Meet the Candidates: The Republicans


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Coby Scrudder, Writer

The summer of 2019 is almost upon us, which means it’s time for the presidential hopefuls to start campaigning in full force. As the Republicans are the incumbent party, the field is not as convoluted as the Democratic fields. However, there is one Republican challenger to President Trump and one likely Independent.

President Donald Trump: Whether you like him or hate him, you all know him. Trump is running for his second term in office amidst mixed feelings about his first term. Recently, he has been exonerated of the charge of Russian collusion and there is an ongoing investigation into spying by the FBI on his 2016 campaign. This time, he is running under a new slogan of “Keep America Great!” This new slogan is a break from 2016’s “Make America Great Again” slogan and it implies that Trump has turned around America in a mere 2.5 years. And in some ways he has. His new tax cut has done a lot for the working people of America, the economy is doing very well, and he seems to have secured funding for the wall for the moment, but that could change depending on the case in the courts. However, he has failed on some of his campaign promises. He has not been able to defund Planned Parenthood and his ban on bump-stocks brings his views on the 2nd Amendment into question by absolutists. Under his presidency, partisanship in the country has greatly increased, which could reflect negatively on his 2020 run. Even with this, I still believe that Trump will easily win the Republican nomination and will have a serious chance at reelection.

Bill Weld: Weld is the only Republican running against Trump for the nomination and he is fighting an uphill battle, to say the least. Unseating an incumbent in the primaries has never been done before, although Reagan almost unseated Ford in 1976. Weld is not an outsider to politics, or even to running for president. He is the former Governor of Massachusetts and he ran on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016 with Gary Johnson. Now, he works as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a partner at a law firm. Regarding his political stances, he is a supporter of abortion, same-sex marriage, and marijuana legalization. He also preaches cutting taxes and joining the Paris Climate Accords. He called out Trump on his call to deport all illegal immigrants, comparing it to Kristallnacht. His party loyalty is not the strongest, as he supported Obama in 2008 and ran as a Libertarian, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue considering Donald Trump’s history. Overall, Weld is a very weak candidate in this election. He’s facing a historical impossibility and doesn’t hold a good position to overthrow an incumbent. His position is too nebulous. Most of his positions have him as a moderate Republican, but his economic policies of lower taxes and less social safety net alienate some of the voters in the middle ground.  Not to mention his social views, which doesn’t seem to be where the median GOP voter tends to be.

Howard Schultz: Schultz was the CEO of Starbucks for almost 25 years and he is thinking about running in 2020. He hasn’t officially announced his campaign, but there is a good chance that he will run as an Independent. If he wanted to run a campaign, he could certainly fund a large portion of it by himself. He is an outspoken opponent of the two-party system in America, which is why he wants to run as an independent. He says this divide between the two parties is our greatest problem and we need to do something to change that. He wants to be a voice for all those that don’t identify with either political party. Some of the most important issues for him are strong border protection, higher taxes on the rich and corporations, pro-abortion (except 3rd trimester), and a health care for all system where the 180 million Americans with insurance can keep their insurance. He does not want a system like Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All. That system would cost too much and add more to the national debt, which is already too much, he says. He believes that he has a legitimate chance to win 270 electoral votes and could even take Texas from Trump. In my opinion, I don’t know how good of a chance he has if he runs. I believe that he might be able to take a chunk of votes away from Trump, but I don’t know about how many he could get from run of the mill Democrat voters. However, with the Democratic primary race being so fractured, there is a chance that some voters compromise and vote for Schultz. I believe that the farthest he will make it is maybe taking some of the Republican votes away and we will end up in a similar situation to Perot in 1992, but depending on the Democratic nominee, he may have a shot to go all the way.