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Trump challenger calls out president’s ‘dangerous form of megalomania’ after states cancel primaries

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, one of three Republicans currently challenging President Trump for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination, on Sunday denounced the president’s “dangerous form of megalomania” after multiple state Republican parties scrapped their primaries. 

“The effort to stop elections — it kind of has a foreboding feel to it,” Weld told the Boston Herald. “This is a recurring theme that people don’t have any choice. That kind of sums up [Trump’s] approach — ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have elections?'”

Weld added that the schemes hatched by Trump are symptomatic a “dangerous form of megalomania” and argued that the president was “intent on taking over everything.”

“He wants to be the only decision maker,” Weld said. 

The comments from Weld came after Kansas and South Carolina’s Republican parties announced that they had voted to cancel their state primaries during the 2020 election cycle. 

South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement that the decision was made to “save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million” since there was “no legitimate primary challenger.”

The Kansas GOP tweeted on Friday that it would not organize a caucus because “President Trump is an elected incumbent from the Republican Party.”

The party is planning to instead create an “internal party process” to select delegates for the Republican National Convention, The Associated Press reported. 

Nevada and Arizona Republicans are also preparing to scrap their primaries and caucuses, according to Politico. State party officials in Nevada and Kansas have reportedly suggested that they were taking these steps to cut costs and use the funds for other races. 

It’s not unusual for the party occupying the White House to cancel primaries or caucuses. The South Carolina GOP scrapped its primary in 1984, when former President Reagan was seeking a second term, and in 2004, when former President George W. Bush was up for reelection. The Arizona Democratic Party took the same step when former President Obama and former President Clinton were seeking reelection. 

Weld has been outspoken in his criticism of the moves. 

“Canceled primaries? What are you afraid of, Mr. No-Show? Intelligent, experienced, honest and decent competitors? Now more than ever, @realDonaldTrump, you can run but you cannot hide,” he tweeted on Sunday shortly after former South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford announced he’d challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. 

Weld’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from The Hill. 

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