Trump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid

Trump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid
© Greg Nash

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldWeld says Trump wants reporters to 'roam free' in Iran, but not US Trump primary challengers left off Wisconsin ballot Bannon: 'We need the Republican establishment on board' to reelect Trump MORE (R) said he will not run as an independent next year if he loses his long-shot primary challenge against President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE.

“No, I would not run as an independent,” Weld said in an interview Thursday at The Hill’s offices in Washington. “Depending on who the Democratic nominee was, I could either support the Democrat or conceivably the libertarian.”

Weld wouldn’t say which candidate in the vast Democratic field he would consider backing, but added that he’s known former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine MORE for years.

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He also said Biden has the best chance of winning over independent and anti-Trump Republican voters. But that doesn’t mean Biden is the only Democrat he would consider backing.

“The only thing I’ve said is an absolute: In no circumstances would I ever support Donald Trump for any office ever. I think he’s kind of way out there,” Weld said.

The 74-year-old candidate said he’s prepared to end his campaign if he has a "poor performance" in New Hampshire or on Super Tuesday the following month.

He did not specify what would constitute a lackluster showing other than saying, “If I’m at 1 percent in New Hampshire, sure [I'll drop out]. But I’m not going to be at 1 percent."

Weld said he plans to have TV ads up in New Hampshire at the end of the month, and that he would need a strong showing in the state's Feb. 11 primary to keep funding his campaign in Super Tuesday states, including the expensive California market, through March 3.

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Weld predicted he will “seriously out perform” in New Hampshire, drawing perhaps as much as 30 percent of the GOP vote.

A showing at that level, he argued, could give Trump “a real shove” toward a decision to end his reelection campaign.

Weld is joined by former Rep. Joe WalshJoe WalshWalsh plans protest at RNC headquarters over 'nakedly anti-Democratic' primary cancellations Pelosi announced as lead guest on season premiere of 'Real Time with Bill Maher' Rep. Collins says Democrats are 'in love with terrorists,' 'mourn Soleimani' MORE (R-Ill.) in his bid to win the GOP nomination. Former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (R-S.C.) dropped out of the Republican primary race in November.