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Bill Weld runs for president as moderate alternative to Donald Trump

By
Danielle Haynes
Though running as a Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld holds more liberal views on LGBTQ issues and abortion. File Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Though running as a Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld holds more liberal views on LGBTQ issues and abortion. File Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr

April 16 (UPI) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is the lone candidate so far challenging President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, aiming to provide a stable alternative.

He made his bid official April 15. 

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"[O]ur president is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office -- which include the specific duty to take care that laws be faithfully executed -- in a competent and professional matter," Weld said in February. "It upsets me that our energies as a society are being sapped by the president's culture of divisiveness."

Background

Weld began his career as a clerk at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court before becoming a lawyer. President Ronald Reagan appointed him U.S. attorney for Massachusetts in 1981. In 1986, he became assistant U.S. attorney general in the Department of Justice's criminal division for one year.

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Massachusetts voters elected Weld governor in 1990 and 1994. He returned to a private firm in 1997.

Weld has also lost some elections. He unsuccessfully ran for Massachusetts attorney general in 1978, the U.S. Senate in 1996 and the vice presidency -- as Gary Johnson's running mate -- in 2016.

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Weld, 73, has been married twice, sharing five children with his first wife -- David, Ethel, Mary, Quentin and Frances. He's been married to Leslie Marshall since 2003.

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On the issues

Despite running as a Republican, Weld has a history of supporting more liberal policies on social issues. He supports abortion rights, same-sex marriage and rolling back federal restrictions on marijuana.

He also supports the United States rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change.

On the economy, he favors restricting government spending and cutting taxes. He's also said Trump's increasing tariffs will damage the world economy.

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Weld sought more Medicaid funding as governor of Massachusetts and relaxed the state's requirements to receive the aid.

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