Bill Weld: “Just so the record is clear everybody, I endorse Gary Johnson”

Matt Welch at reason.com:

Turns out that when the vice presidential nominee of a political party goes out of his way to vouch for the (extremely dubious) honesty of the presidential nominee of a competing party one week before Election Day, his own team doesn’t dig it so much. That’s what would-be Libertarian veep William Weld discovered yesterday at a rally in Memphis, when he was called out by his own warm-up speaker:

“Bill Weld!” 32-year-old former soldier Cole Ebel shouted toward the end of a fiery anti-war speech. “We do not endorse Hillary Clinton or her foreign policies!”

Astonishing as it may sound, less than 130 hours before the first polls open, Gary Johnson’s running mate felt compelled to say at his own rally, “Just so the record is clear everybody, I endorse Gary Johnson for president of the United States.”

During the audience Q&A, a guy named Chad Chaderson said, “I enthusiastically supported Governor Johnson back in 2012, but after watching you perpetually defend and support Hillary Clinton I just wanted to say you’re the reason why I’m not voting Libertarian this time, and I’m sick of it. So screw you. SCREW YOU!” You can watch the video here. (And now you can watch the whole rally here.)

According to The Commercial-Appeal‘s account, there were also shouts of “She’s a war criminal! Stop lying!” Weld responded “Well, Gary and I have said we do not agree with Secretary Clinton’s policies about Libya and Syria,” and reportedly changed the subject.

35 thoughts on “Bill Weld: “Just so the record is clear everybody, I endorse Gary Johnson”

  1. George Phillies

    LP Press Release: “Forty-two Libertarians running for federal office in 2016 have pledged to disentangle the United States from conflicts in the Middle East, cut unneeded military spending, close down foreign military bases, and bring American troops home to their families.

    The candidates aim to reduce military spending by 60 percent and to cut taxes by the amount saved so the proceeds go back to taxpayers — not to fund other government expenditures.”

    Acute readers may recall that the Presidential team is talking about a much smaller cut in War spending.

  2. Rob

    Chad Chaderson looks like a plant. When not screwing up the Trump campaign, he’s now screwing with the Libertarian Party.

  3. Andy

    Tom, I just listened to that part of The Jason Stapleton Show where he talks about how the Libertarian Party squandered a major opportunity by nominating Johnson/Weld. Stapleton also made the point that the best thing that could happen for the Libertarian Party and movement is for Johnson/Weld to fail miserably on election, because every vote they get will be used by Johnson/Weld supporters to justify how the campaign has been run, and to say that the Libertarian Party should nominate more candidates like them in the future, including the possibility of Johnson and/or Weld running again in 2020. Stapleton said that he already voted, and that he cast a write in vote for President (but he would not say who he wrote in).

    I totally agree with Jason Stapleton, and i have been making the same points myself.

    Kind of funny that Tom Knapp posted this audio from Jason Stapleton, but when Tom voted, instead of doing the sensible thing for the presidential portion of his ballot (as in casting a write in vote (which could have been writing in None Of The Above), or voting for another minor party or independent candidate, he made the BONEHEAD MOVE of voting for the very two CLOWNS that he has been so critical of over the last few months, in Johnson/Weld.

  4. Austin Cassidy

    Larry Sharpe chimes in:

    https://www.facebook.com/Sharpe4LPVP/posts/167619471271022

    “Many of you have asked me to react to Bill Weld. So here it is. No one spent more time, money and energy trying to stop Bill Weld from being our VP candidate prior to and at the convention than me (except maybe Will Coley). But I failed. The delegation spoke and he is our candidate. We knew who he was. If we were going to make a change, it should have been right away. We didn’t. He is our candidate. I have fully supported the ticket from the minute I was defeated. AND I STILL DO! Why? Because this is not about Bill Weld. This is about the thousands of people who have worked their asses off trying to move liberty forward and will continue to do so. Think of all the dedicated Libertarians trying to make change, who will be running for office in the coming years. We need to support them. I will vote for our candidates NOT because they are perfect, but because the more votes we get, the more impact we will have in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. We need more people to see us, even with our flaws, so they can look at us as a real alternative. It will be our job in the coming years to show them who we really are and what we really stand for. That will be a challenge, but I’d rather have confused recruits that I can educate, than no recruits at all. We can be mad at the LP if we want. But let’s realize that right now, the LP is the best vehicle for getting our nation on track. With all it’s imperfections and infighting, it is still the best vehicle we have AND it’s the ONLY vehicle moving away from bigger government and towards liberty. I know, not far enough, not fast enough, not “…” enough. You are right. But the other parties are moving us directly into oblivion. So, let’s just support our best options both up and down ticket. Vote Libertarian for our future. “

  5. langa

    Weld is a complete embarrassment. He’s the biggest disgrace in the history of the LP. Even Root never endorsed a duopoly candidate during his own fucking campaign.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    I did exactly the sensible thing with my ballot: Made my choice and voted the way I chose, seeing as how it was, um, MY ballot.

    And hey, you get to do exactly the same thing with yours.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    AJ, you might consider excommunicating anyone who voted for J/W in convention or in the popular vote.

  8. Tony From Long Island

    Langa: ” . . .. Weld is a complete embarrassment. He’s the biggest disgrace in the history of the LP. Even Root never endorsed a duopoly candidate during his own fucking campaign. . . . . ”

    Unless Gary Johnson all of a sudden is a “duopoly” candidate, I’m not sure who you are referring to. I haven’t heard him endorse Hillary. Seems he is the rare breed of candidate who actually answers a question posed to him with his own actual opinion, rather than a talking point . . .

    Deep down, do you honestly think Gary Johnson finds Trump and Hillary equally evil? He didn’t seem to think that back in April and May. Once some party members insist that he should all of a sudden he did. Sad.

    Wayne Allyn Root? Really? The complete Trump shill who was dishing out some of the cheesiest Hillary one liners yet created at a Trump rally in Nevada yesterday? That guy? The guy on the worst LP ticket in the party’s history? That guy?

  9. JamesT

    I’ve got that Stapleton video queued up to listen to. Weld plain in simple is why I’m picking Caslte even though I’ll vote down ticket LP. We all warned everybody in may. Man if it had been Sharpe he would have kept Gary in line. What a wasted opportunity this was.

  10. Be Rational

    Larry Sharpe chimes in:

    “… This is about the thousands of people who have worked their asses off trying to move liberty forward and will continue to do so. Think of all the dedicated Libertarians trying to make change, who will be running for office in the coming years. We need to support them. I will vote for our candidates NOT because they are perfect, but because the more votes we get, the more impact we will have in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. We need more people to see us, even with our flaws, so they can look at us as a real alternative. It will be our job in the coming years to show them who we really are and what we really stand for. That will be a challenge, but I’d rather have confused recruits that I can educate, than no recruits at all. We can be mad at the LP if we want. But let’s realize that right now, the LP is the best vehicle for getting our nation on track. With all it’s imperfections and infighting, it is still the best vehicle we have AND it’s the ONLY vehicle moving away from bigger government and towards liberty. I know, not far enough, not fast enough, not “…” enough. You are right. But the other parties are moving us directly into oblivion. So, let’s just support our best options both up and down ticket. Vote Libertarian for our future. ”

    Thank you Larry.

    Please help us by running for Governor of New York in 2018.

    The NY LP should start now. Organize an independent country group in every county. Start raising money. Run advertising in 2017 – yes, 2017 – on major network broadcast TV – promoting the LP in one or more targeted TV markets (not NYC and not Albany).

    Let’s get started. You need someone in the NY LP to begin managing this effort NOW.

    When you actually get started, let us know and post a phone number for your team leader.

  11. Anthony Dlugos

    “Weld plain in simple is why I’m picking Caslte even though I’ll vote down ticket LP. We all warned everybody in may. Man if it had been Sharpe he would have kept Gary in line. ”

    Comical, considering there’s a post in this thread where Sharpe himself gives a pragmatic argument for voting Johnson-Weld. Which only tells me that it’s inevitable that the Purists will eventually turn on Sharpe too.

    In any case, implicit in this statement is that votes, and thus vote tallies, are a proper metric for evaluating candidates.

    Similarly, Andy also implicitly makes the argument that vote tallies matter in his post of 18:19, suggesting an utterly pragmatic reason to vote AGAINST J-W.

    A true stance on principle would eschew voting altogether. Does a cosmologist concern himself with poll results on whether the earth is flat or not?

  12. JamesT

    Man the purist thing needs to stop. 1) not a purist 2) supported Johnson until he picked Weld. I’m all for reaching people half way. Bill Weld ain’t that. Like the CFR, Clinton supporter, Neo-con thing is a reasonable line in the sand. Wanting only an-caps you could call purists wanting somebody who isn’t 100% against us and our principles isn’t purism.

  13. Anthony Dlugos

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t calling you a Purist, as much as I was suggesting there IS a group of people in the party who supported/are supporting Sharpe as “not Weld” who will turn on him sooner or later. The pragmatic argument he makes in the post in this thread makes it a fait accompli.

  14. dL

    “not Weld”

    Well, Weld is a once in a generation type of candidate in the sense of going on cable/new satellite one week before the election to effectively endorse a ticket from the democratic party and credibly expect a political appointment in a quid pro quo exchange. Not many like him out there in the pool of available/potential GOP carpetbaggers.

  15. Anthony Dlugos

    Fair enough, Weld’s actions are disappointing, if not surprising. But I find “carpetbaggers” to be an unhelpful term.

    We could nominate the catastrophically unqualified in perpetuity, and thus be absolutely sure they will never use us as a springboard to “bigger” things, but that would only be because no one wants them.

    Voters included.

  16. Stuart Simms

    I figure the LP needs a new by-law, something like:

    “No sack of GOP newbie that throws $1500 at the LP like we are whores while whispering sweet liberties in our collective ear then spooging all over our faces while telling us it is just wet snow may be nominated for President or Vice President.”

    I may need to work on the wording for New Orleans.

  17. Anthony Dlugos

    “I figure the LP needs a new by-law…”

    Its easy to pick out the Small Potatoes Caucus members: they always repair to reverse engineering the party, the platform, the delegates, the nominees, etc, in order to dream up a way of producing the result they want, rather than just putting forth candidates with an actual resume rather than rote memorization of platform planks.

  18. dL

    “But I find “carpetbaggers” to be an unhelpful term.”

    Calling people who don’t subscribe to NAP “communists” is unhelpful. Using the term “carpetbaggers” for ex-GOP politicians who appear driven by ulterior motives during brief stints w/ the LP is accurate.

  19. Stuart Simms

    “Its easy to pick out the Small Potatoes Caucus members:”

    Not quite, I encourage others to see the big picture and believe we should welcome all sorts of people to the party, including elected officials, that have concluded that individual liberty and personal responsibility may actually be the answer. But I also see a pattern with the likes of Barr, Root, Weld and John Moore. They seem to switch parties without understanding libertarian philosophy or caring to try. At the very least don’t (appear to) support the opposition (Weld) or vote 180 degrees out of phase with libertarian philosophy (Moore).
    Weld certainly has experience but I would submit that given Weld’s tepid support of Gov. Johnson, veritable endorsement of Sec. Clinton and his tangential relationship to Liberty, Sharpe would have been a better selection in Orlando.

  20. Austin Cassidy

    William Weld: You deserve a President with experience, character

    http://www.unionleader.com/columns/william-weld-you-deserve-a-president-with-experience-character–20161105

    As the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, the state next door, I can testify firmly that neither Trump nor Clinton would help our nation progress in the direction that it needs to go.

    During this election, I have had the privilege and honor to team up with another former Republican governor, Gary Johnson of New Mexico, and serve as his running mate in the quest for the White House.

    As Gary would be the first to admit, he is not perfect, and neither am I. We’ve both made mistakes on the campaign trail, and have said things that have been wrongly construed by our political adversaries.

    But here’s what honest Gary Johnson and I have to offer the nation, and the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire, that neither Trump nor Clinton has to offer: Executive experience and a commitment to limited and constitutional government.

  21. Anthony Dlugos

    Stuart,

    Fair argument.

    Some time ago at this site I mentioned that, even as a pragmatic, I hope the LP doesn’t look back in 20 years and think that Gary Johnson is the best this candidate or libertarian that we had to offer. And I sure as HELL hope that Weld is not the best top ticket nominee we had to offer.

    In other words, I would agree with your assessment of Barr, Root, Weld and Moore. But I don’t agree with what I think is your implicit argument: that the quality of those candidates is what we have in store going forward.

    I’m not surprised that, the folks initially dipping their toe in the water are fair to mediocre to downright awful candidates and libertarians. I’m not surprised that our ticket is a couple retired republicans. I’m not surprised that our vp nominee has acted the way he has acted as it became apparent we were not getting into the debates, and that his actions have only gotten worse since then. Frankly, we are a small party with nothing to threaten a guy like Weld with. That’s just reality.

    But what I think is that these are the growing pains that any small entity in any industry has to go through. Weld used us, and we used him. Even this average ticket was able to demonstrate significant support among millennials, independents, members of the military. As the party grows bigger, I expect the candidates to get better, and that’s mainly because a party and a movement will grow up around them to support them. But it is necessary right now to take what we can get in order to deliver the message.

    This time, it was retired professionals that we were able to poach. Hopefully, next time, it’ll be active politicians who saw what a couple average retired republicans were able to accomplish, and take the plunge. But it’ll be mostly self-interest that then keeps future candidates more loyal.

  22. langa

    Anthony, a political party is not like a business. The goal of a business is to grow, period. For a political party, on the other hand, growth is not a goal, but rather, a means to achieve the real goal, which is to change policy. To give an example, the goal of McDonald’s is not to sell burgers, but to make money. Given that, if they decided they could make more money by ditching burgers and going to an all-vegan menu, that’s what they should do. On the other hand, the goal of the American Cancer Society isn’t to raise money, but to cure cancer. So, even if they decided that they could raise more money by promising to use all the money they raise to throw huge parties for their donors, they shouldn’t do that. See the difference?

  23. robert capozzi

    L: The goal of a business is to grow, period.

    Me: Um, no. Not all business owners want to grow the business. Many more contemporary businesses have a more transcendent “vision” statement, usually one that expresses an interest in serving customers in a better, more unique way. Many businesses retract…Macy’s, Sears, and I believe some of the restaurant chains are shrinking, pruning lower-performing locations in recent years.

    L: For a political party, on the other hand, growth is not a goal, but rather, a means to achieve the real goal, which is to change policy. To give an example, the goal of McDonald’s is not to sell burgers, but to make money. Given that, if they decided they could make more money by ditching burgers and going to an all-vegan menu, that’s what they should do.

    Me: Seems more likely that McD’s would start another chain based on a vegan menu. If — after years of testing — the vegan format worked, they’d roll that out nationwide and worldwide. If the burger orientation of McDs became entirely unprofitable, they would re-brand.

    I agree that the Rs and Ds have some commonality in terms of policy goals, although they also have a fair amount of disagreement on policy. Since they control roughly half of the legislative process, the need to grow is less of a concern than, say, the Rs had in 1856.

    In order to change policy, achieving critical mass is necessary. One could build a lemonade stand, but if you only have a stand but no pitchers and no glasses, the lemonade stand will be a failure. Or, if the lemonade tastes terrible to most, the lemonade stand will not attract enough business to be considered a going concern.

    45 years of selling NAPsterism illustrates the bitter lemonade stand’s lack of success nicely.

  24. langa

    Not all business owners want to grow the business.

    The goal of any business is to make as large a profit as possible. They usually (but true, not always) attempt to do so by growing as much as possible. Regardless, my point is that, unlike a political party, they can measure their success simply, by looking at the the bottom line. A political party could gain millions of members and win lots of elections, without coming any closer to achieving its actual goals.

    I agree that the Rs and Ds have some commonality in terms of policy goals, although they also have a fair amount of disagreement on policy.

    95% of their “disagreements” are over trivial details. They are like two animals that are the exact same species, but merely differ in color.

    45 years of selling NAPsterism…

    You mean all those “NAPster” tickets like Barr/Root, Johnson/Gray, and Johnson/Weld?

  25. Robert Capozzi

    L: they can measure their success simply, by looking at the the bottom line.

    Me: not even close to true. I take it you are not in business or finance? Businesses and financial analysts look at several metrics. EPS is one of many.

    45 – 12 non-NAPSTERS running on (hamstrung by) a NAP platform equals about 40 years or so. For all that effort by 15k NAPSTERS the best outcome was a high-water mark of 10% in the polls against wildly unpopular rivals.

    When do you declare the experiment failed?

  26. Anthony Dlugos

    langa,

    I actually agree with your analogy.

    I just think the Libertarian Party needs to operate more like McDonald’s and less like the American Cancer Society.

    I think there are a number of outlets for libertarians who want to be an organization with an American Cancer Society-style libertarian mission/message, but political parties aren’t it.

    The LP will mature when it gets this messsge, and hopefully Libertarians self-sort into the proper outlets.

  27. paulie Post author

    The goal of any business is to make as large a profit as possible.

    A lot of businesses are happy with their size. They do want to make a profit to afford their owners a certain lifestyle, but some business owners would prefer to keep their business size manageable because it’s more about their interactions with their friends, employees and customers and in many cases providing goods or services that fill a real need. Larger, multi-owner businesses may be less constrained in this regard, but they have to balance growth versus risk much as smaller businesses do.

    As for the LP, it’s growth or non-growth has to be measured not against some imaginary expectations but against some kind of real world benchmarks. In US politics we have had a lot of alternative (“third”) parties over many years, and in the modern era of government printed ballots, mass media gatekeeper controlled debates, mass advertising budgets and ballot access barriers none of them have had as much sustained success as the LP. That is, they’ve either been personality-driven flashes in the pan or even smaller than the LP has been thus far. As a funnel for the larger libertarian movement, the LP has also had some success, as that movement has grown steadily over the years and decades and continues to do so.

    The idea that the libertarian movement has no influence over public policy is incorrect. I have almost no doubt that public policy would now be even worse if we hadn’t had the libertarian movement over the last several decades. And while most of that influence did not come directly from the LP in measurable ways, I believe we have actually had quite a ripple effect. Furthermore, the movement continues to grow, and I believe will have a much bigger impact as time goes on, regardless of whether the LP as such will be a big part of that or not. That is of course if it remains at least somewhat libertarian. I agree that A political party could gain millions of members and win lots of elections, without coming any closer to achieving its actual goals.

  28. Be Rational

    “The goal of a business is to grow, period.” – Langa
    “The goal of any business is to make as large a profit as possible.” – Langa

    *
    These two goals are not the same and often incompatible. The profit maximizing size for a business is usually not the same as the biggest possible size.

    In the case of small businesses, which constitute the largest number of businesses, very often neither of these is the goal.

    For a small business owner, creating his or her own job, maintaining control, earning a decent living and living a comfortable and satisfying life while working at the business and during off hours, while accumulating wealth and building a going concern that is itself a valuable asset that can be sold or passed down to a family member, these constitute the primary goals. These goals are compatible and can be pursued contemporaniously, and they are usually not compatible with maximizing either size or profits alone.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    “And while most of that influence did not come directly from the LP in measurable ways, I believe we have actually had quite a ripple effect.”

    This is PRECISELY the problem from the perspective of the LP proper: the effect is unmeasurable if the party itself, via elected officials, is not getting it accomplished

    I understand the desire to buck up the troops by arguing we have helped move the country in a libertarian direction, but the party itself should have no other metric for success other than putting Libertarians in office and measuring their successes once in office.

    Once again, that doesn’t foreclose on other avenues for effecting libertarian change. But the LP should be single minded in its desire to do what is necessary to put people in office willing to cut whatever deals are necessary, including selling principles down the river, in order to reduce the size and scope of government. And then to lie with a straight face about how those principles weren’t sold out in any particular case.

    It’s a dastardly business, but politics is what it is. If we are going to operate on that field of play, then we gotta play ball.

  30. Matt

    I don’t think that works, Anthony. John Moore’s recent voting record comes to mind. It’s very easy to get lost in the weeds. And even you have said you’d be eager to nominate Romney if he sought the LP nomination. So where or how would you draw the line? If the following people sought the LP nomination, without changing their views, which if any would you reject, and why?

    Bernie Sanders
    Hillary Clinton
    Donald Trump
    John McCain
    Sarah Palin
    Paul Ryan
    Ted Cruz
    Mike Pence
    Marco Rubio

    Are they worse than Romney? Is Bill Weld better than Romney?

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