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Trump challenger Bill Weld: 'If I win the New Hampshire primary, all bets are off'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldRalph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads Biden picks up endorsements from nearly 100 Republicans MORE (R) defended his chances of unseating President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE for the 2020 Republican nomination, saying he is betting hard on winning New Hampshire.

“If I win the New Hampshire primary, all bets are off,” Weld told Hill.TV at a political convention last month. 

“That would ordinarily be fatal for a sitting president,” he continued.

Weld added that he’s confident that he can also reach other voters across the country, particularly those in the Midwest that have been affected by Trump’s ongoing trade war with China. Reuters reported Monday that U.S. and Chinese officials are currently in the midst of “phase one” of a trade deal that could continue on into next year.

“I think I can persuade people — certainly the farmers in the Midwest,” he said. “The president’s tariff policies has been bad for them and they know that now.”

Trump is seen as virtually unlikely to lose the GOP nomination. According to the FiveThirtyEight 2020 tracker, Weld is polling at 5 percent in New Hampshire compared to Trump’s 86 percent. A recent Ipsos poll, meanwhile, found him polling at 1 percent nationally among Republican voters.

Weld’s comments come just weeks after his campaign filed for the New Hampshire presidential primary.

Weld has been a vocal critic of Trump since launching his White House bid in April.

The former Massachusetts governor told Hill.TV that like many Republicans, he initially supported Trump’s 2016 campaign, but said that both he and the party at the time “didn’t quite know what we were getting with Mr. Trump.”

“What we didn’t know is that he is very uncomfortable in his own skin because he projected with all of his reality TV preparation and image of certitude, which he doesn’t have at all,” he told Hill.TV, citing Trump’s approach to foreign policy as just one example.

—Tess Bonn