Weld Will Not Run For President in '96

Ending months of speculation, Gov. William F. Weld '66 announced yesterday he will not seek the presidency in 1996.

In a news conference at the State House yesterday afternoon, Weld said he fears a presidential run would hurt his abilities to be a successful father and a successful governor.

"I suppose it is possible to be a presidential candidate, governor, father of five teen-agers all at the same time," Weld said, according to a transcript of the conference. "But I think at least one of those roles would have suffered. Probably all three would have suffered."

But the two-term governor said he would accept a vice-presidential nomination.

"That would be up to who the nominee is, "Weld said. "I don't think anybody would say no to the nominee of their party."

Weld said he has not yet ruled out mounting a challenge to U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in 1996 and will remain active on the national political scene.

"I will continue to work with the Republican Congress on matters like cutting the size of government, reforming welfare, keeping taxes down and other issues where I can contribute," Weld said. "I will also work with the Republican Party both to ensure the election of a Republican president and to represent issues and voices that I believe my party should recognize."

David M. Weld '98, the oldest of Weld's five children and a Wigglesworth Hall resident, said yesterday that he supports his father's decision wholeheartedly.

"It would have been very different from a gubernatorial race," David Weld said.

The younger Weld said his father decided not to run after discussing his possible candidacy with his family.

"We talked it over," David Weld said.

Even if his father had decided to run, David Weld said he likely would not have spent a long time on the campaign trail helping his father.

Weld joins a list of Republicans including former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp and former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney who have decided not to run in 1996.

Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) is currently the only declared Republican candidate. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), former Gov. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Richard Lugar(R-Ind.), Rep. Robert Dornan (R-Cal.), commentatorPatrick J. Buchanan, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.)and former Labor Secretary Lynn Martin will alsolikely vie for the nomination.

With Weld's withdrawal, speculation hadcentered on Gov. Pete Wilson (R-Cal.) as aprospective presidential candidate. Weld has saidin the past that he expects a "pro-choice governorwhose last name begins with W to be on theticket."