There are more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates on the other side of the aisle looking to take on President Trump in the 2020 general election, but before the president gets there he still needs to secure his own nomination amid three other Republican primary opponents looking to uproot him.
Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld was the first to announce his intention to run against Trump but was joined most recently by former Congressman Joe Walsh from Illinois. Former Congressman Mark Sanford from South Carolina recently appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press where he said he was also considering a bid.
The president responded to the efforts in a pair of tweets on Tuesday evening where he referred to the trio as the “Three Stooges.”
“Can you believe it? I’m at 94% approval in the Republican Party, and have Three Stooges running against me. One is ‘Mr. Appalachian Trail’ who was actually in Argentina for bad reasons,” Trump tweeted.
“Another is a one-time BAD Congressman from Illinois who lost in his second term by a landslide, then failed in radio. The third is a man who couldn’t stand up straight while receiving an award. I should be able to take them!” the president continued.
….Another is a one-time BAD Congressman from Illinois who lost in his second term by a landslide, then failed in radio. The third is a man who couldn’t stand up straight while receiving an award. I should be able to take them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
As USA Today reports:
“Mr. Appalachian Trail” refers to Sanford who admitted in 2009, while governor of South Carolina, to an extramarital affair with a mistress in Argentina after initial reports that he was unavailable because he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. In fact, he had gone to Argentina to visit her, making the phrase “hiking on the Appalachian Trail” a punchline in political circles across the countries at the time and since.
Walsh has been publicly critical of Trump, including the president’s fiscal decision-making and racial rhetoric, despite a history of making controversial and similar statements himself. He has backtracked on many of his own past statements in the past few days, acknowledging he has said “racist things.”
“I helped create Trump, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
As for Weld, the Associated Press reported in 1996 that the then-governor collapsed, fainted and was briefly unconscious during a college commencement where he had been scheduled to speak. Weld had just received an honorary doctorate of law degree when he fell ill which appears to be what Trump is referring to about “receiving an award”.
The report adds:
However, unseating Trump will be no easy feat. The president has the power of incumbency, with nearly 8 in 10 Republicans approving of Trump’s overall job performance in a recent poll, and Trump has brought in $57 million in the second quarter of this year alone, excluding money donated to the Republican National Committee.