Bill Weld on Principles & Values

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)


Chaired Mitt Romney presidential campaign in New York

Q: You have been in the hardest position in politics on several different occasions, which is the one to pick up the phone and ask for the money.

WELD: And I like doing that. If you can't sell yourself or your candidate, what can you sell? So I was Pete Wilson's finance chair nationally when he ran for president, and I had the honor of serving Mitt Romney's co-chair in New York for both of his presidential runs, and I've hung around the Republican National Committee for a long time. So half of the big Republican donors have said they're not going to support Mr. Trump. That's a lot to work with.

Q: What's your pitch?

WELD: Oh, the pitch is that we're the people who say we want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom, and if people don't subscribe to that, then it's a longer conversation. But that was my pitch to the Republican National Convention in 1992.

Source: 2016 CNN Libertarian Town Hall with Gary Johnson & Bill Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Considered run for presidency in 1996

William Weld, the 49-year-old Massachusetts governor had spent several months considering a run for president, asking himself questions. Am I the man? Is it my time? Could I embarrass myself? Would it be premature? His reelection victory in 1994 with an astounding 71% of the vote meant he could at least talk about the presidency without being laughed out of town.

A Republican in the heavily Democratic state of John Kennedy and Michael Dukakis, Weld's gubernatorial campaign had been drawn from 3 themes: tough on crime, tough on welfare reform, and lower taxes. But he also argued that government had little or no role in personal decisions such as abortion and sexual orientation. So he was pro-choice on abortion and pro-gay rights. If he ran, his message would be "fiscal conservative, socially libertarian, pre-environment, tolerant, inclusive."

Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.113-114 , Nov 1, 2005

Mixes fiscal conservatism and social liberalism

The constant description of Weld as a "moderate" Republican is not inaccurate, but it is misleading. Moderates like Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe are not just the left of the Republican platform on social issues. They are also usually to its left on economics. Moderate Republicans tend to be less eager to cut taxes, more generous with social spending, and generally cautious about deregulation.

Bill Weld, on the other hand, truly mixes fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes sixteen times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, and vetoed minimum wage increases.

Yet Weld does live up his socially liberal reputation in spades. Does this strange combination of thorough economic conservatism and social liberalism make Weld a libertarian? Not unless libertarians also support expansive environmental regulations, gun control, and affirmative action.

Source: American Spectator, "Understanding Bill Weld" , Aug 25, 2005

I've worked with both parties to get the job done

Relying on the unpopular images of Republican extremism in the traditionally Democratic state, Kerry said, "The mask is coming off--my opponent is a Republican," Kerry said. "He supports Bob Dole's $550 million tax cut."

Weld steered clear of the labels Kerry tried to pin on him by building himself up as a politician who can look beyond party lines in order to get the job done. "I've worked with both parties to achieve these objectives," Weld said. "I call them like I see them."

Source: Harvard Crimson on Kerry/Weld debates , Oct 29, 1996

Member of the Republican Leadership Council.

Weld is a member the Republican Leadership Council:

Dedicated to building a stronger Republican majority by promoting the fundamental conservative ideals of lower taxes, less government and more personal freedom....

The Republican Leadership Council was formed in 1997 by leading Republicans throughout the country concerned that the Republican Party is being increasingly defined by the actions of an intolerant vocal minority that divides the GOP.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads. We now face a situation similar to that of the Democrats of the 1980`s who were dominated by a vocal minority from the far-left liberal wing of their Party. Our challenge now is to unite all Republicans behind a common agenda that helps us expand our majority.

The RLC believes that we must articulate a vision, and a message, based upon the Reagan legacy of limited government and expanded personal freedom. The GOP must unite around the core Republican principles of less government, lower taxes, substantive education reform, anti-crime initiatives and a strong national defense.

The RLC seeks to promote these core issues that unite Republicans, and as Ronald Reagan successfully accomplished, attract conservative Democrats and Independents to forge a winning electoral coalition in congressional and presidential elections. This is the RLC`s vision for the 21st century.

The Republican Leadership Council is committed to playing a key role in electing common-sense conservatives and promoting the core issues of the Republican Party.

Source: RLC web site 01-RLC0 on Jan 1, 2001

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Page last updated: Aug 22, 2016