Bill Weld, a former two-term Republican governor of deep-blue MA, officially entered the 2020 presidential race Monday, mounting the only GOP primary challenge against President Trump's reelection bid so far.
The announcement video also touts Weld's record on helping to fight corruption, particularly Democrat corruption in MA, as well as his connection to President Ronald Reagan, who appointed him to be a "crime-fighting" USA attorney. "In these times of great political strife, when both major parties are entrenched in their "win at all cost" battles, the voices of the American people are being ignored and our nation is suffering", Weld said in a statement on Monday. "I am ready to lead that fight".
The 73-year-old is hoping to channel Republican discontent with Trump, despite the president holding a commanding approval rating among registered Republicans and continuing to be favored by the party's core base.
He was also the running mate on the Libertarian ticket during the 2016 presidential election.
Weld has accused Trump of leaving the nation in "grave peril" and has said his "priorities are skewed toward promotion of himself rather than for the good of the country".
As for his actual policy positions, Weld's website is little more than an ask for money, but a video released by his campaign makes it clear that his primary qualification is not being Donald Trump.
Weld's move makes Trump the first incumbent president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge.
Mr Trump's campaign said on Sunday it had raised more than $30m in the first quarter of this year.
As Axios notes, Weld holds generally liberal views when it comes to social issues, including supporting abortion, legalized marijuana, and same-sex marriage. "I'm not saying I would ever endorse a Democrat in this race, but I could not support the president".
Weld's nomination by President Bill Clinton to be US ambassador to Mexico touched off a bitter public spat with then-Sen. Years earlier, Weld was among a handful of top Justice Department officials to resign in protest over alleged ethical violations by then-Attorney General Ed Meese, long a favorite of conservatives.