Top Donald Trump Ally Offers Glowing Review of Libertarian Candidates
Roger Stone calls himself a "giant fan of both Gary Johnson and Bill Weld."
By ALEXANDER MALLIN
May 20, 2016, 10:03 AM
• 5 min read
-- Roger Stone is one of Donald Trump's most notorious and loyal allies, but the seasoned political operative now says the Libertarian ticket has him doing a double-take.
In an interview with ABC's 'Powerhouse Politics' podcast, Stone told Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and ABC Political Director Rick Klein he wouldn't rule out supporting former Republican Govs. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, and said both should have a place on the presidential debate stages this election season.
"I am a giant fan of both Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, they’re both personal friends, they’re both giants in my opinion," Stone said.
Stone claims in the past he actually tried to convince Weld to run for president, and just four years ago tried to convince Johnson to recruit Weld as his Vice Presidential pick. He said Johnson's announcement he and Weld would run on the Libertarian ticket could even wind up putting them on the debate stage.
"This is very interesting political news," Stone said. "The entire ticket would benefit from the fact that both Trump and Hillary Clinton are exceedingly polarizing."
But Stone said Trump shouldn't be any more concerned than Clinton with the addition of Johnson and Weld to the race.
"I think that they end up taking about equally from both parties," Stone said. "Remember, they’re running as fiscal conservatives but social progressives."
Weld himself made it no secret in an interview with the ‘Powerhouse Politics’ podcast that he’s not a fan of Trump, likening his proposal to deport millions of undocumented Mexican immigrants and building a wall to Nazi Germany.
“I served five years on the Holocaust Memorial Council by appointment of George W. Bush,” Weld said. “We’re never that far away from a slippery slope.”
Weld also said he expected both he and Johnson would eventually seize on the disaffected GOP voters such as Gov. Charlie Baker and former Gov. Mitt Romney who have similarly refused to support Trump. The Libertarian Party Convention is scheduled for later this month in Orlando, and Johnson is considered the frontrunner for the presidential nomination.
As for Stone, despite his criticism of some of the infighting in Trump’s campaign, he said he was still committed to the presumptive GOP frontrunner, saying he's been encouraged by Trump taking on Clinton "in a way no one has previously done."
Stone authored of 'The Clintons' War on Women,' and after leaving the Trump campaign last August still acts as a personal adviser and surrogate for Trump.
"I have great affection for Donald Trump and I’m very excited about what he’s been able to achieve here and I’m very much in the Trump camp," Stone said. "On the other hand I’d like to see his platform, I’d like to see his running mate, I’d like to see how the campaign proceeds."