Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has officially endorsed former Massachusetts Bill Weld for President in 2020. The duo of Republican governors ran as the Libertarian Party presidential ticket in 2016.
Weld, who has endorsed both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for president in separate presidential cycles, is the only other man on the ballot than President Trump in the GOP presidential primary this year. The other competitor, former tea party Congressman Joe Walsh, dropped out this week due to lack of interest.
“With Bill Weld, voters have a great opportunity to cast a vote in the Republican primaries for a candidate who is a true fiscal conservative and a proven champion for individual rights and inclusiveness. He is my friend, he has the experience and integrity to lead this nation, and I am proud to endorse him,” Johnson announced in a Facebook post on Friday night.
Weld accompanied Johnson during a national press junket for the Libertarians in 2016 that was often farcical with Johnson’s lack of knowledge and odd behavior making most of their headlines. At times, Weld appeared to be embarrassed by his running mate on the campaign trail.
“Bill Weld is in this for the long haul. Beyond my wildest dreams, Bill Weld is my running mate,” Johnson said in Sept. 2016 as the wheels were falling off of his campaign. “No, no chance Bill Weld drops out. We’re in this for the long haul.”
However, Weld actually did flip right before the 2016 presidential election. He came out with an endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign and essentially stabbed Johnson and all the libertarians who believed in him in the back.
“I’m here vouching for Mrs. Clinton,” Weld said during an appearance on MSNBC in Nov. 2016. “I think she deserves to have people vouch for her other than members of the Democratic National Committee.”
“I have known her for 40 years. I’ve worked with her. I know her well professionally. I know her well personally. I know her to be a person of high moral character, a reliable person, and an honest person,” Weld continued.
Johnson took a great deal of heat when he claimed that Weld was the “original libertarian” during presidential debates in 2016:
“I’m a libertarian for life,” Weld stated in 2016, assuring Libertarian Party members that he wouldn’t stab them in the back after being made their vice presidential candidate. Of course, he would go on to do just that as soon as it suited him.
Unfortunately for Johnson, it does not look like his endorsement will be able to salvage the fledgling Weld campaign. He received just 1.3 percent of the vote during the Republican contest in the Iowa caucus, as opposed to President Trump’s 97.1 percent of the vote.