Remember Gary Johnson and Bill Weld?
It all seems so long ago, but they made up the Libertarian ticket in the 2016 election.
They actually had a promising start, in an election cycle that saw two highly unlikeable, utterly corrupt individuals taking the top spots for the “Big two” parties, this could have been the year of the third party rise.
Johnson and Weld were well-prepared to make an impressive showing during this election, but several Aleppo moments later, third parties were shuffled to the background, once more, and we’re stuck with one of those unlikeable, corrupt “Big two” party candidates as president-elect.
One thing that was not missed during the waning days of the election season were the cries of, “SPOILER!!” coming from both of the main parties. You hear that same complaint during every election, as the major parties fight to collect every last vote. They don’t want to lose a single one to a third party, and this year was no different.
But who lost votes to third party candidates?
Normally, the loser is the one looking for someone to blame for their loss, and in this case, Democrats blame the Libertarian ticket for sending their candidate home to nurse her wounds.
Bill Weld, however, sees it differently.
At a panel event Tuesday in Boston, Weld argued that he and running mate Gary Johnson likely took more votes away from Trump, not Hillary Clinton, according to the Boston Herald. Trump could have run away with larger margins in swing states like Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan had Johnson and Weld not run, Weld suggested.
“Our voters were protest voters and they were change voters. A protest voter or a change voter by and large would not go to Mrs. Clinton in the election,” said Weld, who was a Republican when he served as governor in Massachusetts.
“There were discussions at quite high levels and the consensus was that if I had tried to implode the Libertarian Party — which I had never really considered doing — but if I had, in some states as many as three-quarters of those voters would have gone to Trump,” Weld said Tuesday.
As it were, Weld spent an unusual amount of time defending Hillary Clinton. I won’t say he was actively trying to torpedo his own ticket.
That was Gary Johnson.
Gary Johnson actively tried to take out his own ticket.
In spite of Weld’s complimentary remarks about Clinton, she still lost, and the Libertarians will carry the blame.
Some should be saved for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, however. She was considered an alternative to Hillary, as she is decidedly liberal, and she meets the criteria for an identity politics candidate.
Weld, though, said the spoiler argument is a “canard put out there by the mainstream media.”
And it likely is. They will coddle Clinton’s ego for months, claiming that spoilers, along with a host of other issues robbed Clinton of her rightful place as president-elect.
They’ll conveniently leave out the part that she was just a really awful candidate.