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Fmr. Gov. Bill Weld: Anti-Trump Republicans will create third party

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Rick Newman speaks with former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld about opposition to President Trump breaking from Republican lines.

Video Transcript

BILL WELD: Well, I think he's got a pretty good hold on a considerable majority of the party. And, you know, there are people like myself, and Christie Whitman from New Jersey, and Colin Powell, you know, people I've worked with a lot in the past, we're not for Trump at all.

And I think the most interesting question is, what's going to happen in January, February? Because right now, there's this kind of unreal equation where 99 members the United States Senate cast a vote saying that the president had not committed an offense warranting his removal. I worked on doing the law for both the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment. And what he did with Ukraine and trying to feather his own political nest by getting a foreign leader to interfere in our election, that's the most classic removable offense I've ever seen. And this is an area where I do know the law.

So something's wrong with this picture for all the Republicans except for one-- I guess that's 52-- to cast that vote. Whether their failure of judgment would extend to every other vote, no, I don't think so. But it's an unhealthy situation there. And someone's going to have to give.

RICK NEWMAN: So let's say Trump loses. Biden is ahead in the polls at this point. What happens to the Republican Party in that case? Do we suddenly see people, sitting members of Congress, coming out and saying, I was against Trump all along, and the party kind of goes back to what it was? Or is the Republican Party irredeemably changed forever?

BILL WELD: Well, I think it's changed forever. If they do stick with Trump, something's got to break. And I think in January and February, frankly, whether Trump wins or loses, you're going to see an effort by moderate Republicans, joined by moderate Democrats, some practical libertarians, many environmentalists, the old Green Party, come together to form a second party. It might start out being a third party. But it'll be a new party.

And I don't think it'll be called the Republican Party. I think that brand will be tarnished. It might be called the Unity Party, unity being something that's lacking. And, you know, my hope is that that second-- that third party, if it started out in third place, could overtake the second party. That happened in Britain, where the Labor Party started out with almost nothing and quite rapidly overtook the Liberal Party, which had been the number two party.

And that can happen in just a few years. It happened in the 1850s. I know that's a long time ago. But when the Whig Party broke in half, and the northern antislavery have joined with John C. Fremont's Free Soil Party, they didn't win in 1856. But the next time around, they won the whole thing. They elected Abraham Lincoln president of the United States.

And I've had meetings with many, many people who were the coalition of the concerned, people who don't always come out and talk. But they're terribly troubled by what Mr. Trump has done. My longtime media guy and close political friend, Stuart Stevens, has written a book that's on the bestseller list now called "It Was All a Lie How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump." I think that kind of has happened. So I think the consequences are going to be-- it's going to be a consequential election, put it that way.