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Meet the Republicans challenging Trump in the GOP primary

Original article published on What’s on Politics by Charlee available here

Donald Trump may be popular among conservatives — with an approval rating ranging between 89% – 94% depending on who you ask — but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be left unchallenged in the Republican Party primary.

So far, at least three Republicans have announced their candidacy for a face-off with Donald Trump.

In announcing their presidential bids, the candidates warned of the “dangers” of a Trump presidency vowing to take out the Republican president out of the Oval Office.

Here’s a closer look at the three Republicans seeking to battle with Trump in the Republican nomination:

1. Bill Weld

The two term Massachusetts governor announced his plan to run against Trump in the Republican primary last April, becoming the first Republican to challenge the president for 2020. Ironically, Weld also made his announcement on CNN with Jake Tapper.

“Jake, I’m announcing that I’m running for president of the United States as a Republican against Pres. Trump in 2020,” Weld said.

“I really think if we have six more years of the same stuff as what we’ve had in the White House for the last two years, that would be a political tragedy and I would fear for the Republicans. I would be ashamed to myself if I didn’t raise my hand and run,” added Weld the 74 years old former Libertarian.

Fun facts:

  • Weld was the first Republican to win back the Democratic-dominated New England state in 20 years, where he served from 1991 to 1997.
  • He was nominated as US ambassador to Mexico by Bill Clinton but he withdrew when Senate confirmation stalled.
  • Weld supported Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. He also endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016, the same year that he officially became a Libertarian.
  • Weld is an abortion supporter, an advocate of same-sex marriage and legalization of medical marijuana.

In announcing his presidential run, Weld expressed confidence that he could defeat Trump especially in New Hampshire “one vote at a time, one voter at a time.”

At one point, he also referred to Trump as a “sick man” not physically but mentally.

Watch his announcement video here:

2. Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh used to defend Donald Trump. He even claimed to be “partly responsible” for Trump winning the 2016 election. And then just last Aug. 26, he announced he will run for president in the next election, making him the second Republican to face Trump in the Republican primary.

“I’m gonna run for president and I’m happy to be on your show announcing my candidacy,” Walsh, a former Tea Party Republican lawmaker from Illinois told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.

In announcing his bid in 2020, Walsh is clearly running with a message just like everyone else —“not being like Trump.”

“I’m running because he’s [Trump] unfit; somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative,” Walsh said. “The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum – he’s a child,” Walsh told ABC News on Sunday.

But his criticism of Trump, is apparently all that he has to offer to become the Republican nominee for president in 2020. He has no policy agenda except that he claims to be different than Trump.

“I’m running against Trump because he’s morally unfit. Period. It’s about Trump. Not about the issues. It’s about Trump,” he said.

Fun facts:

Here’s his video announcement:

And unlike Weld, Walsh announced his bid for president this time, on ABC News.

3. Mark Sanford

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford is the latest challenger of Donald Trump within the Republican party.

The former governor (also of South Carolina) officially announced his presidential bid on Sept. 8, making him the 3rd Republican to challenge the president among the conservatives arguing that he is disgruntled with the whole party.  Sanford claims the GOP “has lost [its] way” under Donald Trump.

“I’m here to tell you now that I’m going to get in,” Sanford said on ’Chris Wallace Fox News Sunday.’

“I think we need to have a conversation about what it means to be Republican. We’ve lost our way,” he explained when asked why he’s running against Trump.

Sanford’s main issue with Trump is the growing deficit of the government and his social media use, which he said is “not leadership.”

Here’s his very recent announcement video btw:

Fun facts: 

  • He earned both a best and worst governor award —  Libertarian Cato institute’s recognition for best governor and the “worst governor” recognition in terms of ethical conduct.
  • He is 59 years old with 19 years of political experience.
  • His “claim to fame” or, what makes him a stand-out candidate, is a controversy in 2008, when the married governor disappeared for five days, telling his staff he was going to hike the Appalachian trail, only to be found in Argentina with his mistress.
  • Thus, he made the expression “hiking the Appalachian trail” famous as a euphemism for cheating. LOL.

While the president has yet to directly acknowledge his rivals within the party, he has already referred to them as the “ Three Stooges” when he questioned the intent of the three in running against him despite his successes and approval rating within the party.

LOL. Classic Trump.

One thing they have in common though?

They’re all running to offer an alternative to “evil” Donald Trump — not on what they can do better a for America.

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