Election 2016

(No) Surprise! Bill Weld Endorses…Gary Johnson for President!

Forget Hillary, says Weld. Former New Mexico governor has "experience," "character" for the job.

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Reason

Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Bill Weld took an enormous amount of crap from Libertarians after he appeared on MSNBC last week to "vouch" for "Mrs. Clinton."

"Well, I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton, and I think it's high time somebody did. I'm doing it based on my personal experience with her, and I think that she deserves to have people vouch for her other than members of the Democratic National Committee."

Go here for video of Weld's appearance.

The anger and annoyance at Weld were understandable. WTF, really?

But it was also a misinterpretation of what Weld was talking about. He was effectively saying that Clinton, whom he's known for decades, is not a monster or as corrupt as many of her detractors believe. She was, Weld said, "a reliable and an honest person." (Yes, yes, I know: WTF, really!)

There's plenty of room to question why the LP VP candidate would feel a need to do say anything positive about one of his opponents, especially in the waning days of an election. But Weld's commentary fell far short of anything approaching an endorsement for Clinton.

Indeed, the former two-term governor of Massaschussets has written an op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader that leaves no question that he's all in with Gary Johnson.

Snippets:

As the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, the state next door, I can testify firmly that neither Trump nor Clinton would help our nation progress in the direction that it needs to go….

But here's what honest Gary Johnson and I have to offer the nation, and the "Live Free or Die" state of New Hampshire, that neither Trump nor Clinton has to offer: Executive experience and a commitment to limited and constitutional government.

We believe in term limits for all federal officials, legislative as well as executive….

the Johnson/Weld ticket is the only one that stands firmly behind free trade, behind increasing immigration, behind cutting federal spending, and behind decentralizing political power. Our ticket is the alternative that Americans are craving.

Over the years, I've had grave concerns about the direction that some social conservatives have attempted to take the Republican Party. I've also felt the Democratic Party has failed to adapt to the reality that free markets, and not government spending, is the driving force for our economy….

Despite the side-show distractions in this campaign, the issues voters care about are jobs and the economy. On this, the differences couldn't be starker between the Johnson/Weld ticket, and what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are proposing.

We have pledged to submit a balanced budget to Congress within 100 days of taking office. Our records prove we will support tax and regulatory reforms that will put Americans back to work….

Here's the question that Americans need to ask themselves: If you needed someone to take care of your household while you went on a vacation, to whom would you trust that responsibility: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson and myself?

Read the whole thing, which includes plenty of barbs tossed in Clinton's direction, including this:

Nor does Hillary Clinton present an opportunity for preserving Constitutional government by limiting its involvement in the economy, in our personal lives, and keeping our military out of countries where our involvement does more harm than good.

And read this other Union Leader piece, from its publisher Josephy W. McQuaid. He responds to his paper's readers, many of whom say the publication should change its endorsement from Gary Johnson to Donald Trump. McQuaid's whole column is worth reading, but here's his conclusion, in which he quotes a retired editor of the paper:

I hope the newspaper stands firm. Perhaps Trump is better than Hillary Clinton. That doesn't matter. Both are unfit to hold office….

This 2016 election is a disaster no matter who wins the presidency. If America is to do better in 2020, the fight starts now. A vote for Johnson is not merely a protest against two unworthy candidates, it's a statement of opposition to the corrupt and failed two-party system that nominated them.

Back in July, Reason interviewed Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, whom I pushed to say something bad about Clinton. Take a look and read the transcript here.

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  1. “But Weld’s commentary fell far short of anything approaching an endorsement for Clinton.”

    Oh, that’s nice, but he shouldn’t have been “vouching” for her in the first place. Nor should he be saying that Trump is a much bigger danger to the Republic than Clinton.

    Now he’s Janus-faced, telling Hillary supporters in effect that he’s With Her, then assuring Libertarians that she means nothing to him, really.

    If Hillary wins he’ll subtly remind her how he gave her key last-minute support. (And that he understands the ambassadorship to Monaco is vacant).

    If Trump wins he’ll cite this editorial as “proof” that he never supported Hillary.

    1. Bring out the vouch!
      Rock the vouch!
      Motor-voucher.
      I vouched!
      My vouch counts!

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      3. Vouch fraud!

    2. Is there a difference between vouching for and endorsing?

      1. true americans dont need a dictionary to tell us what words mean

    3. “But Weld’s commentary fell far short of anything approaching an endorsement for Clinton.”
      Yeah, there are only two possible presidents come Jan. 1st (barring the untimely death of either republicrat). To “vouch” for one while demonizing the other is at the very east a small e endorsement. An individual inclined to vote D but considering voting L in protest, has been given permission to instead vote for the lesser of evils, Clinton. An individual inclined to vote R but unimpressed with the candidate, and considering Johnson, will correctly assume that Ls are just a generic brand of Ds and will vote for the lesser evil of three, Trump. If the Libertarian party ever had a shot at 5% and some level of national recognition, it’s hard to imagine a better sabotage strategy than Weld’s.
      I’ve never joined the Libertarian party because every time I’ve seen a candidate run or on rare occasion get elected, they inevitably reveal themselves to be incapable of negotiating even the most basic levels of politics or governance. But I’ve checked the L box at every election for over 30 years on the off chance that they might finally get their shit together. I mailed my ballot yesterday and did it again but I’m done. Fuck you Gary. Fuck you Weld. Fuck you Libertarians. I’m too old to give a shit anymore.

  2. WTF?

    You have to ask? It’s pretty simple and quite obvious. Bill Weld has a future as a well-compensated lobbyist during a future Clinton Administration. He may even get that ambassadorship for the services rendered toward Hillary’s success. Bill Weld hates Donald Trump and the coalition of conservatives that he has assembled much, much more than he wants to advance the ideas of libertarianism. And, he has no prospect to become VP.

    1. Johnson/Weld went all in on courting the lefty/libertarian vote, essentially giving the middle finger to conservative/libertarians.

      Free pot is the only real thing they could sell to the lefties, every other thing the left wants is anathema to liberty.

      1. I think their strategy was to bring in the disenfranchised Bernie voters.

        1. ….which never made any sense, especially with much greater disaffection on the Republican side. Bernie supporters were never going to vote for a libertarian.

          Something tells me that Johnson and Weld don’t really like Republicans any more.

          1. You may not want to admit it, but Johnson was pretty fucking popular among the Bernie Bros once Clinton tanked the Sanders campaign.

            In fact, you can trace support from Ron Paul to Bernie Sanders to Gary Johnson going back for years. A lot of the appeal of Ron Paul had nothing to do with libertarianism and some effectively communist people supported him because FEELZ.

            And THAT is your libertarian moment.

            1. Where are the BernieBros and BernieBabes now? I guess GayJay didn’t get the Free Shit message that Shrill-Bot adopted rather quickly. Anti War/First World Feelz is not nearly as lucrative as Debt Free College and Public Option Medical Care, and Bernie got on board with Herself (presumably to increase his Senate brand, in addition to enjoying breathing and walking unimpeded by injury or death).

              THAT is your “Libertarian Moment”

  3. Unfortunately for you, the majority of Americans are not in favor of free trade nor increasing immigration.

    1. ‘Trade should be legalized but taxed and regulated.’
      You’re right. Most people just freaking defer.

  4. To Gillespie’s credit, he did try to push Weld to voice a criticism of Clinton. But the following is as harsh a criticism as Weld would make:

    That she would like to raise the amount of social spending, raise the amount of government spending called “investment” on the Democratic side of the aisle, and I think that would be bad for the economy.

    Otherwise, she’s just an old friend with whom Bill Weld shares a lifetime bond.

    1. The only charitable way I can parse all of this is that he is a terrible judge of people.

      1. He didn’t want his airport bathroom trysts exposed. It’s really pretty simple.

  5. Gee… a politician that runs on the issues, doesn’t invoke personal attacks, and recognizes the basic moral dignity of their opponents. Boring… too Bernie Sanders for me. TRUMP is more nauseating and fun. Kind of like a night of hard drinking.

    1. I particularly like the way Weld recognizes Trump’s moral dignity as a Nazi.

    2. “recognizes the basic moral dignity”

      If you are including Hillary Clinton in that statement I can only figure you for a hard night of drinking that didn’t end with the sunrise.

      Perhaps you can enlighten the thread with some examples of Mrs. We came, We saw, He died, Clinton displaying
      her basic moral dignity.

      Both her public position and private position displays of moral dignity are welcome.

    3. You’re not too bright, are you. Reread your post.

  6. “If you needed someone to take care of your household while you went on a vacation, to whom would you trust that responsibility: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson and myself?”

    None of the above

    1. I don’t know, Trump might upgrade some of my lower middle class possessions.

    2. Let’s say I did come home from vacation.

      If it were Trump, he’d have five fingers in your calico.
      If it were Hillary, you’d find your calico beaten to a pulp after being force fed bleach.
      If it were Weld, you’d have two pussies in your house.

    3. Given the choices, I’d just lock the door and hope for the best.

  7. THREE MONTHS LEFT TO GO AND OBAMA HASN’T CONFISCATED ANY GUNS YET. EPIC FAIL.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016…..dency.html

    1. “The safecracker hasn’t figured out the combination yet, he’s obviously a harmless fellow who means no ill.”

    2. “THREE MONTHS LEFT TO GO AND OBAMA HASN’T CONFISCATED ANY GUNS YET. EPIC FAIL”

      Strawmen are better in lower case, asswipe.

    3. Is Guantanamo still open?

      Oh, and fuck off Tulpa.

    4. “and the enduring belief that Hillary Clinton, despite her insistence that she is not anti-gun, ”

      Well it is important to ask since she admits to having both a private position on issues as well as a public one.

      Does her private position differ from her public position on this issue ?

    5. Not for lack of trying.

    6. Nick heartily agrees with every one of your political positions.

  8. “…But Weld’s commentary fell far short of anything approaching an endorsement for Clinton…”

    That’s one person’s take on the issue; I’ve certainly heard other not nearly so kind to Weld.
    Aside from which, what does that say about his cognitive abilities? Calling her ‘reliable and honest’ tells me Weld hasn’t read a single thing about the woman.

    1. He claimed at Stossels town hall that they were lifelong friends

      1. Wasn’t that Harrison Ford’s suggested response for the president when questioned about his drug trafficking friend in Clear and Present Danger?

  9. I thought running as VP for someone meant your endorsement was *assumed*

    If you actually have to say it, something is already very wrong. Besides, who wants it?

  10. I observe that you stepped in the exact same pile of dog shit I did, Gillespie. Nobody likes nuance. Even libertarians who should know better.

    Weld’s got a welder’s mask on when it comes to his friend. Completely, willfully blind to her criminality. Hillary’s not the kind of person I even think has friends – there are people she can use and people she cannot – so it’s kind of pathetic that he’d throw himself under the bus for someone who probably doesn’t consider even him a friend in return.

    I don’t believe that he’s betrayed anyone, Johnson or libertarians in general. He’s an old guy with an old-fashioned sense of honor. Politics doesn’t really have anyone like that anymore because it’s not politically expedient behavior, so lots of people just don’t recognize the species.

    Has it done damage to us? Maybe, maybe not. The same voices here on Reason who have been critical of Johnson/Weld all along are, unsurprisingly, still critical. Maddow’s viewership wasn’t going to change how they voted regardless of what he said or how the audience interpreted it.

    1. Even if we accept such a “nuanced” take, the only difference is that he’s not a traitor, just a deluded idiot who can’t see obvious criminality in those around him. Either way, not someone you’d want within 100 miles of power.

      1. just a deluded idiot who can’t see obvious criminality in those around him

        That’s fair.

        Either way, not someone you’d want within 100 miles of power.

        Not quite so much. You never really know people well enough to be able to say that naivet? about people alone is enough to keep them away from the reins of power.

        What do you expect? Someone who is unassailably strong and always picks the friends who won’t damage their own reputations? Do you want someone who flatters, sugar coats, lies or avoids broaching subjects that will damage them? Vote for Hillary then, because that’s the kind of politician you get when all your wishes are granted.

        People claim they want honest politicians the same way they claim they want honest friends. Nobody really wants people to be honest when they’re wrong (Weld) or exposing ignorance (What’s Aleppo?) or tell them truths they don’t want to hear (nobody likes libertarians telling them the unintended consequences of the drug war, etc.).

        What speaks volumes to me is what Johnson and Weld actually did in their time in office, not gaffes the press tears into, not who has archaic honor and bad friends. Even ignoring her personality problems, Hillary’s got so many problems with policy that no sane person should vote for her. Trump’s proposed policy is stupid. At least the LP ticket has put up two people who have already done what they promise to do.

  11. Weld is in the running for a position in the Clinton administration according to the Globe.
    http://bit.ly/2eMa4Ji

    1. Clinton presidency may be opportunity for Mass. Democrats

      No surprise seeing Weld’s face under that headline

  12. No, Nick, I actually did find this surprising.

  13. I’m voting for Johnson/Weld not in protest but for experience, honesty and integrity. They’re the only candidates experienced in working across party lines to end the gridlock in DC. They support my views for military supremacy with a foreign policy that’s based on defense. They’ve outlined reforms to balance the $19 Trillion budget deficit and eliminate wasteful spending, tax reforms to encourage business and trade, and protect our civil liberties. Johnson/Weld are far and away the most qualified!

    Trump whines about his disadvantages as a major party nominee, really?!? Trump’s foreign policy consists of nurturing his man crush for Putin, building walls, and nuclear weapons. He’s a con who ran his business to bankruptcy 4 yet rebuilding on the backs of his vendors he defaulted. He has serious conflicts of interest with foreign properties. His T University was a scam as is T Foundation and his personal use of donor’s funds. Trump isn’t human, he’s a brand and voters shouldn’t be so naive as to think that he cares about anyone but himself!

    Clinton is flawed on multiple levels too! She’s all about bigger government and war! She talks the talk but lacks the common sense to realize that the infighting in the Middle East has gone on since the 7th century! Our operations continue to destabilize the world her dogged determination puts our security in danger, impacts our economy and most importantly, takes innocent lives!

    1. Note that most of your post is ripping on Trump and Clinton, not praising J/W (who actually have very little experience working across party lines). Playing Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich only works when you are one of the top two with a chance to win.

  14. But Weld’s commentary fell far short of anything approaching an endorsement for Clinton.

    As a wise man once said, “WTF, really?”

    There may be a shade of meaning separating “vouching for” and “endorsing”, but it’s not much. At the very least Weld came extremely close to endorsing her.

    1. It is the same game that Nick plays. He claims to be a Libertarian but in reality only attempt to promote Leftism. There were literally hundreds of articles run here about expanding government to recognize personal relationships. Nick doesn’t have one millionth of the Libertarian that Harry Browne was. Mostly because he is really a Leftard posing as a libertarian, nothing less. Who hired and employed Weigal all those years?

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  16. “But it was also a misinterpretation of what Weld was talking about. He was effectively saying that Clinton, whom he’s known for decades, is not a monster or as corrupt as many of her detractors believe. She was, Weld said, “a reliable and an honest person.” (Yes, yes, I know: WTF, really!)”

    It wasn’t a misinterpritation. Johnson even called her a wonderful public servant. No amount of evidence changed Weld’s mind so far. So when you endorse shit, and hang around shit, it rubs off on you, and you start to smell like shit too. Johnson and especially Weld should have known that question would have popped up. Huckster, criminal, anti constitution and decietful should have been the first words from their mouths.

    1. I’d have been satisfied if these two clowns would have just stuck to a critique of Clinton’s statist politics and their consequences:

      1) She was the chief proponent of US policy in Libya, which has been a disaster.
      2) She has intentionally antagonized Russia, and turned US-Russia relations from a mere annoyance to a disaster.
      3) She has coddled and approved record arms sales Salafist Middle Eastern regimes which are the leading funders of Al Qaeda and ISIS, and made the disaster of Middle East even worse.
      4) She was a supporter of ObamaCare, which has been a disaster.
      5) She advocates various other expansions of the welfare state whose financial situation is already a disaster.
      etc., etc.

      The woman’s policy instincts always lead to more government, and more government leads to disaster.

      But other than that, she’s an old friend with whom Bill Weld shares a life long bond.

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  19. Nick, showing his true colors once again. Weld actually endorsed Clinton, which is who Nick also wants as President. He is so Libertarian, except when it comes to public policy, government regulation, taxes, etc, etc.

    The reason that Nick no longer wears the Jacket is because the Jacket rejected him as being nothing more than a Leftist in Libertarian clothing. Now the Libertarian clothing has rejected him, all that is left is the Leftard.

  20. So he goes on national TV and stumps for Clinton but hey don’t worry folks he said he likes Gary in the New Hampshire Union Leader which at least 20 people read so its all good!!

  21. Stop criticizing Bill Weld! How are Weld and Reason writers going to invited to the next cocktail party if they don’t shill for Clinton? Do you guys ever think about their cocktail party invitations or are you just concerned with silly ideas like ‘liberty’? Jeez, it’s not like ‘libertarian’ means anything anymore other than appeasing rich white liberals. Grow up- there are cocktail parties to attend.

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