Bill Weld, Gary Johnson's Running Mate, Analyzes the VP Debate

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Former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld, a 2016 candidate for vice president.
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Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear the full interview.

Not included in last night's vice presidential debate was arguably a 2016 VP candidate with arguably more political experience than either Mike Pence or Tim Kaine: Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, and the Libertarian vice presidential candidate running with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Johnson's numbers have stayed around 7 percent in recent weeks, well below the necessary 15 percent hurdle to participate in debates. But Weld did watch last night, and he also live tweeted his analysis and reaction to his supporters.

He joins The Takeaway to discuss his perspective, and what's next for the Libertarian ticket. Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear our full interview with Gov. Weld. 


Interview Highlights

On how the two main parties try to keep voters from going to the Libertarian party:

For the last 15 years, these two parties in Congress and in Washington have gotten kind of poisonous. It's partly hyper-gerrymandering and it’s partly just that they hate the other party. They're only worried about losing in a primary. They’re obsessed with re-election. What we need down there is term limits. The two national campaigns are a faithful reflection of the two parties, and all they're saying is, “The two party monopoly is inevitable, therefore you have to vote for one of us and you can’t vote for the other guy, so therefore you have to vote for me.” That is just an argument that assumes its own conclusion.  

On his enthusiasm to be on a ticket with Gary Johnson, despite his running mate's weaknesses:

Gary called me and asked if I'd like to do this. And the answer was yes. We served together, my second term overlapped with his first term, and I had a high opinion of him as a governor. We've gotten to know each other even better this year and it's been a real joy going around the country with him. 

On the different mindset a Johnson-Weld ticket would bring to Washington politics:

I wouldn't come into town and say, “Alright the first day I'm going to repeal Obamacare.” Even if I wanted to, because I know that's dead on arrival with all the Democrats. I'd say, “Here are six ideas, let's do what we used to do — when we pass a big deal, come back two years later, four years later and tinker with it to make it better.” That's the better mindset. I think it would be refreshing in Washington, frankly.

On the dangers of a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump presidency:

The Democratic Party, if it gets in office, the horror show is they [would] spend and borrow us into the poor house. We hollow out the economy and that hurts us in terms of jobs at home, and it hurts our standing economically, not just diplomatically, in the world at large. The horror show if the Republicans get in is The Donald stays up all night tweeting and unilaterally imposes huge tariffs and declares trade wars and sows trouble with our allies and makes sure there’s greater nuclear proliferation, and does everything the opposite of what the Republican Party decided after 2012 it needed to do. I think the danger posed by Mr. Trump on the international side is probably the biggest danger I see out there.  

On Johnson’s Aleppo gaffe:

Pop quizzes aren't his strong suit, and I acknowledge that … It’s been in the news, and I have traveled a lot around the world in the last 10, 12 years, both on business and because I’m a member of an organization of former heads of state that actually Bill Clinton is also a member of. So I get a lot of exposure to foreign policy issues, and I’m sure that over the course of 10 or 12 years that makes a difference. But that’s not Gary’s life. He’s been in the Western part of the United States when he wasn’t in some other continent climbing the highest peak in the continent — he’s now climbed all seven. So he’s not exactly someone who’s a stranger to the world.

Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear the full interview.