An article last Thursday by Frank Phillips for Boston Globe said that former Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts was somehow betraying his Libertarian Party affiliation by appearing at an October 3 event with other prominent Massachusetts Republicans, including incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker, whom Weld has endorsed for re-election, and fellow former Gov. Mitt Romney.
Here’s what’s wrong with that article:
Governor Weld’s friendship and support for Baker has never been a secret. After all, Baker served in two different cabinet positions during Weld’s own governorship.
Weld noted that he would continue to support Baker, and other individual candidates as he saw fit regardless of party affiliation, to Libertarians at the 2016 convention in Orlando.
Weld supported a Republican Senate candidate in 2016 too
In the 2016 US Senate race, the Alaskan State Libertarian Party’s ballot line had been hijacked by a pro-Trump candidate named Joe Miller. Weld instead endorsed incumbent Sen. Murkwoski, and didn’t hesitate to denounce the ostensible Libertarian Party candidate who was instead campaigning for Donald Trump.
There’s nothing surprising or transgressive of any commitment here. As with Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians can endorse candidates in other parties when it suits them.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon for Libertarians to support some like-minded candidates who are running as Republicans or Democrats. Libertarians have even been delegates to state GOP or Democratic conventions.
Bill Weld has been consistently supporting Libertarian candidates and causes
Additionally, the Globe article implies that Gov. Weld compounded this by not attending his home state’s Libertarian Party convention. Rather, the question should be: Why didn’t the Massachusetts party reach out to the former governor to secure his availability on the date selected?
By the time the Massachusetts Libertarian convention was announced, Gov. Weld already had made other commitments, he explained. It was a simple scheduling conflict, not a slight against Libertarians.
Since the 2016 election, Weld has helped to secure support and fundraising for several Libertarian candidates and causes. He was recently named as an honorary board member for the liberty-leaning Our America Initiative.
He’s also spoken at libertarian events, including an upcoming major speech at the regional conference of Students for Liberty in New York City on November 4th.
I think in 8 to 12 years the Libertarian Party could become the number-one party in the United States, and I intend to participate in that.
Just because he still has some friends who are Republicans, doesn’t mean the 2016 Libertarian candidate for vice president is not a Libertarian.
(Photo of former Governor William Weld of Massachusetts speaking at the 2016 FreedomFest at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada by Gage Skidmore)