With an incumbent republican president and more than a dozen democratic candidates, one could forget that there are two challengers standing in Donald Trump’s way to the republican nomination, one of whom recently came to Keene State. Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld returned to Keene State College on Saturday, November 16. KSC hosted Weld in Morrison 110 for an issues discussion in which Weld laid out the basics of his presidential platform, followed by a lengthy question and answer session.
Weld began the discussion by discussing his fondness for Keene and the greater Monadnock region, explaining that he is a part-time resident of Gilsum, New Hampshire and likes to vacation there with his friends.
The number one reason why Weld has decided to run for president is to stop Trump from winning re-election. Weld said that in 2016 he was not fond of Trump, but he did not have particularly strong feelings against him either. Weld said that this stance has changed drastically since Trump has taken office.
Weld filed for the New Hampshire primary on the same day that impeachment proceedings against Trump began. In the 1970s Weld served on an impeachment committee during the Watergate Investigation, working with Hillary Clinton.
“Having knocked around in politics I’ve never seen a government at any level, state, local or federal, that wasn’t bigger than it needed to be,” said Weld.
The environment is another important issue to Weld.
“Climate change is very near the top of my agenda, if not at the top. It’s not just a national emergency, it’s a planetary emergency,” Weld said.
Weld also suggested a carbon tax to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
“I don’t think of it as a tax because, while it’s collected by the government, it’s remitted to the taxpayers through payroll relief,” Weld said.
Weld discussed current tensions in the White House.
“I am starting to worry about income inequality and social cohesion as a result of Mr. Trump’s policies,” Weld said. “I’m not running against democrats, I’m running against Mr. Trump. I can’t think of a single issue where Trump has any knowledge base. He can’t handle a conversation with someone who can come at him with actual knowledge and experience on issues.”
Healthcare and the military, specifically how Trump handles these issues, were other areas covered by Weld.
“We’ve got to get back to understanding that military allies are force multipliers. One of the reasons for having allies is to keep the air and sea lanes open for free trade. Mr. Trump has said he doesn’t believe in free trade,” Weld said. “I will give Medicare the right to negotiate prescription drug prices.”
Weld also explained how he thinks the pharmaceutical industry is one industry in particular that does deserve heavy government regulation.
“I think Big Pharma has failed the trust test,” Weld said.
KSC student Nathaniel Jarvie was in attendance and was critical of Weld’s overall enthusiasm.
“I personally don’t feel he’s terribly charismatic. This is a problem when challenging the incumbent president, who has his own brand of charisma,” said Jarvie.
Area resident Anthony Scholl intends to work with the Pete Buttigieg campaign in the spring and wants to learn about the other candidates to prepare.
“Bill Weld was a classmate of mine at Harvard, although I’m sure he doesn’t remember me,” said Scholl.
The event was also live-streamed at Weber State University in Utah and West Georgia University.
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