In the wake of a series of missteps from his running mate, Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld says he's shifting his campaign strategy

By Lindsay Kimble
October 05, 2016 12:33 PM

In the wake of a series of unfortunate missteps from his running mate, Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld says he’s shifting his campaign strategy into Trump attack mode.

The former governor of Massachusetts told The Boston Globe in a phone interview Tuesday that he’s now aiming to keep Trump out of the White House so he can later work with Republican leaders to craft a path for the GOP after the 2016 election.

While the 71-year-old asserted that he still supported his ticket mate, Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, he didn’t completely shut down an eventual exodus from the party: “I’m certainly not going to drop them this year.”

Weld told the Globe that Johnson backs his switch in focus, and said, “I have had in mind all along trying to get the Donald into third place, and with some tugging and hauling, we might get there.”

“I think Mr. Trump’s proposals in the foreign policy area, including nuclear proliferation, tariffs, and free trade, would be so hurtful, domestically and in the world, that he has my full attention,” he added.

In recent weeks, Johnson has faltered during public sit-downs, most recently failing to name a foreign leader when pressed to pick his favorite during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

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Earlier this year, the former Gov. of New Mexico failed to recognize the name of the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo during a different MSNBC interview.

Johnson, who had been inching closer to securing a spot in the first presidential debate at the time, ultimately failed to reach the 15 percent needed to make the stage. Weld was also unable to participate in Tuesday night’s Vice Presidential debate.

Currently, Johnson is polling at an average of 7.5 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.