By Amrit Singh
Third party presidential campaigns are always a rough road: The most successful bid in American history came from Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party in 1912, when they earned just 26 percent of the vote. The Libertarian Party—a group that is "socially liberal and fiscally conservative," triangulating the classic Democratic and Republican positions in the process—is not only undeterred by this prospect, but emboldened by what they see in 2016. With the election seemingly devolving daily into a personality-based referendum on Donald Trump's temperament, Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee William Weld is issue-focused and tells me that, on those substantive grounds, he and running mate Gary Johnson see a "six-lane highway" between the two major party candidates. That's good, because they'll need all the runway they can get: The Libertarian ticket must poll at 15 percent in order for Johnson to earn a space on the presidential debate stage, a threshold even they acknowledge as being crucial to their hopes to turn out a critical mass of Americans on election day.
When former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson chose former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate, political observers praised the move for bringing heft and validity to the Libertarian ticket for the teeming masses of displaced Republicans, since Weld and Johnson were both elected to their gubernatorial posts as Republicans. I asked Weld about the impetus for his evolution from the GOP to the Libertarians, and about how his new party's message might appeal to the disillusioned bases on the right and the left, at the hands of Trump and Bernie-or-busters. I also asked for his positions on the issues most important to all of us at REVOLT 2 Vote, including immigration, criminal justice reform, the economy, and student loans.
Weld is a learned and generous ambassador for the Libertarian agenda, as you'll see during our 20-minute conversation which appears here, unedited and in full. Many thanks to Mr. Weld for his time.