On Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Show, correspondent Roy Wood Jr. interviewed Donald Trump’s primary challenger, Bill Weld, and convened “a focus group of Trump voters to see if there really are Republicans thirsty for something new.” While the panel definitely had some misgivings about the President, all of them indicated that they would support him again in 2020; much to Wood’s horror.
The segment began with Wood sitting down with Weld and running through some of his policy positions; concluding that “you’re a Democrat, man.” Weld predicted that “a lot of people in this country who are going to vote in the Republican primary” are “thirsty for something new.” Wood put together the focus group to test that theory.
After the members of the focus group explained their reasons for voting President Trump in 2016, Wood asked the panel “how many of you are concerned by his hesitancy to condemn white supremacy or anything that is racist?” A majority of the voters raised their hands. A majority of the panel also answered in the affirmative when Wood asked if they were “concerned about the fact that he tweets too much.”
Obviously trying to create a narrative of Trump voters regretting their decisions to support him in 2016, Wood asked for a “show of hands if you feel agitated with the way things have gone over the last two, three years.” One member of the focus group said “embarrassed” would better describe how he felt about the Trump presidency and a majority of his fellow panelists agreed.
Since the focus group seemed rather lukewarm towards President Trump, Wood asked them “what if I told you there was an option other than Trump that is Republican?” At first, they seemed intrigued by the idea of a Republican challenger to Trump but their enthusiasm immediately waned when Wood unveiled Weld as “Trump zero.”
In spite of the panel’s lack of enthusiasm for the former Massachusetts Governor, Wood still tried to convince them that “Weld’s policies were the flavor they’re looking for,” marketing him as “fiscally conservative, never been bankrupt, doesn’t tweet at 3:00 in the morning...hands-off approach to markets...and a hands-off approach to grabbing women’s genitals.” In spite of Wood’s best efforts to promote Weld, no one agreed to take him up on his offer to “stand up if you would consider voting for Bill Weld.”
As the focus group came to a close, Wood asked the panel “how many of you are still open to voting for Trump again in 2020?” They all raised their hands. An outraged Wood exclaimed, “But Charlottesville! You just said you’re not sure if he knows Nazis is bad.”
Wood returned to his interview with Weld, who admitted that he probably has no chance at winning but would merely weaken him so he would lose in the general election. An excited Wood asked “so even if you don’t win, you and the other Republicans running against Trump could be enough to sink him?” Wood closed by describing Weld as “a man who is prepared to lose for the good of us all.”
A transcript of the relevant portion of Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah is below. Click “expand” to read more.
The Daily Show
TREVOR NOAH: Welcome back to The Daily Show.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
NOAH: It may be news to you that there is also a Republican primary happening right now. And the reason you may not know about it is because maybe the G.O.P. doesn’t want you to. You see, the party has already canceled any sort of primary challenge in five states. The question is what has got them so scared. Well, Roy Wood Jr. Investigates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
ROY WOOD JR: With all the focus on the Democratic primary, people forget that there’s also Republicans lining up to snatch the nomination from Trump. But who the hell are these guys? Let’s just say one of them is running on a very different party line.
WILLIAM WELD: Donald Trump is a raging racist.
WOOD: What kind of Republican candidate calls Trump a racist out loud?
WELD: I’m a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican.
WOOD: I don’t even know what that means.
WELD: I was all about L.G.B.T.Q and all about medicinal marijuana, you know, 20 years before anybody else was.
WOOD: Let me get this straight. You called Trump a racist.
WOOD: Support gay marriage. Support legal weed.
WOOD: Jesus Christ. Oh my…you’re a Democrat, man.
WOOD: That’s some Democrat shit coming out of your mouth.
WELD: I’m not running as a Democrat. I’m running as a Republican directly against Donald Trump in the primary.
WOOD: Your f***ing sign is blue.
WELD: Light blue. I didn’t design that. No, I think there’s are a lot of people in this country who are going to vote in the Republican primary who are thirsty for something new.
WOOD: Oh, I see what you’re doing. You’re positioning yourself as the healthier version of Trump, right? Like Trump zero.
WELD: You could certainly say that. I don’t have demons propelling me forward.
WOOD: Same Republican taste, but just none of those filling demons.
WELD: Tastes great, less filling. You got it.
WOOD: The problem for Weld is that 87 percent of Trump voters think Trump is doing a good job; even with all this impeachment shit. So, I assembled a focus group of Trump voters to see if there really are Republicans thirsty for something new. We all know this is our leading brand right now. What drew to you this brand in 2016?
SAM, FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANT: Not a politician.
JOLEE, FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANT: He’s a fighter.
JIM, FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANT: Wants to get things done.
WOOD: Was there ever a moment after you voted for Donald Trump, that you went, “Holy shit, I voted for a reality show host?”
LISA, FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANT: Yes, I mean, instantly when I filled in that bubble I did think “did I make a mistake?” And it took a little while to kind of settle down with that.
BRIAN, FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANT: See, that didn’t hit me until Charlottesville. Shouldn’t be an issue for someone to say, you know, “Nazis: bad, white supremacy: bad. Don’t do it.”
WOOD: How many of you are concerned by his hesitancy to condemn white supremacy or anything that is racist? How many of you all are concerned about the fact that he tweets too much?
BRIAN: He’s got nothing better to do than to sit on the toilet and tweet about God knows what?
JIM: Let it go.
WOOD: Show of hands if you feel agitated with the way things have gone the last two, three years.
SAM: Embarrassed is a better word.
WOOD: What about embarrassed? Well, what if I told you there was an option other than Trump that is Republican?
WOOD: You would be open to that?
WOOD: I’d like to introduce to you Trump zero.
LISA: He’s a politician.
BRIAN: He’s old!
WOOD: Trump’s old!
BRIAN: I never said…I mean, yeah.
LISA: That’s Jill Stein. It’s the next election cycle’s Jill Stein.
WOOD: But his name’s Bill Weld.
BRIAN: But, I mean, you can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.
WOOD: Shut the f*** up.
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
WOOD: I just need to show them that Weld’s policies are the flavor they’re looking for, even if it takes all day. He’s fiscally conservative, never been bankrupt, doesn’t tweet at 3:00 in the morning, probably watches “Jeopardy!” He’s in the bed at 6:40 with a warm glass of milk; hands-off approach to markets and…and a hands-off approach to grabbing women’s genitals. Bill Weld says that the government should never be able to stop you from holding a gun or another man’s penis in your hand if you’re married and gay. Show of hands if you’re with him. Ooh! Looks like Trump voters are thirsty for change. Now, based on everything that we’ve discussed today, stand up if you’d consider voting for Bill Weld.
WOOD: Like now, you stand up now when I say you stand up. Damn! So no Weld? I hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means. How many of you are still open to voting for Trump again in 2020? But Charlottesville! You just said…you’re not sure if he knows Nazis is bad.
BRIAN: Stick with the evil that you know.
WOOD: You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me! I’ll be right back. Good news: they all agree that you’re a Republican. Bad news: you’re going to lose.
WELD: Now, it could be that the three of us running against Trump take enough votes from him so it weakens him in the primary, and then, like the last five sitting Presidents who had a primary challenge, they go on to lose. It wouldn’t be winning, but it would be a good thing.
WOOD: So even if you don’t win, you and the other Republicans running against Trump could be enough to sink him?
WELD: You must have done well in school.
WOOD: I did not.
WELD: Oh, okay. Well...
WOOD: There you have it. Bill Weld: A man who is prepared to lose for the good of us all.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
NOAH: Roy Wood Jr., everyone. We’ll be right back.