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Weld says Trump unfit for presidency

William F. Weld, Libertarian candidate for vice president and former Massachusetts governor, held a press conference that was “only about Mr. Trump” at the Parker House hotel in Boston on Tuesday.John Blanding/Globe Staff/Boston Globe

Former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate, on Tuesday painted a horrific picture of Donald Trump — his character, his candidacy, and his potential presidency — but stopped short of asking voters to support Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to reporters at a Boston hotel, Weld — while saying he felt “fear for our country” at the prospect of a Trump presidency — refused to say whether he was asking undecided voters and Republicans to back Clinton. Nor did he make a strong pitch for them to get behind him and his Libertarian presidential running mate, Gary Johnson.


“This is only about Mr. Trump,’’ Weld said, as he fended off reporters’ questions about why he would not say Clinton would be a viable alternative to Trump, whom he denounced as having “not exhibited the self-control, the discipline, or the emotional depth to function credibly as a president of the United States.”

“This is the worst of American politics,’’ he said. “I fear for our cohesion as a nation, and for our place in the world if this man who is unwilling to say he will abide by out national elections becomes president,’’ Weld said.

The Johnson/Weld ticket has faded into signal digits — along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein — in almost every national poll as Clinton and Trump battle for the remaining 90 percent of the votes.

Those standings had prompted speculation that Weld would, as the Nov. 8 election approached, throw his support to Clinton.

But Weld, who declared he was a “Libertarian for life” when he sought the party’s vice presidential nomination in May, insisted he was sticking with Johnson, the Libertarian presidential nominee. He did, however, leave the door open to working with the national Republican leadership to rebuild the party after the election if Trump is defeated.


In the past, Weld has said he believed Clinton had the qualifications and experience to be president. Some even speculated that he was a stalking horse for Clinton, with whom he worked on the US House committee staff that made the case for President Richard Nixon’s impeachment. President Bill Clinton nominated Weld to be ambassador to Mexico in 1997, but the nomination died in the Senate.

Weld said Tuesday that he hoped the campaign he and Johnson are running will boost his argument for breaking the grip of the two-party system on the country.

But he all but conceded that he and Johnson were not in any serious contention because the Commission on Presidential Debates, which required candidates to have an average of 15 percent in national polls to qualify, had barred them from the televised debates.

“Given the position of the commission . . . the deck is still stacked against even a credible third-party ticket with two proven former governors,’’ Weld said.

Frank Phillips can be reached at frank.phillips@globe.com.