GOP governor endorses Weld in Vermont primary

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) has endorsed GOP presidential candidate William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldTrump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries Trump sweeps through mini-Super Tuesday primaries Trump glides to victory in Super Tuesday GOP primaries MORE ahead of the state's GOP primary next month, a move intended as a rebuke of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' MORE.

“I’ve met with him before. I think a lot of him and his platform, so I would be supporting him,” Scott said of Weld, a long-shot Republican presidential candidate, at a press conference Saturday.

The endorsement comes less than three weeks before the March 3 primary in Vermont, where 16 pledged delegates will be at stake.

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Scott, a vocal moderate who has expressed concerns with Trump’s rhetoric and conduct in office, signaled last year that he could endorse someone other than Trump.

The Vermont governor said in May he would consider backing Weld in the 2020 race but declined to pull the trigger at the time since other Republicans were still mulling presidential bids.

“I’m a great admirer of @GovPhilScott of Vermont, and am delighted to have his endorsement in the Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday. VT has been well served in the past by Republican governors, and Gov. Scott admirably extends that tradition,” Weld tweeted after Scott’s endorsement. 

Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, has so far been trounced in both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in his bid against Trump.

Yet Weld, who ran on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, is insistent he will continue his campaign regardless of the high chances of failure.

“Unless the roof falls on my head, I’ll keep going as long as I can,” Weld said in an interview with The Hill last month before any votes were cast.