Former Republican Governor William Weld made a surprising announcement Wednesday night, throwing his hat into the ring as Vice President on the Libertarian Party ballot with Former New Mexico Governor and presidential hopeful Gary Johnson.
The agreement, first reported by the Associated Press, was met with joy from some longtime supporters of the beloved former governor, and suspicion from others, including current Governor Charlie Baker.
According to Baker, the announcement is a little hard to believe. “It would be news to me if it were true,” Baker said during his monthly Ask The Governor segment Thursday on Boston Public Radio.
Baker served as Health and Human Services Secretary and Administration and Finance Secretary for Weld’s administration. “What I would say at this point is, Governor Weld is a fascinating guy, and he was one of my mentors and I owe a lot to him,” Baker said. “But the decisions that I made to run were very personal ones, and I figure this is probably a very personal decision for him too, and I think everyone should probably wait until he actually says something.”
Weld served as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts from 1981 to 1986, and the head of the Department of Justice Criminal Division from 1986 to 1988. He was elected Governor in 1990 and again in 1994, serving until 1997.
According to the Associated Press report, Johnson confirmed the arrangement in an interview. "We got together and shook hands on it," Johnson told the AP. "It brings an enormous amount of credibility to what it is I'm doing. I'm unbelievably flattered by this and humbled."
Weld, who is traveling in Canada this week on business, has not officially made a first-person announcement to confirm the news. “He’s not in the country at this point in time, which would be a weird time for somebody to make an announcement like that,” Baker said. “I was pretty clear that a lot of the people who are closest to him didn’t just say, ‘no comment’, most of them said, ‘this is news to me.’”
Baker would not confirm a vote for Weld, even if the news proves to be true. “Obviously, we’ll see what happens with respect to all of this,” he said. “I’ve been assuming for awhile, at this point, that I’m probably not going to be voting at that level for anybody.”
To hear Governor Baker’s full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio link above.