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Republican ex-governor announces long-shot primary bid against Trump in 2020

Challenger calls the president 'unstable'

Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld said Friday that he will challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2020. The Republican-turned-Libertarian-turned-Republican called the president "unstable" while announcing his long-shot bid for the White House.

What are the details?

Speaking at the Politics and Eggs breakfast in Bedford, New Hampshire, Weld told the audience he had launched an exploratory committee to pursue a primary challenge against Trump, Politico reported.

"Our president is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office in the land," Weld said. "I'm here because our country is in grave peril, and I cannot sit any longer quietly on the sidelines."

The 73-year-old Weld went on to add, "The truth is that we have wasted an enormous amount of time by humoring this president, indulging him in his narcissism and his compulsive, irrational behaviors."

Reuters called Weld's pursuit a long-shot, noting that "opinion polls have consistently found Republican voters overwhelmingly support Trump's re-election."

Weld is the first Republican to step into the ring against President Trump. Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) had flirted with the idea, but abandoned it shortly after the Republican National Committee announced its "undivided" support for Trump as a signal to deter challenges from within the party.

Former Republican governors John Kasich (Ohio) and Larry Hogan (Maryland) have also been floated as possible challengers to Trump in 2020. Kasich aide John Weaver told The Associated Press on Friday, "All of our options remain on the table and we're leaning toward a primary run."

Anything else?

Weld served as Massachusetts governor from 1990 to 1997 under the Republican flag. He abandoned the GOP and became the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee in 2016, declaring that he was a "Libertarian for life." Weld switched back to the Republican Party last week.

The Boston Herald reported that "Weld's announcement is likely to trigger anger among President Trump and his supporters, who see the former governor as a flip-flopper who deserted the Republican Party."

According to the AP, when White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to comment on Weld's campaign announcement, she responded, "Who?"

One last thing…
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