Weld files to run in GOP presidential primary in New Hampshire

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldVermont governor, running for reelection, won’t campaign or raise money The Hill’s Campaign Report: Amash moves toward Libertarian presidential bid Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party MORE (R) filed paperwork Wednesday declaring himself a candidate in the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire next year.

Weld, along with former Rep. Joe WalshJoe WalshBottom line ABC’s Whoopi Goldberg to headline Biden fundraiser with Sen. Tammy Duckworth Trump shares video of protesters confronting reporter: ‘FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL’ MORE (R-Ill.), is waging a long shot challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in the 2020 GOP primary for the presidential nomination. Former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordThe Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party Trump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries MORE (R-S.C.) dropped his primary bid Tuesday.

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Weld has been a consistent Trump critic since announcing his White House bid, slamming him as a “racist” who is dangerous for the Republican Party. 

“Let’s get one thing out of the way right at the beginning: Donald Trump is a raging racist, OK. He’s a complete and thoroughgoing racist and he made that choice as a choice a long time ago,” Weld said in July. 

“And unless the Republican party in Washington expressly, expressly rejects the racism of Donald Trump they’re going to become to be universally viewed as the party of racism in America,” he added. 

Weld has hinged much of his challenge to Trump on the New Hampshire primary, hoping a strong finish in his neighbor state can propel his campaign.

Weld served two terms as Massachusetts governor from 1991-1997.

“My aim is to win the New Hampshire primary and if that happens, I think all bets are off. That’s never happened,” Weld said in August.

“I think this is doable, based on what I hear on the ground in New Hampshire,” he added. “I’ve been talking to many more voters than Mr. Trump is up there.”

However, Weld will face an uphill battle to put a dent into Trump’s support among New Hampshire Republicans. 

A poll released in July by CNN and the University of New Hampshire found Weld polling at 7 percent in the state Republican primary, while Trump got the support of 86 percent of GOP primary voters.