Libertarian vice presidential nominee Bill Weld spoke up to clear up talk that had emerged on Sunday regarding a scenario under which he would drop out.
On Sunday morning, CNN commentator Carl Bernstein appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources stated that if the Libertarian ticket looked to be tilting the presidential race in Donald Trump’s favor, Bill Weld would likely scrap the ticket due to his disdain for Donald Trump and his admiration of Hillary Clinton.
“[Weld is] thinking about dropping out of this race if it looks like he and Johnson might get Trump elected … [Weld would] renounce his candidacy and go out and help Hillary Clinton.”
Bill Weld felt compelled to respond to Bernstein’s prediction. In a statement to CNN, he said that:
“Gary Johnson and I will campaign with all our strength to make that case to the American people from now until November 8th. Under no circumstances will our energies be diverted from our goal of winning the election and serving our country.”
He added that any talk of him dropping out is “wishful thinking on the part of the two-party duopoly.”
To the extent that Bernstein’s revelation had any factual basis behind it, revealing it in such a public forum certainly had the effect putting Weld and Johnson in a position where they would have to take a strong position or their very candidacy would be undermined.
Certainly, Bernstein’s statement is going to have a chilling effect on fundraising for the Libertarian ticket unless and until the nominees assure their donors that they are in through November 8. Many donors, particularly larger ones, can be rattled from giving support with relative ease particularly if they believe that their candidates may not last through the election.
The speculation regarding Weld surfaced at a time when it appears that the Libertarian ticket is taking far more votes from Clinton than it is from Trump. It appears that the reason the race has tightened, Trump’s support has stayed stagnant while Clinton’s has dropped and Johnson’s has increased.