Vermont GOP governor says open to supporting Trump's 2020 challenger

Vermont GOP governor says open to supporting Trump's 2020 challenger
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Vermont’s Republican governor Phil Scott suggested he could support former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldPhysician: Biden 'more than capable' of handling the rigors of campaign, White House Board member resigns from Republican LGBT group over Trump endorsement Trump challenger: 'All bets are off' if I win New Hampshire primary MORE in the Republican presidential primary, but stopped short of an official endorsement. 

“Oh sure, yeah,” Scott said during his weekly press conference Thursday when asked if he would prefer Weld over Trump.

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Scott said he was not ready to issue an endorsement because other Republicans, such as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and current Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), are considering presidential runs of their own. However, he singled out Weld for praise.

“I don’t know who else is going to put their name out there. I’ve heard some other names floating around, so I’m not ready to get behind anybody at this point,” Scott told reporters.

“I thought he was interesting, very articulate, very forthright. Didn’t agree with everything that he said, but there were a lot of things I agreed with him on. He’s an interesting guy,” he added of Weld. 

Scott emerged as a vocal critic of Trump during the 2016 presidential election and said he would not vote for him. 

Baker and Hogan are the nation’s first and second most-popular governors, respectively, according to a Morning Consult poll released last month. Scott came in fifth in the survey.

Baker and Hogan have both been floated as possible presidential opponents to Trump, though the Maryland Republican has been firmer in indicating he may run, detailing possible strategies in interviews and traveling to crucial early primary states like New Hampshire. He said in April that he had talked to Baker a “little bit” about the 2020 race. 

Weld, the only Republican to officially enter the race, has met with Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) early in his primary race, though has so far refrained from directly asking for endorsements, according to Politico.

“Phil Scott has been a real insistent voice on Trump and has taken a lot of heat for it in his own party,” Weld adviser Stuart Stevens told Politico in reference to Scott’s comments.

“I don’t think he’s doing a lot of direct asks right now. That would be unusual,” he added regarding Weld. “I think he’ll wait until the field stabilizes.”