Former Gov. Bill Weld to challenge Trump for 2020 GOP nomination

Former Gov. Bill Weld to challenge Trump for 2020 GOP nomination

The former MA governor and perennial political candidate announced Monday he's going to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, becoming the first and likely the only Republican to do so.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (R), and his running mate Bill Weld (L), talk to the press before a rally on August 6, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Weld said Monday in announcing his candidacy that "it is time to return to the principles of Lincoln - equality, dignity and opportunity for all".

Ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who was bested by Mr Trump during the 2016 election, has recently been calling for a Republican to oust the president next year.

Any effort to challenge the president's nomination is bound to go absolutely nowhere...' "I've been a Republican, unlike Mr. Trump, since I was 18 years old", he added. In February, the Weld was returned to the Republicans.

Trump's campaign raised more than $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, it said on Sunday, far outpacing the sums raised by individual Democratic candidates during that period.

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He endorsed Democrat Barack Obama over Republican nominee John McCain in 2008, though he later said that had been a mistake.

Weld said despite President Trump's popularity within the party - Trump has an 89 percent approval rating, according to the latest Gallup poll - he felt a duty to try to unseat him.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

But he faces an uphill battle to take over a Republican party that has been refashioned in Mr Trump's image. Helms dug in his heels and refused to schedule a hearing on the nomination, claiming among other things that Weld's support for medical marijuana and needle exchange programs for drug users disqualified him from serving in Mexico because of that country's history of drug trafficking.

Weld, 73, who served two terms as governor, from 1991-1997, enters as a long-shot candidate against an incumbent president who has remained popular within his party.

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