Bill Weld’s classy message to Pete Buttigieg is one of many reasons Republicans need to dump Donald Trump

Bill Weld, Donald Trump and Pete Buttigieg

Bill Weld, the Republican challenging Donald Trump for his party’s presidential nomination, sent a classy message of congratulations to Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg announced on March 1 the he was dropping out of the race for the White House, telling supporters: “The truth is that the path has narrowed to a close.”

Among those to send Buttigieg well wishes was Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor challenging Trump in the Republican primaries.

“Pete Buttigieg brought a groundbreaking and refreshing voice to the presidential race,” Weld tweeted.

“Congratulations for fighting the good fight, and for earning what I know will be a continuing role on the national stage.”

In contrast, Trump reacted to Buttigieg’s exit in typically bombastic fashion.

“Pete Buttigieg is OUT,” he tweeted.

“All of his SuperTuesday votes will go to Sleepy Joe Biden. Great timing.

“This is the REAL beginning of the Dems taking Bernie out of play – NO NOMINATION, AGAIN!”

Weld faces an almost-impossible battle to take the Republican nomination away from Trump, but did made history in the Iowa caucuses by becoming the first party member in almost 30 years to win a delegate while running against an incumbent president.

He told voters in the state that he was running against Trump because he considers him “an extreme racist” intent on “dividing the country”.

Unlikely as it may be, Weld beating Trump to the Republican nomination would be an incredible victory for the queer community.

Weld’s record on LGBT+ rights isn’t spotless – he’s been accused on flip-flopping on equal marriage in the past – but in recent years he has emerged as a much-needed ally in the Republican party.

His liberal stance on many issues led conservative senator Jesse Helms to once accuse him of having a “militant homosexual agenda”.

In 2013 he was among the 75 Republicans who signed an amicus brief to overturn Prop 8, the California law which revoked the right of same-sex couples to marry.

During his 2016 bid for the vice presidency (as part of the Libertarian party ticket), he also came out in support of trans rights.

When asked whether he would enforce protections to guarantee bathroom rights, Weld told Ozy: “That’s the same thing as asking if someone would vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“If bathroom access for transgender people rises to the status of a right that needs protection, then why not?”