The "most pro-choice" candidate in the 2020 race is ... a Republican

Or so says Bill Weld. The only official challenger to President Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020 is the former Governor of Massachusetts. (No, not Mitt Romney …at least not yet.) Weld called himself the “most pro-choice” candidate running in 2020.

Campaigning in Exeter, New Hampshire last weekend, Weld said he is feeling “terrible” about the recent Alabama abortion law. He went on to say that the government should just stay out of the issue of abortion. All those “big, fat, white guys” should just back off, according to Weld.

“The way I look at it, it’s kind of a power issue,” Weld said. “And who wants a lot of big, fat, white guys who live in Washington 700 miles away making the decision about what’s going to happen about a family pregnancy where the family has basis for some views and maybe wants to terminate the pregnancy.”

Well, now. Call me an old-school Republican, but aren’t Republicans the ones who speak in favor of states’ rights? Government involvement is exactly how abortion became legal across the country in the first place. The fight to protect the unborn went all the way to the Supreme Court and is likely headed that way again. By singling out Alabama, now with the most stringent law on the books, Weld, in fact, sides with “the government”, not an individual state. As an added bonus, he took a swipe at white men. How progressive of him. He didn’t, however, go as far as some Democrat candidates who want a federal law that guarantees the right to an abortion. He thinks Roe v. Wade will be upheld without the need for a new law.

Asked about a litmus test for possible Supreme Court nominees, he said he wasn’t ready to say they have to promise to vote to keep Roe v. Wade in place but “his standard is pretty close.”

In neighboring Vermont, Republican Governor Phil Scott all but endorsed Weld during his weekly press conference Thursday. Asked if he would prefer Weld over Trump, he replied in the affirmative, hedging his support only if Maryland Governor Larry Hogan or Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker decide to jump into the Republican primary. Scott, Hogan, and Baker are all popular Republican governors and also known as critics of President Trump.

According to Morning Consult, the five most popular governors are all Republicans. At the top of the list is Baker, and Hogan is second. Scott is in fifth place. Number three is New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and look who is number four – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. She is one spot higher than Scott.

President Trump called for party unity on the issue of abortion last weekend. Like many Republicans, including Ronald Reagan, Trump supports exceptions made for rape, incest and the mother’s health. He also pointed out the importance of appointing conservative federal judges as well as Supreme Court nominations.

Bill Weld governed as a liberal-leaning Republican in the blue state of Massachusetts. The last time he ran for office was in 2016. He was on the Libertarian ticket as the vice-presidential candidate, with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson at the top of that ticket. As recently as May 10, Weld appeared on CNN and said that Trump “looks like he’d rather be a king than a president.” A quick look at his campaign website shows a minimum effort with only basic information about the candidate’s upcoming campaign stops and clips from past interviews. There is no mention of policy proposals or even a mission statement. Maybe he should start there if he wants to be taken seriously, instead of running as just another Trump critic.

Jazz Shaw May 06, 2021 7:58 AM ET