Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld said Saturday that rumors that he would quit the White House race were "a non-starter" and that others would like to see him and running mate Gary Johnson out because "that's a dangerous ticket."
"That ticket has a lot of experience doing the things that have to be done in Washington," Weld, the former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts, told Michael Smerconish on CNN.
"In the Libertarian ticket, you've got two two-term governors, so I think people are probably right to head us off at the pass before we get in there.
"If we get to 20 or 25 percent in the month of October, which we may well do, we'll be dangerous going into the final election at that point," Weld said.
"People will be looking at our ticket."
Journalist Carl Bernstein suggested on Twitter earlier this week that Weld might leave if his candidacy put Donald Trump in a stronger position to win.
"Give me six or seven more weeks to chew on Mr. Trump's leg — and my goal is to get him in third place by the time of the third debate," Weld said. "I'm not kidding. I think we can do it.
"He is not a Republican. He's a liberal New York City Democrat.
"I can't imagine why any self-respecting Republican would vote for him."
Regarding his telling MSNBC Friday that Clinton was more qualified for the White House than Trump, Weld said that "I have made no secret I think more highly of Mrs. Clinton and her background than Mr. Trump."
Weld also defended Johnson's gaffe this week on naming a world leader he respected in another MSNBC interview, telling Smerconish that "the pop-quiz approach to politics is not what a president lives with day in and day out.
"People don't say, can you identify this town."
Despite Johnson's flub, he and Weld were endorsed Saturday by The Chicago Tribune, following earlier backing by The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Detroit News.
The newspapers have long backed Republicans for president.
"Both parties in Washington are trying to brainwash the American public into thinking that it's written in stone somewhere that everybody has to vote 'R' or 'D'," Weld said.
"Both are whining that to vote for anybody except them will elect their opponent — and we know how much they hate each other, so you can see why they're doing it.
"But that doesn't make it true."
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