Mitt Romney: I wish Bill Weld were at the top of the Libertarian ticket

"I don't know Gary Johnson as well, and I'm not endorsing the Libertarians at this point."


Mitt Romney has made it known that he’s not particularly thrilled with the two presumptive major-party presidential nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

And while he hasn’t ruled out voting for the Libertarian ticket, he’s not particularly enthusiastic about the third-party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, either.

The presidential candidate for which Romney wishes he could cast his ballot: fellow former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

“I wish Bill Weld were at the top, because I knew Bill Weld as the governor of my state, Massachusetts, and he was a terrific governor,” Romney told CBS News’s John Dickerson in an interview Wednesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.


“I think he would be a great president,” he said of the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee.

Romney—who said Wednesday he would either vote for a third-party candidate or write in his wife’s name in November—was apprehensive about backing the Libertarian ticket, however, due to its presidential nominee, Johnson, the former Republican New Mexico governor.

“I don’t know Gary Johnson as well, and I’m not endorsing the Libertarians at this point,” he said.

Earlier this June, Romney offered similar, qualified praise to the Libertarian ticket, but said he had to get to know Johnson better. One roadblock for Romney—who in accordance to his beliefs as a Mormon abstains from alcohol, smoking, and coffee—is Johnson’s support for legalizing marijuana, a drug which the former Massachusetts governor said “makes people stupid.”


Nonetheless, Romney said Wednesday he thinks it is ” by far the most likely outcome” that either Clinton or Trump will be elected president. Since he has no plans of supporting either of them, Romney said he will spend his time ahead of the November general election campaigning and raising money for Republican candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives.

“Most people recognize that Donald Trump is a departure from traditional Republican philosophies and nominees,” Romney said.

The two-time Republican presidential candidate said he still is urged by his kids to jump into the presidential race.

“My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time, interestingly enough,” he said. “And they, you know, I’ve got some kids, I got an email from one of my sons yesterday saying, ‘You got to get in, dad. You got to get in,’which is very kind of a strange thing to me.”


Romney has repeatedly ruled out launching any manner of 2016 presidential campaign, whether as a Republican, third-party, or independent candidate.

“I don’t think an independent candidate can win,” he said.

Romney later added: “Once the nomination was locked up, I didn’t see a chance of winning that was realistic.”

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