Ron Paul: "it's at least 50-50 that I'll run"

So, we know that libertarian Republican Gary Johnson is almost certainly going to run for president in 2012. But what about the former Libertarian, Republican Rep. Ron Paul? The New York Times does a little profile of the 75-year-old, and comes up with this:

On Web sites for Ron Paul fans, there are urgent pleas for a father-son (or son-father) "Paul/Paul 2012" ticket. But in an interview, the senior Mr. Paul seemed taken by surprise by the suggestion of teaming up. While he is bursting-proud of his son, he is not necessarily ready to yield the spotlight: He is pondering another presidential run on his own.

"I'd say it's at least 50-50 that I'll run again," he said, adding that he would look at where the economy is. (Aides add that it would depend a lot on what his wife, Carol, says.)

Paul had recently told The New Republic that he will "most likely" throw his weight behind Johnson, and that "I can't imagine endorsing anybody else." Commenter-bait: Which of the four possible scenarios (Paul & Johnson both run, neither of them run, or one of them runs) would you prefer, and why?

Brian Doherty's February 2008 cover profile of Paul's rEVOLution here.

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  • ||

    I think Paul supporting Johnson would be a very good thing. I also think Paul could do significantly better this time around, but I don't know that he has much chance of winning the nomination. Johnson just might, though he's certainly a dark horse candidate.

  • kinnath||

    The social conservatives drive the caucus system in Iowa. Neither Johnon or Paul can win here. But either one of them could make a strong third behind say Palin & Huckabee.

    Picking up a strong second in NH could narrow the race between one SoCon (palin/huckabee) and one small-government type.

  • ||

    Strategy: Both Paul and Johnson run. The establishtards are so fucking scared of Paul that they back Johnson. Johnson wins the nomination. Proceeds to actually get stuff done (or undone) in office.

  • ||

    The old double-switcheroo! It's so crazy that it might just work!

    Maybe even a third GOP libertarian, just to make it look mainstream?

  • Joe M||

    Three GOP libertarians! Haha, good one!

  • ||

    This will be a 2000 comment thread easy. NU-KYU-LAR!

    Racist newsletter! Gold Standard! Blowback!

  • ||

    One would think, but one would be wrong.

  • DMXRoid||

    Johnson Only > Paul Only > Johnson & Paul > None

  • Seer||

    Myself, I say
    Johnson only> Paul & Johnson run> Paul > None

    I can actually see it helping one of them if both run in the long view, because if multiple candidates start advocating for actual limited government, it can't be a bad thing.

  • Thorbie||

    Agreed. GOP voters are all already looking for another candidate beyond the typical three Romney, Huckabee and Palin. I think Johnson can match their energy and be a refreshing representative of the libertarian movement.

  • x,y||

    Bailey/Weigel

  • HP35||

    =NaN

  • Robert||

    WTF? Monosodium nitride?

  • TundraColossus||

    NaN = Not a Number

  • Jonas||

    I'd prefer to see Johnson run alone, with Paul throwing his support behind him. That's the best chance I think for one of them actually winning the nomination.

    After that, I'd prefer to see both of them run. Even if it hurt the chances of both, it would really have a significant impact I imagine on the tenor and content of the debates, which would be good in and of itself.

    I don't see a situation where Paul runs alone unless Johnson somehow gets talked into backing out for Paul's sake, which I think would be just stupid, and I doubt that neither of them runs.

  • LifeStrategies||

    Unless Libertarians support each other, the chances of Libertarians making much difference are tiny.

    Rather than complaining that candidate X doesn't agree with each and every one of your positions and policies, look at how far the other politicians are from you, and then vote for the one closest. The libertarian candidate's message of freedom and free choice is compelling. He/she doesn't have to be perfect, just an improvement on the other candidates...

  • Xeones||

    I'm throwing my support to Zombie Calvin Coolidge in '12. Because unlike Obama or Palin, he can't eat ALL our brains.

  • Colin||

    +1

    He'd get my vote, too.

  • Joe M||

    I think I'd like to see them both in the race initially, because the more libertarian voices in the primaries, the better. Then Paul could eventually exit and throw his full support behind Johnson. I think it would work better than way because Paul has name recognition, and him getting into the spotlight would make an endorsement of Johnson much much stronger. Johnson alone is still a nobody on national scene, although he's a stronger candidate.

  • robc||

    This.

    Especially having both voices in early debates prevents the "gang up on Paul" factor.

    With a strong combined total in Iowa/NH and then the weaker dropping out and throwing their support behind the other would be great.

  • kinnath||

    Last time around, Paul was portrayed by everyone (including the media and the repbulican party) as being a whackjob.

    Having two people stand on the stage and make similar points will make it much harder for the republican establishment to trash either one of them.

    But after Iowa & NH, one of them needs to sit down and support the other.

  • ||

    That's not a bad point.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Last time around, Paul was portrayed by everyone (including the media and the repbulican party) as being a whackjob."

    Yes, but since then some of his "whackjob" ideas have been getting some mainstream traction. I said some, not a lot, though I think that picture would be a little harder to paint next time around, but he still doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell, so I go along with the idea of both running initially.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Pardon my run on sentence.

  • kinnath||

    The fact that his whackjob ideas are gaining momentum would be amplified in the minds of the average TV-viewing dimwit if there was a second voice on the stage as well.

    Paul can't win the presidency. He's old and has lots of baggage.

    He needs to make a strong run in the months prior to Iowa and New Hampshire and then cast that momentum on to someone else.

  • Robert||

    I think you're confusing different phenomena. If people are looking to be persuaded about issues, then it hurts to be portrayed as a whack job. However, if voters are just shopping for a candidate in the primaries, being portayed as the odd one out in a field of many is a distinct advantage. So it should be only one of them. And it should be Mr. Johnson, because after the election, people will remember, hey, there were two politicians with those ideas, one in 2008 and a different one in 2012; can't remember their names but they were different, and I think both were Republicans. So those must be serious ideas, and there's more of that thinking in the GOP.

  • Robert||

    Why would you want to prevent ganging up? Doesn't that help the one being ganged up on in a crowded field? He becomes the main alternative to any of them.

  • ||

    Interesting. I was planning on saying that I'd prefer a concentration of libertarian-ish enthusiasm (probably around Johnson), but then again I'm illiterate when it comes to political gamesmanship like this.

    Related random thought: is the Republican party the only semi-fertile ground for this sort of candidate, or could something meaningful happen with a 3rd-party run? Admittedly neither scenario is likely to win any primaries or elections, but is there a specific reason to keep people like Paul and Johnson under the Republican umbrella?

  • Joe M||

    Paul has spoken to this point a few times. His experiences running for president as a Libertarian in 1988 convinced him that third parties had the deck completely stacked against them, and too many resources get wasted just trying to get on the ballot and get media attention. He thinks, and he may be right, that it's easier to work within the duopoly we find ourselves stuck with right now. He's been pretty effective the last three years.

    At this point, though, I could see the Tea Party breaking off if the GOP fails severely enough.

  • ||

    It's too bad that Gary Johnson's such a poor public speaker. If he weren't, I'd go with my original advice: get on stage during the first primary debate and, while other GOPtards are talking, spark a blunt.

    If he could puff deep and then still crush a question on tax simplification, America would elect him unanimously.

  • Ska||

    If people under age 40 voted he could spark the blunt, stutter like a retard, and still have a fighting chance.

  • Fabius||

    This is exactly what I was about to post. Let Ron Paul build on his momentum while Johnson builds some buzz. Have more than one person for the rest of the field to attack in the first few debates to give the momentum a better chance of building, then boom, RP exits and informs his now more substantial following that Johnson is the guy.

  • Bill||

    Bingo. I so-o-o wanna see them tag-team this cycle's version of Rudy McRomney in the debates. How cool would THAT be...?

  • ||

    A Ron Paul run would be a mistake. It would split the only voting block that could overcome the already-split social conservative block.

    Also, and this is a serious question, what the hell would Ron Paul do as President? Administratively abolish everything? Ideologically he's a superstar, but he never made a single policy plan during his 2008 campaign (unless you count "we marched right in, we can march right out" and "abolish it!") and voters want to, y'know, have some idea of what the candidates would do as President.

  • ||

    Johnson/Musk.

    Just kidding!

  • Warty||

    Real Estate Agent: And, I'm sure a pro-wrestler such as yourself will appreciate all the closet space, Hitman.
    Bret "The Hitman" Hart: [sniffs] Eww. This place has got old-man stink!
    Mr. Burns: Ooh.
    Smithers: Don't listen to him, sir. You've got an enchanting musk.

  • ||

    It's a good, manly name.

  • ||

    I want both in so that is more liberty in the discussion. Since neither of them will win the nomination, that is the best we can hope for. That, and a sink hole sucking all of DC into the center of the Earth.

  • ||

    Johnson / Christie or Johnson / Daniels. Ron Paul can be secretary of the Treasury and get the house in order.

  • Old Mexican||

    "I'd say it's at least 50-50 that I'll run again," he [Paul] said, adding that he would look at where the economy is.

    Will Reason then proceed to do more hit pieces on Ron when he decides to run again? Will the nose-ring be pulled, again?

  • Warty||

    Where's Edward? I forget what I'm supposed to do with Ron Paul's cock.

  • ||

    Call it a racist?

  • ||

    Brew cock ale?

  • Warty||

    That sounds worth trying.

  • Colin||

    I agree more with Johnson, but Paul is a far more interesting candidate, and hence would advance the cause more.

    I don't see any problem with both running, as neither can win -- alone or together.

  • libertarian democrat||

    I'm a huge Paul fan. I don't think Johnson has a chance on a first run (although he might on a second one, I hope). I'd like to see both in there so that they can skew the discussion pro-liberty. Getting momentum and passing it on to Johnson would be pretty sweet too though.

  • Geotpf||

    You guys actually think Johnson actually has a shot? A pot smoker winning the Republican nomination for President? Hilarious.

  • ||

    Beats the last two cokeheads.

  • BakedPenguin||

    At least coke has inspired some good stuff.

    Too bad the Bush and Obama presidencies weren't among them.

  • robc||

    Johnson has also done coke.

  • ||

    He still beats the last two cokeheads.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I love how they always call it "a mistake." Did they think they were snorting PCP and did coke by accident?

  • skr||

    that has happened except it was confusing meth for coke.

  • Ska||

    Snorting meth and thinking you're doing coke is such a disappointment.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, what PL said.

  • kinnath||

    I can't ever remember single one of your posts that actually contributed a useful point to a discussion.

    I hated joe's guts, but he actually did a decent job of representing his side's view of the world.

  • Geotpf||

    Um, ok.

    My point here is that Johnson is not a winning candidate, for blatantly obvious personal (as opposed to policy) reasons, especially in a socially conservative party such as the Republicans. Paul had similiar personal problems.

    Why bother spinning your wheels? Find a different candidate. Or maybe a different party.

    I've seen liberals propose equally flawed ideas elsewhere-I yell at them too.

  • kinnath||

    My parents -- in their mid-70's -- have come to the conclusion that the drug war is a disaster. It not only wastes their tax dollars, but it also drives up the violence in the black market (perhaps they've been watching too much Boardwalk Empire -- who knows where they get these strange ideas).

    They've both voted republican as long as I can remember.

    I really doubt that Johnson can go all the way on his first try. But who really believed in 2007 that Barak Obama would be president in 2010?

  • Barack Obama||

    Not me.

  • ||

    Find a different candidate. Or maybe a different party.

    Is there any combination of candidate and party that would be significantly more viable than Johnson/Republican and come anywhere close to Gary Johnson in advancing libertarian governance?

    I mean, yes, we have no chance of winning -- but it's not like we're ignoring an attractive option. There are none.

  • ||

    Mitch Daniels. You're welcome.

  • ||

    That's a serious compromise on issues that are really important to me and, I think, most civil libertarians. Last I knew, Mitch Daniels wasn't looking to challenge the drug war orthodoxy (please let me know if I'm wrong here).

  • ||

    I would love to elect Milton "The Drug War is a Socialist Enterprise and thus doomed to Fail" Friedman President, too. Miltie would make a great POTUS.

    But, right now, when it comes to the drug war, I'm looking for "not actively bad."

    Also, remember that only Nixon could go to China. And, I think, only a Republican can make it acceptable to walk back from the "Drugs are bad, mmmkay" position that constitutes current American drug policy.

  • ||

    But, right now, when it comes to the drug war, I'm looking for "not actively bad."

    Hah yeah unfortunately that's usually the best you can hope for. Except, of course, with people like Gary Johnson.

  • ||

    But I don't see how he can win even a single primary, let alone the nomination.

    This is why I like Mitch Daniels.

    He says, "The Republican Party should focus on improving the economy, not writing legislation about Terry Schiavo on one hand and paying off lobbyists on the other."

    While I would prefer explict federalism, this strikes me as pretty clear code for "let's make a bigger tent that might include social moderates, if not independents."

    Basically, I'm afraid that we will have to go through the painful steps of medical marijuana and sentencing reform before we can get to through legalization.

    It's discouraging to me, too.

  • Robert||

    Well, how about Tancredo? If you can gin up anti-immigrant sentiment enough that enough people vote on that single issue, then you get him as a sacrifice on that issue as president, and he does everything else good.

    I doubt that it's only medical marijuana and sentencing reform that we have to go thru. It's probably full-on medicaliz'n, whereby over the course of a couple of generations or more, all drug use comes to be viewed as treating a medical condition, and everyone has those conditions, and eventually the drugs go thru prescription-to-OTC conversion so that everyone can just buy the drugs.

  • Joe M||

    Yeah, it's not like the last three presidents smoked... oh, wait, they did.

  • Geotpf||

    Bush was "born again", so that means (from a religious conservative point of view) that all sins from before that point are forgiven. Plus there was a time period difference in any case.

    As for Clinton and Obama, they ran as Democrats, not Republicans (there was also a time period difference as well). If Johnson was running as a Democrat, recent pot use would not be a fatal problem. But he's running as as Republican, so it is.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He would also be running on a platform to legalize marijuana. Which would be more damaging?

  • BakedPenguin||

    I meant "politically damaging," in case that wasn't clear.

  • Geotpf||

    At least it's not hypocritical, like that would matter in a Republican primary.

  • ||

    People like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have admitted to smoking pot without couching it in "born-again" numbskullery. I don't think an admission of pot use is particularly damaging to Republicans -- although a morally consistent opposition to criminalizing others for the same behavior does seem to kill one's chances.

  • Geotpf||

    I wasn't aware that either had said they had. In any case, it can all be cloaked in it being a "youthful indescretion". Johnson doesn't have that luxury, and an excuse that would work with Democrats (it was for medicinal use) won't work for Republicans.

  • ||

    Eh, maybe. I still think Republicans are more troubled by his policy positions than by his personal history.

  • ||

    What are you talking about? You think Johnson still partakes recreationally? He quit decades ago, other than a stint he used to treat pain from a paragliding accident.

  • Geotpf||

    He used it for medical reasons until 2008. Democratic primary voters wouldn't have a problem with that; Republican primary voters certainly will have a problem.

  • Paulnut Allergy||

    Ron Paul had his shot.

    He's more useful as a fundraiser than as a candidate. Let him make the dog-whistle appeal to people like us, and get Gary Johnson out there as the candidate.

  • kinnath||

    It's far easier -- politically and legally -- to raise money as a candidate.

  • ||

    Many commenters here really are clueless.

    Nobody knows Gary Johnson, and his political positions (abortion, immigration) are totally untenable for the GOP electorate.

    On the other hand, Ron Paul has already reached double-digits in several 2010 polls, most recently Michigan (polled by PPP just several days ago). Ron Paul has the built-in base and appeals to many niches (the gamblers, the raw-milkers, the pot-smokers, the wikileakers, the anti-TSA, the gold bugs, the anti-war crowd, the hardcore free-marketers, the hemp people, etc.)

    In short, the "Ron Paul Coalition" CANNOT be reprised by Johnson, end of story.

    Ron Paul needs to run. Johnson can run or not. Doesn't matter.

  • ||

    I tend to agree with this. Ron Paul has the advantage of being anti-abortion (viewing the fetus as an individual with rights). I also think his D.C. experience helps him, whereas Johnson has none.

    On a more superficial level, Johnson also has a bad habit of making odd facial expressions when he talks. He'd be the SNL impersonators' dream candidate.

  • Eric||

    I definitely think both of them running would be best. The whole tide of the debates would change for the better of liberty! In the end though...Ron Paul 2012 all the way

  • Nash||

    Best scenario is Johnson in the primary and then Paul running 3rd party in the general.

    That gives us the longest amount of time of Libertarian candidates in the press.

  • kinnath||

    The best that Paul can do is to run through Hew Hampshire and then focus on getting re-elected to the House.

    The Republican Party is going to get stretched between the Tea Party (which is being subverted by the SoCons) and libertarian-leaning money-bombers behind Paul.

    I expect the nomination will go to someone who is not at the top of everyone's list now. It is way to early.

  • ||

    Paul '08 may have been successful in shifting the political prism in this country. But that was Ron's last shot. A Paul '12 will not resonate, and only serve to give back any ground gained in 08.

    A freedom coalition coup of the GOP is the best we can hope for.

  • ||

    I disagree with this. I think, if anything, as time has passed, small government ideas have gotten more momentum since 2007-2008. I predict if Paul runs, he'll do better than he did in '08 (which is not to say that I think he'll win, but one can always hope).

  • Suicide Pact||

    What about the Hitler/Stalin ticket?

    It's a perfect fusion between our current Left/Right paradigm. Those who voted for Bush will love Hitler's plan for a Final Corporate Solution, albeit without the kill Jews angle. Then with Stalin, you know Krugnuts and Obamaphiles will gladly get behind his utopian plan of bringing equality to all Americans.

    *sighs* Too bad they're dead.

    I'm sure the so-cons are pissed these guys didn't bring the End Times upon us when they had the chance...

  • ||

    Johnson is a waste of time this cycle. He doesn't have the name recognition or the organization to make a successful run. He should stay on the sidelines, or solidly BEHIND Paul.

    Paul will be starting this cycle with the majority of his supporters from last cycle intact, approaching 10% of the Republican primary electorate on day one. Romney the flip-flopping Mormon, Huckster the huge government "conservative," mama bear Palin, and the womanizing cap and trader Newt will all implode in the first quarter of the election. There's not a single small government conservative in the lot.

    Reason, CATO, and the rest of the establishment "libertarians" will be in a quandry over which big-government candidate they'll get behind whilst squelching any remotely libertarian candidate who has the moxie to stand against the DC boys club. Once again we libertarians will not be able to count on the national "libertarian" organizations for any support, as they justify the need for another huge government candidate.

    Judge Nap on "Freedom Watch" may put in a show for libertarians ~ just don't count on Reason or CATO to do the same.

  • db||

    I got as far as "whilst" and then stopped with a LOL. You can't use Britishisms as a libertarian and retain any credibility.

  • ryback's cook||

    Neither Ron Paul nor Johnson have a chance in hell of winning (let's leave poor ol' Rand out of this).

    Paul has more baggage. At the very worst, Johnson is a better messenger and face for small l Republicans than a 77-year-old Texas congressman circling the drain of public life.

    Mitch Daniels seems to be the real horse to watch, especially if he can hang around through March.

  • Mike M.||

    Ronnie, I love you man, but it's time to give up the fantasy already. You're way too old at this point, and you just didn't have nearly enough support even when you were in your prime.

    Besides, we need you to focus all your efforts on performing a much more important service on behalf of America: putting Ben Bernanke in prison.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Aides add that it would depend a lot on what his wife, Carol, says.

    Mrs. Paul, can Ronnie come out to play?

  • jperon||

    Personally I prefer Johnson over Paul. Johnson is actually libertarian and not a social conservative. He is better on abortion than Paul, better on immigration than Paul, and unlike Paul, Johnson doesn't tout silly conspiracy theories about the "Amero", the Fed, world government, etc. So he is better than Paul on the issues and not kooky where Paul goes off the rails.

  • CE||

    There are a lot more silly right-wing conspiracy theory followers out there than there are Republican primary voters who are pro-choice, pro-drug legalization, and anti-empire.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I agree with this. Johnson also may have some semblance of a sane foreign policy.

  • ||

    Paul would definitely be a more successful candidate and cause a big upset, but I think his main problem is that he's getting on in years. I see retirement for him in at least 5 years.

    Johnson, on the other hand, just seems very uncharismatic to me. I can't see him getting anything like Paul's following.

    I'd certainly like to see Paul run. I don't think Johnson is going to get anywhere or achieve anything.

  • Name||

    None of them stands a chance of actually being nominated in a Republican primary. They should both run though. Johnson is good PR, can probably convert over alot of young liberals

  • CE||

    I think both running is the best strategy for pro-liberty forces. Ron Paul has far more name recognition and fund-raising potential at this point. Gary Johnson has more youth, energy, and administrative experience. Use the Republican primaries and debates for Ron Paul to raise cash and Gary Johnson to raise awareness, then have both drop out and run independent, with Johnson at the top of the ticket.

  • CE||

    For those who think Ron Paul had his shot in 2008: he would do much better this time around, even with his age being a greater liability. In 2007, hardly anyone noticed when he entered the race. He barely campaigned in New Hampshire. His supporters didn't figure out how to raise serious cash until a few months before the primaries, and the campaign never really figured out how to spend it effectively. (The act of raising the money did more to help national recognition than the money itself.)

    He went from no national recognition or organization and being labeled a kook even on libertarian sites like Reason, to outlasting establishment darling Giuliani, conservative darling Fred Thompson, and truly quixotic candidates like Brownback, Tancredo, Keyes, Hunter, and Cox. His economic theories have been vindicated, and more and more conservatives are growing tired of the military occupation of half the world now that Obama is presiding over it.

  • Adamson||

    Since neither of them are interested in the Libertarian nomination, I won't be supporting them. I don't vote for Republicrats.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Is it cold up there on your cross?

  • Adamson||

    I'm not a christian - don't know where you gleaned that, but it is in error.

  • ||

    I think it would be best if Johnson ran for the nomination and if he does get nominated by the republicans, then he should pick Ron Paul to be his VP. Then Johnson should pick someone at MPP or NORML or DPA to head the DEA and ONDCP or just get rid of them altogether.

  • Hacha Cha||

    Ron Paul-Gary Johnson 2012 that would be a great ticket, with either as President/VP.

  • Hacha Cha||

    And the father-son ticket is a terrible idea, no offense or disrespect toward Rand. Anyways, he just got elected to the senate.

  • Robert||

    Just Johnson, because if it were just Dr. Paul it'd make it seem nobody else has Paul's ideas; and if both of them ran, then it'd be like 1980 with the movement split between Reagan and Phil What's His Name from Ill., preventing either of them from getting the presidential...hey, wait a minute!

  • Catnap||

    Whatever happens, it's good to see Gary Johnson in there. He will broaden the liberty movement by attracting new people, especially with his outspoken support for legalizing pot.

  • BWM||

    Neither of them could possibly win; having both of them run, however, would be best for getting the message out there. People who don't like one may like the other, and they could hit more issues and more talking points running 2 seperate campaigns.

  • ||

    Johnson is the perfect candidate for the libertarian cause. Young, fit, articulate, and without the fringe types that Paul brings to the table that discredit him. I think as long as he has Paul behind him raising funds, he should be ok.

  • Anonymous||

    Don't reject Gary Johnson based on name recognition. Nobody knew who Ron Paul was before the primary debates, and then he got doused with attention and money.

    The thing with Paul is that his support has likely peaked. The Tea Party has co-opted a lot of his economic rhetoric, and while we informed voters can roll our eyes when Palin or Huckabee talk about fiscal issues, the low-information booboisie will eat it up. Combine that with the lingering issues from his past, and I don't see him realistically doing anything more than he did last year. Remember, the newsletter story didn't break in the mainstream press until the NH primary; it would've been a much bigger deal if he'd remained a viable candidate past that point.

    Johnson, on the other hand, has less skeletons in his closet, is more articulate, has more governing experience (Paul has been more of a gadfly than an executive), and most importantly, he's running in a cycle which has a Democratic incumbent deeply unpopular with the left-wing of his party. It's unlikely that Obama will be seriously challenged in the primary, meaning there are going to be a lot of disaffected liberal-leaning young people with no Dem primary to vote in. These just might be cultivated into a bloc of crossover Johnson votes.

    I don't dislike Paul, and warts and all I think he's done the cause of liberty a great deal more good than harm. But he's taken it as far as it will go, in my opinion. Johnson has the potential to take it farther.

  • Lucy||

    Johnson for Pres, Paul for VP. Johnson seems slightly more libertarian to me.

  • Thorbie||

    I prefer Johnson over Paul. Paul's too old, had his time in the limelight, comes across as a bit too nutty and his conflict with the GOP establishment makes him look more like a spoiler than a real candidate. Johnson has stated many times that he would not run as a third party candidate, because he's a Republican and always will be. I'm not saying that's good for libertarians to hear, but to have any kind of chance in a GOP primary, you need a candidate who at least feels they are part of the party. Johnson's relative youth also lends him more credibility in my opinion. Nobody can say he's off his rocker or that his ideas are behind the times. He's fresh and when he talks, people listen. He's been all over the country with his Our America Initiative and has been making his name known. While Paul has been a Representative for the last several decades, Johnson has executive experience as Governor of a western toss up state. Johnson simply comes across as more reasonable than Paul. I also think Paul's goal should not be to be president himself, but to plant the seeds for other libertarians who come after him. If Paul did not give up the limelight, the libertarian spark might die along with him. I think Paul's endorsement would definitely help Johnson. I'd much rather see Rand Paul run in the future over Ron Paul.

  • givejonadollar||

    Gary Johnson strikes me as a Reason magazine type of libertarian.

    I will take my Lew Rockwell libertarians any day of the week over this bunch. However, I think having Gary run will be hurtful to Ron Paul, but I realize libertarians on the other side of the isle don't have much brainpower, so they will probably support this guy and damage any chance of a real libertarian getting any traction in 2012.

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