When presidential nominee Gary Johnson begged Libertarian delegates to choose his preferred running mate as the party’s vice president, his argument hinged on fundraising and media attention. Mitt Romney added a third plank to that argument on Friday - endorsements.
In an interview with CNN, the 2012 Republican nominee said that as an opponent of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he’s now open to supporting Gary Johnson for president in November, and Bill Weld is the reason.
“If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president,” Romney said. “So I’ll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he’s someone who I could end up voting for.”
Romney was Massachusetts governor just six years after Weld held the office. Weld also campaigned with and for Romney’s two presidential runs in 2008 and 2012. The two are good friends. It was so obvious, I was surprised more people didn’t expect this the moment Johnson named him two weeks before the convention.
Romney’s support is tentative at the moment, but will most likely become official before too long. After all, he has no where else to go, with the rest of the #NeverTrump crowd. Never the less, it fully vindicates Johnson’s choice of Weld as VP.
Party purists were up in arms over Weld’s nomination, calling him a “moderate”, a “sellout”, a “gun-grabber”. But his ideology was never the point; his credibility and connections were.
Weld has already brought unprecedented media attention to the party and ticket, and his recent interview with the New York Times suggests his plans for fundraising are just as impressive. Now if he can get former presidential nominees, governors, and other high profile individuals on board, it’s a whole new ballgame. 15% support and debate appearances might be the floor for the Libertarian Party, not the ceiling.