BOSTON — Vice presidential candidate Bill Weld, who is running as a Libertarian rather than under his more familiar GOP flag, said Monday, Aug. 8, that Gov. Charlie Baker is right to stay out of national politics and brushed off criticisms from the state’s top election official who recently said a vote for a third-party candidate would be a “waste.”
As Weld sees the state of the presidential contest, the Libertarian ticket topped by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is no longer just a long-shot bid more likely to play the role of spoiler on Election Day.
Still, Baker has said that despite his dislike of the two major party nominees, he can’t support Weld, the former Massachusetts governor and Baker mentor, because of the Libertarian Party’s platform, including support for legalizing drugs.
Weld said he’s not trying to win over the governor.
“I’m not pitching Charlie because I think he’s very smart to stay out to the national campaign. As soon as he sticks a finger in it, everyone’s going to come to him every morning and say, ‘Well, you’re a gladiator in this contest now what do you think about this sub-issue?’ And he wouldn’t have time to govern here. I think he’s doing just the right thing,” Weld said.
Baker continued to stress that he will be focused on helping down-ballot Republican candidates for state offices in November. Interestingly, Weld said, “I voted for some Libertarian state reps back when I was governor and before.”
“We all know that Bill Weld is nothing if not an unpredictable and iconoclastic guy, and having had a chance to hear a little bit of the back and forth that’s gone on since he got into the race he sounds as articulate and as genuine as ever,” Baker said of his former boss.
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