothing except that, hollowing out the
State Department, hollowing out the
Justice Department, and telling the Justice
Department that its job, essentially, is to
be loyal to him, and protect his
political skirts. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So, if you– BILL WELD: That’s not their job. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: If you
had your old job of being on the staff of the
Judiciary Committee, and you were drafting
articles, how would they read? How many articles
would there be? And would you– BILL WELD: Well, I was about
to say that the article that got the most votes in
the Nixon impeachment in the House Judiciary
Committee was Article II, called agency abuse. And it was misuse of
the FBI and the CIA by trying to direct
them not to pursue the Watergate
inquiry on the ground that it involved
national security. That was the offense. Now, we’ve seen more than
that from this president. It doesn’t have the
additional characteristic of being in
Technicolor and lurid detail in terms of the
tapes that Mr. Nixon kept. But, essentially– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Which was
helpful to making the case. In fact, that’s
what pushed it over. It was the tapes. BILL WELD: Yeah. I’m not sure, if
those tapes hadn’t existed, that things would have
panned out the way they did. But since the tapes were there,
it was possible to conclude that Mr. Nixon had been
lying to the American people on television for months, and
months, and months, saying, I am not a crook when he had
directed Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman to go do this and
try and get the investigation quashed on the
ground that it was trenching on national security. That was nothing but a lie. And I think we’ve seen– I do think it’s fair to say that
the president is a loose man with the truth, this president. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
[LAUGH] You think? BILL WELD: And we’ve
seen a lot of stuff, daily basis, come out
of the president’s mouth that is not true. And one of the things that
galls me is the president is the worst possible role
model for our children and grandchildren. They’re going to
grow up thinking this is how the occupant of
the highest office in the land acts. That’s got to be
terrible for kids. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Mm-hm. You were a US attorney. You were in the
Justice Department. You were head of the
Criminal Division of the Justice Department. BILL WELD: Right. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
And you resigned as a matter of conscience, so
it was reported at the time, because the then-attorney
general, Ed Meese, was under investigation
at the time. Talk to us about that. And is that a role
model for people who are in the
Justice Department today, your resignation? BILL WELD: Well, the same
issue was at play, namely, politicization of the
Justice Department. And I spent five years
as a US attorney, and two years as head
of the Criminal Division in Main Justice trying
to keep the politics out of law enforcement. And I’d made a big change in the
US attorney’s office in Boston. When I came in, I didn’t ask
anybody whether they were a Republican or a Democrat. And that was a change. The office had been, with
some exceptions, largely, a patronage office before
then, political spoils, and both parties, Republicans
as well as Democrats. Although there were
a lot more Democrats in power in that state. So that was an article
of faith for me. And I let nothing
interfere with that. And when I get to Washington,
and I see the department being politicized– and it was. Our morning meeting
around the AG’s table was as much about politics as
it was about law enforcement. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: How so? BILL WELD: There was
just a lot of discussion. There were a lot of
movement conservatives around that table. And there were some naive,
libertarian-oriented people, like me! But I was not alone. There was, maybe,
30% were libertarians and small government people. And we would joke about
that and then go out and get the boss’s work done. And when I say the boss,
I mean Ronald Reagan. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
Well let me ask you. Because the Justice
Department, there’s the investigative and
prosecutorial mission. But there’s also a
policy mission, as well. And when you’re
talking about policy, there is a place for politics
in discussions of policy. Are you saying
that, at the time, politics actually
infected the law enforcement mission,
the investigations, and prosecutions, as well? BILL WELD: Well, it
was more of the tone that was set from the top. And let me say, by the
way, Ed Meese, personally, is one of the greatest
guys I’ve ever met. If little things mean a
lot, Ed Meese is a saint. And that is important. But I think what befell
Ed was he had been counselor to the
president in the West Wing before he came over to be AG. And I think he had
a hard time ever taking off his White House hat. And his White House hat meant
his loyalty to Ronald Reagan. But that’s not supposed
to be top of mind if you’re attorney general
of the United States, some other job, perhaps. I suggested three years ago
that, perhaps, Mr. Trump could get some other job, the laundry
business, maybe, any job, but not president of
the United States. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: In fact,
before we went on the show, you told us a little
vignette about loyalty. Because I think you were called
up to Congress to testify about your resignation. So tell that story. BILL WELD: Yeah. No, Deputy Attorney
General Arnie Burns, and I, and four other people resigned. And we were asked to come up and
testify before Senate Judiciary about why we resigned. And Arnie said his piece,
that the department was like “Alice
in Wonderland,” up was down, and south was north. Because it was just
immobilized by the attorney general’s difficulties. And Ed had been on
the receiving end of a couple of special
prosecutor investigations. And I said, well, I
thought, beyond that, there were legal issues
that were troubling. And I didn’t want
to send a message by continuing in that office,
that everything was just fine. Because I didn’t
think it was fine. And one of the senators
asked me, Mr. Weld, how could you possibly have
done this thing? Ed Meese brought
you to Washington. And if nothing else, I
would think the demands, the strictures of loyalty
would prevent you from even considering such such a move. And I said what I
always say, Senator, I think that, too often,
particularly in this town– referring to Washington DC– loyalty is simply an excuse
for doing the wrong thing. Well, you could have heard a
pin drop in the hearing room. And it was a cavernous room. No one in Washington
wanted to hear that. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
The interesting, given that it was– as you pointed out– President Trump’s
request of Comey that he give him loyalty, that
was your sort of exhibit A– BILL WELD: It sounded more like
an order than a request to me. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah. Right. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: By the way,
one of your colleagues as US attorney when you were
serving in Massachusetts, he was the US attorney for the
Southern District of New York, was Rudy Giuliani– BILL WELD: Oh, Rudy
taught me a lot. He and I did all the
mob cases together. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: So Giuliani
has been one of the president’s most aggressive– MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
He’s his lawyer! DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
He’s his lawyer. [INTERPOSING VOICES] DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
Yeah, he’s his lawyer. He’s on cable TV. He’s gotten a lot of
criticism for how he’s handled this particular representation. What do you think of how
Rudy Giuliani has done, going from being the mob-busting
US attorney back in the days when you guys were
working together, and how he’s handled himself
with Donald Trump today? BILL WELD: I have
such a long and close relationship with Rudy, it’s
hard for me to be objective. I campaigned for him as mayor. He campaigned for
me as governor. But beyond that, in
the Justice Department, and when we were
fellow US attorneys, we were the Bobbsey Twins. I had 109 convictions and 111
public corruption prosecutions. Rudy and I actually
worked together developing the PC, the probable cause,
for the wiretap that would lead to making the Commission case,
the existence of the Commission with the heads of the
five organized crime families getting together. Until then, it had
always been the received idea in Washington that the
existence of the Commission was a myth. J. Edgar Hoover always
said it was a myth. Well, it wasn’t a myth at all. They would get together
with Meyer Lansky in Miami and decide what was
going to be done. And Rudy and I both read
Joe Bonanno’s autobiography called “A Man of Honor.” And there were some things in
there that set us to thinking. And he all but adverts to the
existence of the Commission. And one thing led to another. And a little bit
of wiretap evidence leads to something else. And next thing you know, Rudy
brought the Commission case, and brought the whole
house crumbling down. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: I just
have to say, as an aside– because it’s one of
my favorite books. I actually read that book,
but also Gay Talese’s book about Joe Bonanno, I think
was called “Honor Thy Father,” is a brilliant book. He lived with Joe Bananas, as
they called him, for a year. It was “The Sopranos” before
“The Sopranos” existed. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So
you and you and Rudy were the Bobbsey Twins. You were tight. I mean, do you guys still talk? BILL WELD: Yeah. I’ve kept up with Rudy. I went to his wedding to Judith. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: So if
you become president, you’re appointing
the attorney general? BILL WELD: Well,
two people that I’ve had long and close
relationships with are Rudy Giuliani
and Newt Gingrich. And we did a lot of
business together. When Newt got in ’95, he had
three Republican governors, myself, and John
Engler of Michigan, and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin,
come down to talk to his troops and say, look, we took tough
stands in our first term. We cut taxes. And we cut spending. And we did real,
small-government conservative stuff
in our states, which were basically blue states. We were hung in effigy
for two and a half years. And then we were re-elected
with over 70% of the vote. So you, too, can
take tough votes. And Newt wanted his
members to hear that. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: All right. So have you talked to
Rudy since you announced your exploratory campaign? BILL WELD: Oh, no. When we’ve been
thrown together– we used to see each other out
in East Hampton, Long Island, socially, in recent years. Other than that, it
hasn’t been professional– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Look,
his position on Trump is that the president has every
right to hire and fire whoever he wants in the
executive branch, including in law
enforcement, the Justice Department, and the FBI. And so, therefore, accusing him
of abuse of power for firing the FBI director for whatever
purpose he wanted is fine. BILL WELD: Well, I think that’s
too absolutist a position. I think if you can prove
motivation, you’re entitled to. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: By the
way– oh, I’m sorry. Did you want to
follow up on that? MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah. Well, OK, and the motivation
here would be to shut down the Russia investigation. That’s– BILL WELD: Well, I mean, I’m
not saying that’s the case. But motivation can be proved
by extrinsic evidence. A lot of people,
lay people, think, oh, you can’t prove
anything against me unless you got it in writing. That’s not true. Circumstantial
evidence is often more damning than direct evidence. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So in
your years as a US attorney and as head of the
Criminal Division, did the name Donald Trump
ever come across your radar? BILL WELD: No. No. I knew him in the
decade of the aughts when my wife and I lived
in New York, a little bit. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Oh, really? How so? BILL WELD: Ah, just
socially, cocktail parties. That’s how I know
he and I are not the same height, for example. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well,
actually, he claimed, according to his latest– the White House latest
medical report that he’s 6’3″. How tall are you? BILL WELD: 6’3″. And we’re not the same height. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: You’re taller. BILL WELD: That’s correct. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: So
one question that we ask all the smart lawyers
and former Justice Department officials who come
on our show is a legal question. Can a sitting
president be indicted? And I guess it can
be a legal question. It can be a policy question. What is your view on that? BILL WELD: Well, if you look
at article 1, section three of the Constitution, it
says that the punishment on conviction, impeachment
and conviction, is nothing more than removal
from office and inability to hold any office
of trust and honor under the laws of the
United States, thereafter, forever, a lifetime ban. And it goes on to say, but
the president shall remain– or whoever, any in civil
officer of the United States, including the president– shall remain liable
to indictment, conviction, and punishment
in the ordinary course. Now, I draw a couple of
conclusions from that. One, obviously, that means
that after he leaves office, he can be indicted,
convicted, and punished. Two, it must mean that
the president could be subject to some form
of charge, an indictment, a sealed indictment,
or an indictment that then stayed, by order the
court, while he is president. What I think is not
good policy is the idea that the president can be
hauled into criminal court to answer for a garden
variety criminal case while he is president. Because we have to
run a world out there. And if you take the president
off the field of battle onto the sidelines of a criminal
court while he’s in office, you can’t run a world that way. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well,
don’t you take him off the field of
battle if you initiate impeachment proceedings? BILL WELD: You do. No, not if you initiate them. Only if you convict
him with a 2/3 vote– DANIEL KLAIDMAN: You’re saying
going through an impeachment– MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
Is a distraction. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: You think
that’s less of a distraction than the criminal process? BILL WELD: I do. The criminal process in a
Article III Judicial Court is really a full-time
operation, take my word for it. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So of the
various crimes Donald Trump has been accused of, the one
that seems the most serious, because it’s been sort of
endorsed by the Southern District in Manhattan, are the
campaign finance violations, the payments of hush money. And we have sort of new details
on that showing those checks that were personally written by
the president while in office to Michael Cohen reimbursing
him for the hush money to Stormy Daniels. Is that, in your view,
a prosecutable crime? And is it an impeachable crime? BILL WELD: Well, I don’t think
of the most serious offenses as being campaign finance. I think of them as being
obstruction of justice and undermining the rule of law. And, technically, if there
are false statements made in connection with a
mailing of any kind, or even a telephone call, that’s
mail fraud and wire fraud. Those are predicate offenses
for the racketeering animal that came in and
was used so often by Rudy Giuliani and myself. And there are many
theories you could pursue. I’m somewhat taken by what
I call Dangle-gate, which is the dangling of
pardons in front of people who used
to work for you, and seem to have
turned against you. And now you want them
to either shut up, or go pretend to work
with the prosecutors and get information that way. Just in theory, if a president
were to dangle a pardon– which is an official act– in front of someone in order
to induce them to go pretend to cooperate with
the prosecution, but then report back
to the president, why, then, the president would
be receiving a thing of value in return for an official act. That’s not obstruction
of justice. But it is bribery
under 18 USC 212. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: All that
depends on the nature of the dangle, right? I mean, how was communicated? BILL WELD: That’s right. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: And by whom? BILL WELD: And I dare say, if
this stuff all moves forward, we’re going to hear
a lot of, I was just kidding, from the president. But I think the 2016 campaign
waged by the president was a series of dog
whistles to people whom he hoped would be supporting him. And the fact that
only dogs can hear it doesn’t mean you didn’t whistle. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: All right. Let’s talk politics for now. Yeah. You’ve announced
this exploratory bid. How’s it going? Are you getting any traction? Are you getting any money? BILL WELD: Everybody says,
good on you, this is great, somebody’s got to do it. It’s a disgrace to the country
that other people haven’t, or that no one’s
pointing out the emperor doesn’t have new clothes on. DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
But are you doing it to win and become president? Or are you doing it
to hurt Donald Trump’s chances of getting re-elected? BILL WELD: I think
the only reason to do something like this is to
do it with the purpose in mind of winning. And those who know me
well would tell you that I’ve thought for
well over a decade now that I could start Monday as
President of the United States just by virtue of the
experience that I’ve had, both a two-term governor
and having worked in both the House and the
Senate, and been head of the Criminal Division
of the Justice Department. And I’m no spring chicken. I’m 10 months older
than the president. But there is an upside to that. In a way, you do get
wiser as you get older. And I’ve seen a lot. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
There are number of septuagenarians in the
race at the moment, right? BILL WELD: There are.
There are. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: A new one
just announced and seems to be getting a lot of traction. But, look, Politico
just had a piece saying you had your
exploratory bid last month. Then, they write, you went dark
“aside from a few television hits and public appearances, the
former Massachusetts governor has done little to suggest
his primary election challenge to Trump is
something the president needs to worry about.” BILL WELD: Well,
first of all, I’m going to make this
decision on my timetable, not somebody else’s timetable. I have been in New Hampshire
every week since my February 15th speech in
Bedford, New Hampshire, and doing town halls, and
getting a good reaction there. But beyond that,
the stuff I’ve been doing outside New
Hampshire has received unanimous encouragement. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Let me
ask you this, Governor. The last time you
ran, that was 2016. You ran as a Libertarian. BILL WELD: Right. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: This time,
you’re running as a Republican. But you seem to be
fundamentally out of step with the current Republican
Party and electorate. I mean, you’re pro-choice,
you’re pro-LGBT. You believe in climate change. I think you’re pretty
liberal on immigration, correct me if I’m wrong. Why do you think that
that, with those policies, that you’re going to be
able to bring the Republican Party along with you? BILL WELD: Well, I think
those are the right policies. And I would say, I’m
totally the same person I was when I ran as a
Libertarian three years ago. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: It’s not you.
You haven’t changed. But the Republican
Party has changed. BILL WELD: Well,
that’s my point. And when the Whig
party broke into two in the 1850s on the
issue of slavery, the southern half became
the Know Nothing Party. Because they would say, I
know nothing, when asked about their secret meetings. And they were characterized by
violent, anti-immigrant fervor. They hated Catholics. They hated the immigrants coming
in from Germany and Italy, and also violent rallies,
and also devotion to conspiracy theories. Well, that sounds
awfully familiar to me. That’s the Trump
campaign of 2016. Now, the other
wing of the party, the antislavery northern wing,
went over and got together with John C. Fremont Free
Soil Party and elected Abraham Lincoln as President of the
United States four years later. So I’m rejoining, not
the Know Nothing Party. I’m rejoining what I hope
will be the party of Lincoln. And that’s the whole point. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: OK. So where is that
going at this point? Do you have endorsements? Are you getting any– how
much money have you raised? BILL WELD: Well, you can’t
raise money when you’re in the– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well, for your
exploratory committee, you can. BILL WELD: I don’t think you
can ask people to raise money for a Super PAC or a campaign. I haven’t needed to raise money
for the exploratory committee. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Are you
self-financing the campaign? BILL WELD: I did. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: How much
money are you putting in? BILL WELD: Mm, I’ll
tell you later. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: All right. Well, presumably,
you’re for transparency. Anyway, but,
endorsements, I mean, you are running as a Republican. BILL WELD: Well, no, I could
be asking all my old friends, and former governors, and
former senators, and even some current ones, endorse
me, endorse me, endorse me, I need to get momentum. No, I’m not going to do that. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well,
what are you going to to? BILL WELD: Well,
I don’t ask people to do something that may not
be in their immediate interest. I’d rather go out and prove
that I’ve got something going, and that the message, that we
need to have someone standing as a Republican who’s
not acting the way the current occupant
of the White House is, I think that’s
a powerful message. Nobody would say
to Tom Paine, well, we’re not going to pay
attention to you unless you issue 160 more broadsides. It was where he stood in the
political scheme of things. And I think that’s important. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: But you
need a finely-honed message. And I guess I’m not
really hearing what that is other than the president’s
a schoolyard bully and too unstable. But, I mean, is there
a three-point Weld program at this
point, or a message that you have for voters. BILL WELD: Sure MICHAEL ISIKOFF: What is it? BILL WELD: Cut spending,
worry about the debt. We’re putting all that
$22 trillion of debt on our children
and grandchildren. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Were
you against the tax cut? BILL WELD: No, no, I
was for the tax cut. I’m assuming– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Isn’t that
what’s fueled the deficit? BILL WELD: No, no. No, no, no. To get to $22 trillion, and to
have $1 trillion every year, and the president only now
considering his first veto, means he didn’t veto one cent
of that trillion dollars. And I did cut spending
in real dollars, year over year, when I was governor. And I was voted most fiscally
conservative governor in the United States–
and that was as the new governor of Massachusetts– by “The Wall Street
Journal” and Cato Institute. We also cut taxes 21 times. I’m not sure I’ve ever met
a tax cut I didn’t like. So cutting taxes and
cutting spending. And there’s some huge issues,
like climate change, which the president says is
a hoax, so he won’t have to do anything about it. We’re going to have the
polar ice cap melt if we don’t do anything about that. And everyone’s coastline
is going to be rearranged. So there’s going to be a lot of
shore-front property that’s not shore-front property– DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
What are you going to do about climate change? BILL WELD: Rejoin
the Paris Accords and have the United
States adopt 2050 targets that are consonant
with those of other countries. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: What do you
think the Green New Deal? BILL WELD: As
currently sketched, it looks too expensive. But I’ve been an
environmentalist my whole life. And I don’t care who knows it. So I would be in that
one up to my elbows. I also think, internationally,
the president’s shown very bad judgment. And this is my way of
telling you what I would do, not just that he’s a bad guy. But I thought that not joining
the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a terrible blunder. And the president’s stated
reason for being against it in the 2016 campaign, when
he first came out against it, was that it would be
dominated by China. He hadn’t taken the trouble
to find out that China was not a member of the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, and that the whole
argument for it was to establish a
powerful beachhead in Asia, with Asian
countries, without China being at the table. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: What
about Russia, just to get back to the one of the
major themes of this podcast? What do you make of Trump’s
cozying up to Putin, the– where was it? Helsinki? MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Helsinki,
where he accepted Putin’s word that the didn’t interfere
in just election over the findings of
the US intelligence and law enforcement community. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: What
do you make of all that? Why do you think he does this? BILL WELD: What Andrew
McCabe said is probably true. He may or may not
be a Russian asset. But he might as well be. And his devotion
to Putin is part of a pattern of praising
and emulating dictators and autocrats around the world. It’s not just Mr. Putin,
who may or may not have a hold over our president. But it’s President
Kim of South Korea. And the president, early
on, said, what a strong kid, what a tough kid. Imagine, he offed his own uncle. And he even iced his brother. That’s a strong kid. And he expressed
great admiration for President Duterte
of the Philippines, who actually holds the
gun while he shoots people suspected of narcotics– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So you don’t
find these good role models for an American president?
BILL WELD: No, I don’t. I don’t. And I think Viktor
Orban in Hungary is trying to move them
out of the Western Bloc towards the
Soviet Bloc, just as Paul Manafort maneuvered to
have the president of Ukraine do. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: So he admires– he seems to admire dictators. But have you seen– BILL WELD: And our
enemies, and our enemies. And when he met with Sergey
Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, and Ambassador
Kislyak, in the Oval Office, he kicked out all
the American press and had the meeting monitored
only by TASS, which is the Russian state press organ. What’s that about? That’s crazy! DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
At some level, do you think that he’s traitorous? I mean, he’s a traitor? BILL WELD: Now, that’s
a pretty strong word. You need you need two witnesses
to an overt act to prove that. DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
It is a legal term. BILL WELD: But he does
seem to have been going against the direct interests
of the United States, saying NATO is a complete
mess, we don’t like NATO. Well, NATO is our alliance. It’s not Russia’s alliance. Russia would like nothing
better than to see NATO sink into the sea. And that’s the direction that
Mr. Trump, at least initially, took with respect to NATO. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
Right, right, right. Well, of course, what
he would say is that– BILL WELD: He’d say,
I was just kidding, and I backed off a little. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well, I think
he was saying that NATO members need to be paying more
of their fair share for our common defense. BILL WELD: No, that’s OK. But I believe he went
on to say NATO’s a joke. This is not a good purpose. We should be going in
the other direction. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: All right. Let’s get back to
politics for a moment. Because you are running
as a Republican, even though you were
a Libertarian two years ago, or two and a half
years ago, when you ran. Some people have
speculated you’re a stalking horse for Mitt
Romney, or Larry Hogan, or somebody else
getting in the race. BILL WELD: No, I’m
not a stalking horse. And I don’t care what
anybody says about me. Once you’ve been head
of the Criminal Division in the Justice Department,
you really don’t care what anyone says about you. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Would like to
see, say, John Kasich, or Larry Hogan, or Mitt Romney
[INAUDIBLE] get into the race and also challenge? BILL WELD: I wouldn’t mind. I mean, it’s no
secret that I’m quite close with Governor Kasich. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: A lot of people
thought he was going to get in. I mean, he seems to have
taken another route, to be a CNN contributor. BILL WELD: Yeah. Well, I just– I don’t know. But I do think he knows
a lot about the budget. He knows a lot about armed
services and military matters. So I don’t think it
would hurt the country. I’m far from saying
I’m bestriding the earth like a colossus. And I have this ground. And no one else come near. No. No. I got things that I
want to do in office. And they are the
opposite of things that the current incumbent
of the presidency is doing and has done. And I have a different
way of approaching things. And that’s enough for me. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: What are
some of the first things that you would do in office? Sometimes, presidents want
to take actions that are symbolic, to send a message. BILL WELD: Oh, I
agree with that. And I’d go one step further. I think you should
have a short priority list for an office like this. And if you don’t get done at
least a majority of the things you want to do in your
first six months in office, then you’ve been a failure. Because you’ve squandered
the immense amount of political capital
that you have, by definition, from having
won that particular office. I would rejoin the Paris
Accords very quickly. I would apply to join
the Trans-Pacific Partnership very quickly. I would let it be known
that my foreign policy consisted of more than tariffs
and sanctions, which are what– President Trump says, I’m a
tariff guy, first and always. Well, I’m not a tariff
guy, first and always. And you can prove that
free trade has always been good for the United States. Because we have the
greatest productivity per worker of any
country in the world, including China, by a mile. There’s no one even close to us. So we’re always going to get
the high-wage jobs as a result of unfettered free trade. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
But, look, everything you’re saying about President
Trump has been well known to Republican voters
since they elected him and his entire time in office. So I come back to
my first question, referencing your Stockholm
syndrome comment, how do you persuade your
fellow Republicans to bolt from this president when your
entire critique is something they know all too well? BILL WELD: Well, you’ve got to
meet the voters one at a time, I suppose, at the
end of the day. You certainly have to meet them
one at a time in New Hampshire. And there are 20 states
where un-enrolled voters, independents, can take
a Republican ballot in the primary. They happen to be
concentrated in the early part of the voting. New Hampshire is not the
only state in the country. I would expect to make a good
showing in the left coast, so to speak, California,
Oregon, and Washington. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right. So the Weld strategy, here, is
you do well in New Hampshire. And then you get the momentum. And where’s next? BILL WELD: Well, it’s true. If you do well in New
Hampshire, you do get momentum. But I certainly am not a
stranger in any of the six New England states,
nor in California, nor in the mid-Atlantic states. And I’d go to those places,
the inter-mountain west, which I got to know in the
last campaign quite a lot. And then the toughest nuts
would be the Rust Belt. And I do give the president
political credit for having seen that his only
path to victory lay through the Rust Belt.
He said that as early as April of the election year. And no one took it seriously. Because they didn’t
think he had a shot. But the tide has turned
against the Republicans in those states. So who knows how
solid they are now. But I’m talking
about Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Let me ask a
couple of policy questions, one domestic, the other foreign. Health care has
dominated our politics for a couple of
decades, now, including this last midterm election. Would you repeal Obamacare? Or do you support Obamacare? BILL WELD: Well, how about how
about neither of the above? Is that OK? I do think we’re– MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
Medicare for all? BILL WELD: No. We’re really wasting a
lot of time in Washington by spending so much time
in Congress on, let’s repeal it, let’s reaffirm it. We do not have a
consensus in Congress about the Affordable Care Act. So I don’t see that there’s
a lot of blood that should be shed over that right now. There are things
that can be done. Prescription drugs are
entirely too expensive now. So let people buy them
across state lines, and buy them in other
countries abroad. If they want to buy
they’re from Canada, let them buy them from Canada. Don’t tell them,
we’re the nanny state, we’re going to tell
you that Canada’s drugs are no damn good, if
people do want to buy them. Let people have health
savings accounts. I mean, I’m in favor– across the board, not
just health care– of putting as much
power as possible in the hands of the individual. So let individuals have
health savings accounts. And they can sock away money
to provide for the kind of health care that they want. They may not want the
Cadillac that the Affordable Care Act gives them. And one demerit of the
Affordable Care Act is that it virtually
insists that everyone’s got to have the Cadillac. Well, maybe a lot of people
would rather have a Chevrolet. And that should be up to them. And it’s nanny-state-ism
to tell people they can’t have the Chevrolet. I feel a little bit the same
way about Social Security, let people have individual
retirement accounts so they can salt away money against their
golden years to the extent they want to do so. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So people
hearing you say that will say, Weld wants to abolish
Social Security. BILL WELD: No. I want an addition
to Social Security, have people be able to put away,
in a tax-advantaged manner, funds against their retirement. Right now, it’s, the
government’s got to do it. And, the government’s got to
do it, never sounds good to me. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: By
the way– and then I want to get to the
foreign policy question. But do you think, as Donald
Trump said at the CPAC Conference, and a
lot of Republicans have been saying it,
that the Democratic Party is moving towards socialism? BILL WELD: Well, some
of the recent proposals are avowedly socialistic. I don’t think
that’s a good thing. I hope the Dems can come
up with centrist candidates for the 2020 election. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Maintaining
your Libertarian roots, I noted that you have joined
the advisory board of a company Acreage Holdings,
which cultivates, processes, and dispenses
cannabis in 11 states. BILL WELD: I’ve thought
that since 1991. I said in 1991, my first
year in office, hey, they say that marijuana is
good for glaucoma and nausea from chemotherapy. Why not let people use
it for those two things? MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
Well, that’s medical. What about full-scale
legalization? BILL WELD: I think it
should be a states’ rights issue, state by state. Things have changed since 1991. I was way out there
by myself on that, and on gay and lesbian rights,
and that sort of thing. And nobody else was
around for 15 years or so. Now, the American people,
state by state, blue states and red states, have decided– and I think the
figure is something like 94% are in favor
of medicinal marijuana and 64% in favor of
full adult legal– DANIEL KLAIDMAN: So you’d
be in favor of allowing states to pass laws allowing– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well, they are.
They are passing laws. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Yeah. But the federal government
still has a federal law, OK? And this Justice Department
says it’s going to prosecute those cases, right? MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
That’s what Barr said. But do you– BILL WELD: No, he said
he’s not going to prosecute if it’s legal in that state. He did not have– AG Barr does not have the same
position that AG Sessions had. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: But
President Weld push for repeal of the federal law? BILL WELD: Day one, day one. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Day one? BILL WELD: De-scheduling,
absolutely. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: De-scheduling,
full-scale legalization. BILL WELD: No, that’s
not the same thing. It takes it off the schedule– DANIEL KLAIDMAN: DA list. BILL WELD: DA and National
Institute of Drug Abuse– DANIEL KLAIDMAN:
But if a state wants to pass recreational drug– [INTERPOSING VOICES] DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Right. But that’s fine with you. MICHAEL ISIKOFF: But what’s the
difference between full-scale legalization and what you’re– BILL WELD: The sword
in the bed is the fact that cannabis is
listed by the FDA as a Schedule I
narcotic, which means it has absolutely no medicinal
value, which is a complete lie. The FDA has even licensed an
anti-childhood-epilepsy drug, its called Epidiolex. And they said, this is good. And their excuse for doing it
in the face of schedule one, is, oh they’re manufactured
in Great Britain. More recently, it’s
been illegal to study marijuana or cannabis– MICHAEL ISIKOFF: I get that. But– BILL WELD: So, recently, the
federal government has said, well, actually you can
study in California. You can do this. But you’ve got to import
the marijuana from Canada. I mean, what– those
two things show the hypocrisy of the
technical position of the federal government. And Candidate Trump, in 2016– I think this story may
have a happy ending. Because there’s a lot of
oomph behind the states act that Senator Cory
Gardner of Colorado and Senator Elizabeth Warren
of Massachusetts are behind. And the house is all for that. And that’s off to a good
start in the Senate. And most observers
of the industry think that that will become
law by the third quarter of this year, end of problem. MICHAEL ISIKOFF:
Just to be clear, you want to get rid of the
scheduling of marijuana as a dangerous drug. Then, OK, but how is that
different than just lifting all restrictions on
smoking or partaking in marijuana, legalization,
full-scale legalization? BILL WELD: You can’t have
full legalization as long as that Schedule I is there. So you remove that. And my position
is not, let’s have full-scale, federal
legalization. It’s let’s let the
states do what they want. If Alabama wants to never
have adult legal rec– and I suspect that
might be the case– we shouldn’t be telling
them that they should do so. And that’s the
position that Donald Trump took during the campaign. And I agree with it. And so does my
colleague on that board, John Boehner, who
used to be implacably opposed to the legalization. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: We’re going
to wrap up in a second. But I did have one foreign
policy question for you, which is, we still have many thousands
of Americans in harm’s way, including more than 10,000
American troops in Afghanistan. What would you do
about Afghanistan? Would you pull out the troops– BILL WELD: I would. I would. I think the president got
it right the first time. We’ve been there a long time. What is it, 17, 18 years? And I’ve heard from
intelligence folks the story of, when we were first
going into Afghanistan, the president had a
senior CIA person call up his Russian counterpart
and say, we’re thinking of going into Afghanistan. We don’t want to start
World War III over this. Because we know it’s
right on your border. So tell us how
upset you would be. The guy died laughing. The Russian guy
just died laughing. He said, I want to encourage
you to go in there with as big a force as you can
and enjoy all the success that the British
enjoyed in Afghanistan, and that the Soviet Union
enjoyed in Afghanistan, and have a nice day. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: All right. Well, Governor Bill Weld,
thanks for joining us on “Skullduggery.” And good luck. And be happy on
the campaign trail. BILL WELD: Thanks, Dan.
Thanks, Mike. Always a pleasure. DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Thanks
to presidential hopeful Bill Weld for joining us on
this episode of “Skullduggery.” Don’t forget to subscribe
to “Skullduggery” on Apple Podcasts or wherever
you listen to your podcasts. And tell us what you think. Leave a review. The latest episode is also
on Sirius XM on the weekend. Check it out on POTUS Channel
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Saturdays and Mondays at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. Talk to you soon.

The Republican Party Is Dead


Ladies and Gentlemen, the Republican Party
is dead. I’m actually pretty sad about that. I feel like I should explain why. Now, I’ve never voted Republican, and for over
a decade now I’ve been pretty consistently pissed off at them. The Republicans make me deeply angry, because
I believe in many of the things that they’ve always claimed to believe in. Things like good and limited government. Things like an intelligent and strong defense
policy. Things like capitalism and an even playing
field. Their failure to live up to these ideals has
made me hate the modern Republican party. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy to see
it die. And That’s what’s happening this election
cycle. Since the Cold War the Republican party has
been an uneasy coalition. It’s been an alliance between the pro-business,
small government types that provided the money, and the much more numerous socially conservative
types, who got out the vote thanks to a number of culture war issues like Abortion and respect
for Christianity. Call it the Mitt Romney wing, and the Ted
Cruz wing. Folks like me, who take small government and
“fiscally conservative” issues seriously, would sort of hold their nose and nod along
with the rest of the party. “JESUS
JESUS JESUS” “Sure Buddy, but how about we go out and
win some elections.” I could never bear to make that compromise,
so I never voted Republican. But I kind of liked the idea that half the country really seemed to want a more limited government and seemed really worried about the power of Washington, DC. This election has shown that that simply isn’t
true. The majority of Republicans that voted for
Donald Trump don’t want a limited government. They’re happy to vote for a guy who has
openly threatened the bill of rights. And they’re certainly not voting along Christian
lines either. Trump’s true appeal is clear. He uses a lot of code words, but Trump’s
Republican party is pretty clearly the Angry White Racist’s party. Conservative intellectuals, and fiscal conservatives
across the country have no interest in being associated with that. Those folks have to face the fact that all
the worst things the Democrats said about the Republicans are true. The Republican party as we know it is dead. It could resurrect itself. The Democrats were a racist party for over
a century, but they got over it. If you’re somebody who cares about the Republican
party, and wants a better one, you actually have a great option. I’m governor Gary Johnson I’m Governor Bill Weld I’m running for President. I’m running with him. This year, the Libertarian party is running
two very successful pro-business, socially liberal Republican Governors. They’re not going to win. But that’s not the point. Voting for them is the only way to save the
Republican party. You don’t change the two party system for
the better by voting for it, you change it by creating a competitor that the main parties
can steal ideas from. If you’re interested in this approach, I’ve
written a short essay laying it out. I’ve left a link in the description. The Republican party as we knew it is dead. But a new and better one can rise from the
ashes. Who knows, maybe even as a party I could bring myself to vote for… Thanks for watching, please subscribe, and
if you’d like to help me make more videos like this one, please click on the Patreon
link here to check out my crowd-funding thing. Thanks.

States CANCELLING Republican Primaries to Protect Trump


every time we’ve talked about primary challenges
to Donald Trump in 2020 I’ve been super clear that those challenges are not going to succeed
in the sense of Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee unless he bails out. But I have said that the primary challenges
could still damage Trump and even a point or two taken from Trump in some states is
all it would take for an independent, uh, a Republican primary challenger who chooses
to run as an independent in November of 2020 to take a state or two from Donald Trump and
push it towards the Democratic challenger. And that could actually turn the election. Now, clearly the democratic, I’m sorry, the
Republican Party is worried about this because they’ve now started canceling primaries and
caucuses to protect Donald Trump and to prevent anyone from getting any attention or momentum. Now, Trump loyalists have gotten into the
system in South Carolina and Nevada, Arizona and Kansas at minimum. And they are moving forward on canceling primaries
altogether, which is not very democratic. Wouldn’t the right thing to do be to let the
primaries happen. Let Republican voters confirm that they want
Trump to be their nominee. Trump says he is 94% support from the Republicans. That’s not true. It’s more like 80% but 80% is still more than
enough to win primaries except that that other 20% might be invigorated by those primaries
and vote for those primary challengers in November if they run as independent or as
right in candidates in a way that it could threaten Donald Trump in the general. Now the Trump team is saying this is totally
normal. This is fine. There are many other examples in history when
primaries have been canceled, when there been an incumbent president up for reelection,
but that is extremely deceptive because the primaries that were previously canceled were
almost exclusively canceled because there were no challengers, so there was no point
in having the primary when only the incumbent is interested in running. This is a very different situation where you
have multiple primary challengers, Joe Walsh, William Weld. There’s a third one that now I’m forgetting. Uh, and one fifth of Republican’s disapprove
of Donald Trump. So this is a very different scenario. Now a somewhat asked Donald Trump on Monday,
would he participate in debates against these challengers? And he said, quote, I don’t know them. I would say this, they are all at less than
1% I guess it’s a publicity stunt. We just got a little while ago a poll showing
94% popularity or approval within the Republican Party. So to be honest, I’m not looking to get them
any credibility. They have no credibility. Now again, Trump’s wrong. It’s about 80% of Republicans that approve
of the job he’s doing, not 94%, but this is how they win. They cancel primaries, they Gerrymander, they
suppress votes by closing down polling places and purging voter rolls. They have no interest in genuinely protecting
our election systems from foreign interference. And they even welcome it. And then they blame Democrats of doing all
the same things and they spend millions on real witch hunts, like the election integrity
commission or whatever it was that it was called, which found nothing. They’ve been cheating to win for years. It is not going to stop for sure unless Donald
Trump has removed because we’ll have a census in 2020, which will then be used by these
same republicans to make it even worse and then it’ll get even uglier. And I forgot to mention, by the way, gaslighting
constantly by demonizing those evil undocumented immigrants too, it’s important not to forget
that since that’s a key part of their strategy, they say that they’re all for freedom and
democracy as long as it’s their candidate in the way that they want it and the people
voting that they want to see voting period. Otherwise Freedom and democracy always take
a back seat to morality or simplicity or expediency or whatever they can site at the time to justify
their behavior. And we are seeing it again as the primaries
that Republicans should be holding are getting canceled, uh, in growing numbers, which we
will continue to track. Not Surprising, not surprising, but important
to understand that this is happening.

Bill Weld launches Trump’s first Republican 2020 challenge


[BELLS PEALING]>>I THINK IT’S ONE VOTER AT A TIME, AND IF HE GETS GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY TO HAVE SOMEBODY PUT THE PRESIDENT TO HIS PROOFS, AS IT WERE. YOU ASK HIM SOME “WHY” QUESTIONS. “WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S GOOD TO INSULT OUR MILITARY ALLIES? WHY DO YOU PRAISE DICTATORS? IS IT BECAUSE YOU WISH THE UNITED STATES WAS MORE DICTATE ORIOLE?” I’M AFRAID THAT I BE THE CASE>>Melissa: FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR BILL WELDON LAUNCHING HIS BID AGAINST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT TRUMP, BEING THE FIRST REPUBLICAN TO CHALLENGE THE PRESIDENT IN THE 2020 RACE. HE REGIONALLY RETURNED TO THE PARTY AFTER SERVING AS THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY NOMINEE FOR VICE PRESIDENT IN 2016. HIS ANNOUNCEMENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, HE CALLED TRUMP COMPULSIVE AND IRRATIONAL, ARGUING, “WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHOSE PRIORITIES ARE SKEWED TOWARDS PROMOTING HIMSELF RATHER THAN TOWARD THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY. HE ALSO LAMENTED THE STATE OF THE G.O.P. COINING THAT TRUMP HAS CAPTURED THE PARTY. SHE ALWAYS SEEMS TO ENJOY IT MORE WHEN HE HAS A FOIL. IT GIVES THEM SOMEONE TO TARGET.>>Brian: THIS IS JUST END, THE PRESIDENT HAS STOPPED DOING EVERYTHING UNTIL HE CAN GET THIS WELD STORM UNDER CONTROL. [LAUGHTER] HE MIGHT EVEN RECONSIDER RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT HIMSELF. OF COURSE, THIS DOESN’T EVEN MATTER. HE IS TOO BORING EVEN TO BE THE TOP OF A BAD TICKET LAST TIME. BILL WELD WILL RUN, IT WON’T TAKE AN EFFORT. IF GOVERNOR CASEY GETS IN, IF SENATOR JEFF FLAKE GETS IN, THERE’S SOMETHING INTERESTING TO DEBATE. THIS IS SOMEBODY LOOKING FOR ATTENTION HIMSELF.>>Harris: AND CONFUSE, I THOUGHT IT WAS LIBERTARIAN.>>Brian: WHO ASKED HIM TO RUN?>>Lisa: BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, WHO CARES ABOUT BILL WELD? HE’S A NONFACTOR, NOBODY CARES ABOUT HIM. HE’S IRRELEVANT TO 2020 BRIT ALMOST 90% OF REPUBLICANS ARE BEHIND PRESIDENT TRUMP. HE WILL BE THE NOMINEE. REPUBLICANS NEED TO GET BEHIND HIM OR THEY WILL END UP WITH SOMEONE LIKE BERNIE SANDERS. GOING BACK TO 2016, I CAN’T PICK UP A SINGLE CANDIDATE THAT RAN THAT COULD HAVE PULLED TOGETHER A COALITION THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DID.>>Jessica: I DON’T THINK IT WILL MAKE MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF THE RACE PAID WHAT HE’S TRYING TO DO IS SAY TO DISAFFECTED REPUBLICANS, MODERATES, INDEPENDENTS, SOME OF THEM TO HAVE A FAR-LEFT-LEANING CANDIDATE. THERE’S A PLACE FOR YOU. I DON’T THINK THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS THE RIGHT MAN

Who Are Trump’s Republican Challengers?


“The lights are on
in the White House, but no one’s at home.” “This guy is destroying
the country.” “Put the Twitter away.” President Trump is facing
Republican challengers to his re-election campaign. Joe Walsh, Bill Weld
and Mark Sanford. They don’t have much
of a chance at securing their party’s nomination, but primary challenges
can lead to problems for the incumbent. So who’s trying
to take Trump on? First up: Joe Walsh. “These are not
conventional times. These are urgent times. Let’s be real: These are scary times.” A one-term
Tea Party congressman who represented a Chicago
suburb from 2011 to 2013. “Pisses me off!” His style? It’s aggressive. Even with his
constituents. “Quiet for a minute! Or I’m going to
ask you to leave.” He is also known for
his offensive tweets. “I wouldn’t call
myself a racist, but I would say, John,
I’ve said racist things on Twitter.” He’s shared his
far-right views on his nationally
syndicated radio show. “When he was elected
to Congress, he showed up in Washington
and refused to play by their rules.” In a recent program, he slammed President Trump
for his handling of immigration. “Donald Trump has royally
screwed this thing up.” His show is going off
the air due to FCC rules on airtime rights for
presidential candidates. So why is he running? “All Trump cares
about is himself.” “He’s a horrible human being.” “He’s nuts, he’s erratic, he’s incompetent!” Critics have said the
same about him. Next: Bill Weld. He was the first
to announce his run against President Trump. “I would be
ashamed of myself if I didn’t raise
my hand and run.” Weld is a lawyer and former
Justice Department official. He was the governor of
Massachusetts during the ’90s, and has switched party
loyalties a few times, endorsing Barack Obama
for president in 2008 over John McCain,
and then supporting Mitt Romney in 2012. He ran as a libertarian
vice presidential candidate in 2016. “I hope to see the Republican
Party assume once again the mantle of being
the party of Lincoln.” Weld is a
fiscal conservative, but socially liberal. He supports abortion rights,
same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. He’s been campaigning in
New Hampshire and Iowa, hoping to best Trump in
those early primary contests. “I think we’re in something
of an inflection point.” And the former
governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, is also running. “We need a change in
spending, debt and deficits, and we need it now.” He’s a vocal critic
of President Trump, and served a total
of six terms in the House of
Representatives. Ultimately, he lost his seat
after a primary challenge by a Trump-backed candidate. His second term as South Carolina
governor was stained by a scandal involving
an extramarital affair. Trump referenced this scandal
in a tweet mocking all three Republican candidates
running against him. So what are their
chances at winning? Not good. As of now, Trump’s
approval rating is very high
among Republicans. However, primary challengers
in recent decades have shown that they can leave the incumbent wounded
in the general election.

Weld says he welcomes more Republican candidates to presidential race


IN HOUSTON ON THURSDAY,
SEPTEMBER 12. TOM: REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL
CANDIDATE BILL WELD BACK IN NEW
HAMPSHIRE. HE TOLD NEWS 9 TODAY HE WELCOMES
MORE PEOPLE WILLING TO CHALLENGE
PRESIDENT TRUMP IN THE
REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN JOE
WALSH ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY HE WAS
RUNNING. AND FORMER CONGRESSMAN MARK
SANFORD OF SOUTH CAROLINA HAS
SAID HE’S CONSIDERED JOINING THE
RACE. WELD SAYS HE’S HOPEFUL A GROWING
FIELD COULD LEAD TO A TELEVISED
PRIMARY DEBATE.>>IT IS HAVING DIFFERENT PEOPLE
ARTICULATING DIFFERENT
VIEWPOINTS. OUR POLITICS ARE NOT SIMILAR. NEITHER ONE OF US THINKS THE
PRESIDENT IS ENTITLED TO ANOTHER
FOUR YEARS IN OFFICE. TOM LAST NIGHT, PRESIDENT TRUMP
: TWEETED ABOUT TH

2020 Republican challenger Bill Weld on how he’d do things differently from Trump | theSkimm


I’m Bill Weld I’m two-term governor of
Massachusetts I’m running as a Republican against Donald Trump in the
Republican primaries. If I had a transition meeting with President Trump
I certainly would not ask his advice on international matters because I wouldn’t
want to perform a vain act. I wouldn’t rip up every treaty that we’re a party to
and insult our allies while cozying up to dictators just because I had a
fantasy that maybe I could be the man on the white horse. The first thing I would
do would probably be to cut spending. You know not many people do it because it
requires political will. I do have that political will and I’ve shown that and I
think that would be a signal to a lot of people including the foreigners, other
nations whom we’re relying on to buy our Treasury bills when we run up these huge
deficits.

All the 2020 Election Presidential Candidates | QT Politics


So far, the 2020 election features several
serious declared Democratic candidates, with a number of others still suspected to join
the primary, a broad range of independents and third-party candidates, and, very likely,
a primary contest for the Republican incumbent, President Donald J Trump. Technically speaking, there are over 600 candidates,
if you count everyone who has filed with the FEC. At least one of these people were kicked off
the Dr. Phil show. Yes, he’s actually running. And like Mr. Vegan—that’s his actual legal
name–most of the people who have filed to run don’t have anything resembling a chance
of even having their names mentioned on a major media outlet, let alone becoming a serious
contender for the presidency. And, there are a handful of significant potential
candidates who have yet to file. So, in this video, I’ll attempt to give you
a broad overview of the serious 2020 contenders for the highest office in the land, and answer
the question… Who’s actually running? (Everyone puts their lighters in the air) INDEPENDENTS Let’s start with the independents and third
party candidates. In 2016, they played an unusually large role,
partly because both the Democratic and Republican candidates were unprecedentedly unpopular. If the two major parties do a better job of
holding the favor of the American people, these candidates will likely play a smaller
role in 2020, but they are still worth a little examination. Howard Schultz, a former Democrat, and former
CEO of Starbucks is, so far the most talked about potential independent candidate. Despite having no political experience, Schultz
got his very own CNN town hall, but some remain skeptical that Schultz has the capacity to
run a serious third-way campaign. Howard Schultz says… Oh, isn’t that great!?! I know a lot of regular hard working people
who know frankly a lot more about politics than does Mr. Schultz. Mark Cuban has also gotten some attention
teasing a potential run, but it’s not very likely. He recently told NY Daily News, “It really would take the exact right set
of circumstances.” The billionaire also warned in the outlet, “Rich people are stupid.” (He actually said that!) Fashion model Ronnie Kroell is running a campaign
for president or publicity, as well. Akon has also expressed serious interest in
making an independent run, which probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously, as had John
McAffee, of McAffee anti-virus, before deciding to declare himself for the Libertarian Party. LIBERTARIANS Also running for the Libertarian party is
the former Vice Chair of the LNC, Arvin Vohra, and Adam Kokesh, a former Republican and anti-war
activist. But of course the most fun candidate for the
party is, as always, 7-time failed presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, the iconic boot-as-a-hat-wearing
joke candidate, who has previously run on a four-point platform of: Like Mr. Supreme, Sam Seder, of the Majority
Report, is running a joke campaign in the Libertarian party, and has actually come up
in first place in the early polling of the field by a group called Third Party Watch,
although it should be noted this is not a reliable pollster. Republican congressman Justin Amash is also
considering joining the Libertarian party primary race. GREENS The declared Green Party Candidates so far
include, Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry, who was also 2016 Green Party primary candidate;
Ian Schlakman, former co-chair of the Maryland Green Party; and Dario Hunter, who serves
on the Youngstown, Ohio Board of Education. Also considering the race for the Green Party
nomination is former governor, conspiracy theorist, and wrestler, Jesse “the Mind”
Ventura. Howie Hawkins, a co-founder of the Green Party
of the United States, may also run. Jill Stein’s running mate in 2016, Ajamu Baraka,
is also considered a potential candidate. AMERICAN SOLIDARITY PARTY The American Solidarity Party, a Christian
faith-based political party, with conservative social leanings, and liberal economic leanings,
is spotlighting Brian Caroll, Joshua Perkins, and Joe Schriner as their potential candidates. Okay, now let’s get into the real candidates. REPUBLICANS For the Republican Party, President Donald
Trump filed with the FEC all the way back on January 20, 2017 for his 2020 run, and
nothing short of a conviction in the Senate is likely to stop him for running. Like all incumbent presidents, Mr. Trump will
be running on his current record, which includes an unusual mix of peace talks with North Korea,
tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the rich, a trade war with China, renegotiating
NAFTA, a draconian immigration policy, planned withdrawal from Syria, repealed environmental
protections, a partial repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, cuts to agricultural subsidies, weakening
of the CFPB, reinstating asset forfeiture, and increasing military spending, just to
name a few. Trump’s economy features a reduction in unemployment,
by standard measures, an increase in GDP, and an increase in the deficits and national
debt. As of January of 2019, Mr. Trump continues
to enjoy an approval rating of 87% among Republicans, indicating that he is unlikely to lose to
any primary challenge he may face. But while he is absolutely the front-runner
in the Republican party, he will almost certainly face a primary challenge. Bill Weld, the Libertarian VP candidate in
2016 and former Republican Governor of Massachusetts , has already declared an exploratory committee
to seek the Republican nomination. Forming an exploratory committee is not technically
a declaration that a candidate is running, but it is the first step, and those who announce
exploratory committees do typically go on to formally announce a run. Ohio governor John Kasich, former senator
Bob Corker, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, have also all considered giving Trump a primary
challenge, and have not ruled out the possibility. Even fast talking conservative commentator
Ben Shapiro has teased a run, And while Shapiro has criticized Trump in
the past, he has been pretty clear that he’ll supporting him in 2020. Of course, that won’t stop his fans from continuing
to petition him to run, but it most probably isn’t gonna happen. There have also been calls for popular former
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to run. She too, has endorsed the President, and claims
she will be campaigning for his re-election. Former governor and GOP presidential nominee
Mitt Romney, a vocal critic of Trump, has made it clear that he will not be seeking
the 2020 nomination, but has signalled that he might endorse a primary opponent. He told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I’m going to see what the alternatives
are.” Jeff Flake, yet another vocal critic of the
president caught some attention and much speculation, but he has clearly indicated that he isn’t
going to run. He told C BS news, “I’ve always said that I do hope that there
is a Republican who challenges the president in the primary. I still hope that somebody does, but that
somebody won’t be me. I will not be a candidate.” While the president’s popularity among Republicans
indicate that he will likely beat any primary challenger who comes his way, his general
favorability ratings are a serious problem. Trump’s disapproval rate is around 53%, while
his approval rate is 41%. While indeed, he was quite unpopular when
he was elected president, he was then running against a historically unpopular democrat. Unpopular presidents are more likely to face
a serious primary challenge after their first term, and presidents who do face a serious
primary challenge are less likely to win re-election. President Jimmy Carter secured just 51% of
the democratic vote when he was primaried in 1980 by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown. George HW Bush won 73 percent of the vote
when he was primaried by Pat Buchanon and others in 1992. 73 might sound like a lot, but his son won
98% of the vote in the republican primary in 2004. An incumbent Bill Clinton locked down 89%
of the vote in his 1996 primary, as did Obama in 2012. Trump certainly defies the odds in numerous
ways, but if history is any indication at all, a serious primary challenge for the president
would be a bad omen for his reelection chances… …which brings us to the Democrats…. DEMOCRATS First, let’s quickly mention some prominent
Democrats who are definitely not running. Hilary Clinton, Tom Steyer, Michael Avenatti,
Eric Garcetti, Andrew Cuomo, Eric Holder, Sherrod Brown and Michael Bloomberg have all
confirmed that they are not running for president in 2020. Richard Ojeda, the West Virginia State Senator
who was running an early bold and aggressive anti-corruption campaign, dropped out of the
race near the end of January, 2019. But there are plenty of Democratic candidates
in the race, some of whom, you may never heard of. Maryland Representative John Delaney was the
first major democrat to declare his candidacy, but few seemed to take notice, as he continues
to struggle to show up in the polls. While a harsh critic of Trump, Delaney markets
himself as a pragmatic, moderate with strong bipartisan bonefides. For example, on one of the most important
issues for Democrats, health care, Delaney advocates for a path toward universal health
care, but his plan is pretty conservative. His health care proposal does not touch medicare,
rather it creates a new public plan, which people can opt out of for a tax credit, and
the private, employer-system would remain in tact. Marrianne Williamson is a spiritual teacher
and published author, who has yet to make a mark in the polls. Her platform includes a strong reparations
plan. Her proposal involves spending between 200
and 500 billion dollars over a twenty year period on educational and economic programs,
to be determined by a council of trusted black community leaders. She also supports medicare for all, and a
holistic set of policies to improve public health. Tulsi Gabbard has generally been polling under
1%, but hit 1.1% in the latest survey by Emerson. Gabbard is known perhaps first and foremost
for her opposition to regime change wars. The Iraq War veteran has argued that Assad
is not an enemy of the United States, and takes a generally anti-interventionist stance
of foreign policy. While Gabbard did not support AOC’s Green
New Deal resolution, she has sponsored alternative environmental legislation in the past. She supports HR676, the house’s medicare-for-all
plan. Andrew Yang is another minor candidate, but
one with surging popularity online, enough that he has passed the donor threshold required
to make the primary debates, and he has begun to hit 1% in some of the polls. Yang’s central platform is Universal Basic
Income: a plan to give every American 18-65 one thousand dollars every month, no questions
asked. He has also endorsed the idea of expanding
medicare to all, but is also open to other ideas about moving toward a single-payer system. Jay Inslee is another minor candidate, currently
polling at .8%, focusing his campaign on a single issue. The Governor of Washington boasts a long history
of Green governance, and supports the idea of a Green New Deal. His plan includes four principles: transitioning
to clean energy; investing in jobs, infrastructure and innovation; fighting for environmental
justice and economic inclusion; and ending subsidies to fossil fuel companies. John Hickenlooper, also polling around .8%,
lays out no specific policy platform on his website, but he does tout his experience and
political accomplishments: eliminating a 70 million dollar deficit as mayor of Denver,
and growing the economy and reducing methane emissions as governor of Colorado. He also boasts that his heath care program
brought the state’s coverage up to nearly 95 percent. Kirsten Gillibrand, also currently polling
at around .8%, is surprisingly, by some measures the most progressive candidate in the race. Five Thirty Eight dot come ranks her as the
most anti-Trump person in congress, while Gov Track ranks her as the most liberal senator
in the country, even to the left of Bernie Sanders. She is a cosponsor of Bernie’s Medicare for
All Plan, and the Green New Deal. Despite being quite liberal, according to
the newest polling data by Quinnipiac, her support is strongest amongst conservative
and moderate voters. Julian Castro, now polling around 1%, is a
former Obama Administration HUD secretary, and a former mayor of San Antonio. He is pro Green New Deal, supports investment
in public housing and universal pre-K education. On immigration, he has been a vocal critic
of Trump’s policies, and supports a path to citizenship. Pete Buttigieg, once polling around 1%, is
now up to an average of 2.2%, even hitting as high as 4% in the latest poll by Quinnipiac. Buttigieg is Mayor of the small municipality
of South Bend, Indiana. He is an Afghanistan War veteran, a Rhodes
Scholar and a Harvard graduate. If elected, he would also be the first openly
gay president. Mayor Pete is pro Green New Deal, and supports
a gradual transition to single payer—in the meantime, he’s pushing Medicare for all
who want it. Buttigieg has received a CNN town hall, but
has technically not declared his candidacy—just an exploratory committee. Another mayor in the race, who just recently
declared, is Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam. Messam largely remains a mystery among the
mainstream candidates, having received little media coverage. He also doesn’t have much in the way of policy
positions on his website. But he is proposing to wipe out more than
1.5 trillion dollars in student debt. He also has a history of fighting for gn control,
and passed a living wage for city workers. He’s so far not showing up in the polls, but
that may very well change as he gains a bit of msm exposure. Also just getting a little attention at the
moment is Mike Gravel, who served as a US Senator throughout the 1970s (1969-1981). The 88 year old retiree has not technically
announced, but he has announced an exploratory committee and has an announcement scheduled
for April 8th. Astoundingly, this candidate openly admitted
his low chances of actually winning in the very tweet that launched his campaign: “I am considering running in the 2020 Democratic
primary. The goal will not be to win, but to bring
a critique of American imperialism to the Democratic debate stage. The website (mikegravel.org) is under construction. Official announcement will be in the coming
days.” On her campaign website, Amy Klobuchar criticizes
divisive politics, gridlock and grandstanding, indicating that she would aim to be president
who acts based on compromise, consensus and concessions. Not surprisingly, one of her big platform
proposals is a trillion dollar infrastructure investment, an idea well positioned for centrist
support, as “we need to fix our crumbling infrastructure” is probably one of just
two things all Washington politicians agree with–the other being that small businesses
are the backbone of the American economy. Klobuchar is indeed, a moderate democrat,
having voted with Trump 30% of the time according to 538, and vote view ranks her as more conservative
than 75% of democrats in the senate. She is a cosponsor of the Green New Deal resolution,
but not a cosponsor of the Sanders Medicare-for-all bill. Instead she supports a Medicaid buy-in expansion. Klobuchar has seen declines in her polling
as of late, currently averaging at 1.8%. Cory Booker has also seen declining poll numbers,
and currently sits at 5.8%. While’s his voting record is, overall, amongst
the most progressive in the Senate, he has a history of raising funds from Wall street
and big pharma. He famously defended Bain Capital in the 2012
presidential race, and helped to vote down an amendment co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders
and Amy Klobuchar that would have allowed Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada. Still, Booker is co-sponsor of the GND, as
well as Bernie’s Medicare-for-all bill, and is ranked as the 5th most anti-Trump voter
in the Senate. Booker has come out forcefully against the
NRA, and perhaps the strongest moment in his CNN townhall was when he said that he is “the
only person in this race who has had shootings on their block.” Elizabeth Warren is undeniably one of the
most progressive candidates in the race. Vote view ranks her as the most liberal member
of congress, and five thrity eight ranks her as the 3rd most anti-trump voter in congress. She created the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau, an agency which forced financial firms to return a whopping 12 billion dollars to
around 30 million consumers, who were victims to scams other predatory practices. Her presidential campaign centres on typical
progressive issues like ending Washington corruption and rebuilding the middle class. She has also introduced some more novel policy
suggestions, like breaking up big tech companies and protecting family farmers against agribusiness
mergers. She lost some credit amongst Sanders supporters,
for failing to declare herself one of them during the 2016 primaries. She has also declared herself open to different
paths toward a single payer health care system. Still, Warren is a cosponsor on Bernie’s Medicare-for-all
bill. She’s also, of course, a cosponsor of the
Green New Deal. Warren is currently polling at 5.8%. Beto O’Rourke has been surging in the polls
since he formally announced his candidacy, and now sits at 10% support. Despite facing huge backlash in the early
days of the campaign, he broke records by entering the 2020 race with a 6.1 million
dollar haul. Beto gained national attention for his Senate
race, which posed a serious threat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. Still, he is widely criticized for lacking
substance and specific policy suggestions. Beto has expressed support for the Green New
Deal, but has taken oil money, and voted in support oil and other fossil fuel interests. Another financial concern that while he vocally
opposes PAC money, during his Senate race, he actually received individual contributions
from bundling done by a super PAC. Beto ranked among the more conservative Democratic
members of congress. Still, he is an aggressive critic of Donald
Trump’s signature policy—the Wall. Beto has demonstrable knowledge of border
crossing and border town crime statistics as well as personal experience from representing
El Paso to back up his rhetoric. Kamala Harris has in recent weeks declined
in the polls, losing her third place spot to Beto, and now sits just behind him, with
9.6% support. A former prosecutor, she has faced serious
criticism over her ‘tough on crime’ criminal justice record, while her campaign has argued
that she was actually ahead of the country on numerous criminal justice issues. An article by Vox suggests a good reason for
the totally opposite perspectives: “She pushed for programs that helped people
find jobs instead of putting them in prison, but also fought to keep people in prison even
after they were proved innocent. She refused to pursue the death penalty against
a man who killed a police officer, but also defended California’s death penalty system
in court. She implemented training programs to address
police officers’ racial biases, but also resisted calls to get her office to investigate
certain police shootings.” On most issues, Harris is relatively progressive. She is the 7th most anti-trump voter in congress,
and vote view ranks her as more liberal than 97% of Democrats in congress. She is a cosponsor of the Green New Deal and
Bernie’s Medic—are for all bill. In April of 2018, she pledged not to accept
any more corporate PAC money, although she was a major recipient PAC money prior that
that. Bernie Sanders is widely regarded as the most
progressive candidate in the race. The self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist sponsored
the Senate’s medicare-for-all bill, and popularized numerous progressive policy positions during
his 2016 run for president, as well as through his group, Our Revolution. Bernie supports tuition free public colleges
and universities, campaign finance reform, and the Green New Deal. It’s probably safe to say that his top priority
is addressing income and wealth inequality. While broad analyses of his voting record
generally put Sanders in the same range as other progressives—he is in fact less anti-Trump
than Warren and Gillibrand, for example, by the 538 analysis—Bernie is clearly the furthest
left when you actually examine his policy proposals. Warren, for example, proposed a 2% wealth
tax on Americans with more than 50 million dollars, with an additional 1% for billionaires. Sanders, on the other hand, introduced a bill
to collect 77% of estates worth more than a billion dollars, a return to the top marginal
tax rates of post the post war era, when top rates ranged between 70 and 90%. According to RCP polling averages, Bernie
Sanders is in first place amongst declared candidates, with an RCP average of 22.6%. However, there is one candidate, still undeclared,
who, on average, polls even higher. Joe Biden, currently sits at an average of
29.8% support, and has lead the democratic field in all major polls except a recent one
by Emerson, in which he was tied with Bernie Sanders. Still, he is by no means a shoe-in for the
nomination. The popular former vice president has faced
backlash for relatively recent kind words about Mike Pence, and for much older comments,
in which he took credit for drafting the Patriot Act. Then, there’s Anita Hill, and I have not even
touched the issues I went into detail about in my 5 problems for Joe Biden video. Overall, Biden’s congressional voting record
puts him squarely in the middle of the democratic party of the time, stretching all the way
from 1973 to 2009. Despite this, Biden has proclaimed, while
accidentally all but declaring his candidacy… Biden has a well-documented history of gaffes,
and has two failed runs for the democratic nomination under his belt. More missteps seem to be continuing, even
before he’s made a formal, intentional announcement. After his allies floated the idea of him running
with Stacey Abrams as an out-of-the-gate VP choice, she said she would not run for second
place, which seems to indicate that she wasn’t asked about the idea before his team began
pushing it in the press. Still, I wouldn’t count Joe Biden out. After declaring his candidacy and announcing
a large first-day fundraising haul, Beto O’Rourke surged in the polls. Biden is, himself, reportedly thinking seriously
about his first day haul, and if he manages to out raise Bernie and Beto, he too, may
experience a bump in support. Already at the top of the field, his path
to victory only requires him to maintain his current level of support and pick up the voters
of other establishment candidates, as they exit the race. Aside from Biden, and Stacey Abrams, several
other prominent democrats have publicly expressed interest in a primary run, including US Senator
Michael Bennet, Governor Steve Bullock, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Former Governor Terry McAuliffe,
and US Representatives, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Eric Swalwell. While none of these individuals have yet to
decline to run, the window to declare is closing. The first debates will take place in June,
and to make the cut, prospective candidates must either gather 65,000 donors or attain
at least 1% in at least three major polls. The total number of debate participants is
capped at 20, with priority given to candidates who meet both thresholds. With so many candidates already declared,
the undeclared candidates need to get in soon or throw in the towel, as voters turn their
attention to candidates who meet another threshold: Who’s actually running? Thanks to the Patrons.

Two Republicans, Nine Thousand Democrats Running for President



HOUSE AND DO IT? >> NO. >> Jimmy: KEEP BURNING MAN IN YOUR PRAYERS. TURNS OUT THERE'S ONE REPUBLICAN WILLING TO CHALLENGE DONALD TRUMP IN 2020, THAT IS THE FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS, BILL WELD, WHO YESTERDAY ANNOUNCED IS HE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AS A REPUBLICAN. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] HE SAID IT'S TIME TO RETURN TO THE PRINCIPLES OF LINCOLN, DIGNITY AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL. HAS HE BEEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY FOR A FEW YEARS? THAT'S NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN. BILL WELD WAS A WELL-RESPECTED GOVERNOR, HAS A STRONG LEGAL BACKGROUND. UNFORTUNATELY, NEVER HOSTED A REALITY SHOW, NEVER BANK RRUPTEA CASINO, NEVER GOT HIS HEAD STUCK IN A BUCKET OF FRIED CHICKEN DURING SEX. AND IF YOU DON'T REMEMBER GARY JOHNSON, THIS IS GARY JOHNSON. >> I WAS GOING TO GO THROUGH THE WHOLE DEBATE AND NOT SAY ANYTHING. >> Jimmy: OH, GEEZ, I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY BROKE UP. HE WAS VERY PRESIDENTIAL. NOW WE HAVE TWO REPUBLICANS, INCLUDING TRUMP AND 9,000 DEMOCRATS IN THE RACE. SO FAR, THE DEMOCRATS ARE OFF TO A SLOW START MONEY WISE. SINCE THE FIRST OF THE YEAR, ALL THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES COMBINED HAVE ONLY RAISED $75 MILLION. DONALD TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN ALONE DURING THAT TIME RAISED MORE THAN $30 MILLION. BERNIE SANDERS HAS RAISED THE MOST MONEY SO FAR, $18.2 MILLION. ZERO OF WHICH HAS BEEN SPENT ON PERSONAL GROOMING. THAT'S ALL, BUT NOW WE HAVE A NEW NAME IN THE MIX, A BUSINESSMAN NAMED ANDREW YANG. DO YOU KNOW ANDREW YANG? I'VE NOT HEARD OF ANDREW YANG, BUT AFTER SEEING THIS VIDEO FROM HIS RALLY IN D.C., I'M INTRIGUED. >> I WANT TO PREPARE US FOR THE TRUE CHALLENGES OF THE 21st CENTURY, AND I'M THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB. BECAUSE THE OPPOSITE OF DONALD TRUMP IS AN ASIAN MAN WHO LIKES MATH! THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. THANK YOU, WASHINGTON, D.C. I LOVE YOU ALL. [ APPLAUSE ] CHANT MY NAME, CHANT MY NAME. >> Jimmy: IS THAT A REAL CANDIDATE OR SOMEBODY'S STONER NEPHEW IS RUNNING FOR PROM KING? MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T HAVE PRESIDENTS. MAYBE WE DON'T DESERVE THEM ANYMORE. BERNIE SANDERS YESTERDAY RELEASED HIS TAXES. HE RELEASED TEN YEARS WORTH OF INCOME TAX RETURNS WHICH IS GREAT, NOW HOW ABOUT THE OTHER 200 YEARS? THERE ARE A LOT OF INTERESTING THINGS IN BERNIE'S TAX RETURNS. FOR INSTANCE, I THOUGHT THIS WAS FASCINATING. HE ATE SO MUCH OATMEAL LAST YEAR HE CLAIMED THE QUAKER OATS MAN AS A DEPENDENT. I NEED FIBER! AND HE VENTURED INTO UNFRIENDLY TERRITORY, HE WAS PART OF A TOWN HALL HOSTED BY BRETT BAIER ON FOX NEWS. AND IT DID NOT PLEASE DONALD TRUMP. HE SAID NOT SURPRISINGLY, BRETT BAIER AND THE AUDIENCE WAS SO SMILEY AND NICE. NOW WE HAVE DONNA BRAZILE. VLADIMIR PUTIN AND KIM JONG UN ARE HOLDING A SUMMIT IN RUSSIA NEXT WEEK. ALL OF TRUMP'S BFFs ARE HANGING OUT WITHOUT HIM. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST MEETING BETWEEN PUTIN AND KIM JONG UN. HE REALIZES IF HE WANTS TO MAKE A DEAL WITH AMERICA HE HAS TO GO TO THE TOP. THIS WAS OBVIOUSLY A SHOCK TO THE PRESIDENT TO BE LEFT OUT OF A SUMMIT.