Bill Weld Eyeing GOP Challenge To President Trump in 2020

Photo: Bill Weld / Facebook

BOSTON – It hasn’t happened in 27 years, but there could be a primary challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020.

Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts has announced he is launching a presidential exploratory committee to run in 2020 as a Republican.

“I hope to see the Republican Party assume once again the mantle of being the party of Lincoln. It upsets me that our energies as a society are being sapped by the President’s culture of divisiveness in Washington,” he said.

Weld was the Libertarian vice-presidential nominee in 2016 with presidential nominee Gary Johnson.

History shows few challenges within a sitting president’s own party.
In 1968 Sen. Eugene McCarthy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy opposed President Lyndon B. Johnson’s re-nomination. Shortly after the New Hampshire Primary, Johnson quit the race. Several months later, Robert Kennedy was assassinated, and the party turned to Vice President Humphrey who was defeated by Richard Nixon in the general election.

In 1976 former California Governor Ronald Reagan opposed Gerald Ford’s efforts to win nomination for a full term. Although it was a close contest, Ford prevailed and went on to lose in the general election to former Governor Jimmy Carter. Reagan went on to be elected President in 1980 and served two terms.

In 1980 Sen. Kennedy opposed Jimmy Carter’s re-nomination. Carter won re-nomination but was defeated in the general election by  former Governor Ronald Reagan.

And, in 1992, former Nixon adviser and television commentator Patrick Buchanan opposed President George HW Bush’s re-nomination. Bush won re-nomination but was defeated in the general election by former Governor Bill Clinton.

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