(CNN) — Libertarian vice presidential nominee Bill Weld said Monday he believes running mate Gary Johnson “would be the best president because of the policies” that he’s proposed, as the former Republican governor sought to redirect focus away from his recent comment that he’s “not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton.”
Weld told CNN’s “New Day” host Chris Cuomo that he meant that he’s “not sure there is anybody more qualified on paper” than Clinton, clarifying that he thinks Johnson would be the best person for the job once in office because of his ideas.
“Well, I said I’m not sure there is anybody more qualified than she is on paper. I mean, she’s got quite a resume. Six or eight years as a senator. She was known for mastering her brief in the Senate and four years as secretary of state. On paper, that is a pretty good resume,” Weld said.
He continued, “I went on to say that I think Gary Johnson would be the best president because of the policies, fiscal and military and otherwise, that he would implement.”
Weld also pushed back on criticism of Johnson’s recent high-profile foreign policy gaffes, such as when he failed to identify the Syrian city of Aleppo during an interview, and couldn’t name a world leader he respected when asked during an MSNBC town hall event.
“You know, pop quizzes on TV are just not Gary’s long suit. But I think having the right policies is more important than doing well on a pop quiz,” the former Massachusetts governor told Cuomo.
Weld articulated Johnson’s argument against military interventionism, adding, “Gary Johnson has said that, and that’s more important than the place names.”
Weld was also asked if he is concerned about the Libertarian ticket’s potential role as presidential spoiler, as recent polls have shown Johnson and Weld cutting into Clinton’s support among younger voters. But Weld dismissed concerns that his ticket could hand Donald Trump the presidency.
“On the technical question of who we’re taking votes from, I’m quite sure at the end of the day we will end up with a lot more moderate Republican voters than we will votes coming from Mrs. Clinton. That’s just my view, but I do think that’s all right.”
Cuomo followed up, asking, “If pollsters and someone you trust and come forward and said — hey, our data is showing that we draw independents largely and we’re biting into Clinton’s part of that apple, Trump’s numbers (are) fairly fixed, there’s attrition on her end, it’s coming to us — would that change your analysis of what to do with your campaign?”
“You know, it wouldn’t change my analysis of what to do,” Weld answered. “Gary and I are both happy warriors. We’re running full speed ahead. But I would doubt that analysis, to tell you the truth.”