- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 17, 2019

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is weighing a 2020 GOP primary challenge to President Trump, said the president is not “indispensable” and that Republican officials want to get through the process without a serious debate on issues.

“I think the Republicans in Washington want to have no election, basically — I don’t think that’d be very good for the country,” Mr. Weld said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

He said he doesn’t expect to get much support from Republicans in leadership positions since they’re under pressure to back Mr. Trump’s re-election bid.

“They’re all under enormous pressure and orders from Washington: make sure this guy gets no purchase, make sure we don’t really have a primary,” said Mr. Weld, the libertarian party’s 2016 vice presidential nominee.

“We want to sail through this without anyone having to think or analyze issues,” he said. “And I think it’s not what the country needs, to put it mildly.”

Mr. Weld said he doesn’t think Mr. Trump “knows how to act.”

“He thinks he has to humiliate whoever he’s dealing with or else he’s half a man,” Mr. Weld said.

Mr. Weld said the president’s recently declaring a national emergency on the southern border to speed up construction of a border wall is one example.

“Congress thought they had a deal, he says, oh, you think you have a deal? I’m going to show you a deal. I’m going to show you who’s boss,” he said. It’s just no way to run a railroad.”

Mr. Trump, though, has retained strong support from Republican voters and the GOP base.

But Mr. Weld said he would tell Mr. Trump’s base supporters that the president’s “hyper-emphasis” on the U.S.-Mexico border wall is “pure politics on his part.”

“It’s vintage on what he has done since he’s entered this race,” he said. “He wants to divide the country and hold up scary boogeymen that everyone else can think only he can save us.”

“It’s part of a plan, I think, on his part to make himself seem indispensable —he’s not indispensable at all,” he said.

“I’m going to make clear that I think the president is reckless in spending —they’re spending a trillion dollars a year they don’t have,” Mr. Weld said. “That is going to crush Generation X-ers and millennials in this country.”

He also said “they’re not thinking ahead” and that 25 percent of the jobs in the country are going to disappear because of artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.

“Nobody’s planning ahead for that, and it would entail a lot of work to make sure that people who lose those jobs get the skill sets to get the replacement jobs when they show up at around the same time,” he said.

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