Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Makes it Into His Second GOP Presidential Debate

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Over at The Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz reports that this Thursday's GOP debate in Orlando, Florida will now feature a second libertarian:

Gary Johnson, the Republican presidential candidate who has labored in obscurity, is about to get his moment in the spotlight—for one night, at least. […]

The former New Mexico governor won the right to participate, according to Fox sources, by cracking 1 percent in the latest five national polls in which he was included—Fox News, CNN, McClatchy-Marist, ABC, and Quinnipiac—which was the criterion the network had set for inclusion.

Johnson is a quirky character, a libertarian who wants to legalize marijuana and is opposed to a border fence to stop illegal immigration.

Nice of Kurtz to delete the phrase "because he's" between "character," and "a"….

Here's the transcript from the first GOP debate of this presidential season, in which Johnson participated.

Reason's primer on Gary Johnson here; John Stossel talks about him here, and watch our Reason.tv interview below:

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  1. First!!!!

    Everyone below this line is a chump.
    _________________________________________

    1. I will take it for the team.

  2. Gary Johnson, the Republican presidential candidate who has labored in obscurity, is about to get his moment in the spotlight?for one night, at least.

    That’s good! Right?

    Let’s Shut Ron Paul The Fuck Up!

    Ahh, I now see why G.J. was invited…

    1. Jennifer Rubin is a worthless ideologue who has been dogging on Ron Paul every damn day.

    2. And she closed comments on that piece too.

    3. I’d have more respect for the Ron Paul camp if they’d stop trying to stomp on any other libertarian who dares to run for President.

      1. I’d have more respect for Gary Johnson if he had mounted a serious presidential campaign instead of a pitiful vanity exercise.

        1. Johnson would have mounted a more serious campaign if the networks would not have declared his campaign “DOA” from day one.

          … Hobbit

          1. That’s a rather strange argument.

            If the networks are “making” Gary Johnson not try a more serious campaign, then why is he bothering at all?
            Did he expect compliance from establishment shills?

        2. I’d say he’s done pretty well with the resources he has. He’s in the race and has been 100% committed from the beginning. And if you think this is vanity you’re insane. He’s exactly the type of reluctant politician we need. He’s in it to fix the problem. Period. If he doesn’t come out of NH strong he’ll drop out just like he said he would. He’s fighting with everything he has to make sure he wins. I don’t think you can expect any more than that.

          1. Exactly – he’s probably spent about 1/20th of Jon Huntsman, the candidate the media continues to force down people’s throats – yet still polls higher. If you’re making 1-2% and only 20% of Republicans even know who you are, you’re doing pretty good.

            I do think Johnson should run as an indie though. That way his campaign and Paul’s campaign can operate in parallel without fighting for the same base. Johnson has more appeal to the “real” Left than anyone else running anyway.

      2. To be fair, the Paul camp is big, wild, and out of control. There are plenty of fair-minded small government types who focus on the message, but there is definitely a personality cult segment too. But beggars can’t be choosers, and we’re definitely beggars when it comes to politics.

        1. I second this. The obnoxious segments of his followers drove me away from any active involvement this time but they are a small (but VOCAL) segment.

        2. Re: Joe M,

          There are plenty of fair-minded small government types who focus on the message, but there is definitely a personality cult segment too.

          And that worries you? Not this, but the above? Please.

          1. OM:

            I don’t know how much time you spend out in the “trenches” of the comment sections on other sites, but I spend a fair amount of time there, and it’s a mixed bag. Some supporters put together cogent arguments, or good lists of information, while a (small) percentage can get pretty obnoxious. I guess the supporters of other candidates can be even worse, but maybe our position is delicate enough that we should try to rise above the lowest level of back and forth insults, and do better.

            And I don’t know what that video is all about, other than a bunch of preachy celebrities saying… something.

            1. You want to know why I have trouble supporting Ron Paul? The vocal “minority” that drives his cult of personality.

              You want a good example of overreaction and intolerance that drives away people like me?

              Dig up the KMW thread when she dared express her opinion that Ron Paul would not win. The sharp knives came out quick and it was another in a long string of ugly episodes by RP supporters.

              I see no reason right now to bother registering with the Republican party to vote in the primaries for RP. If he makes it to the general election I will most likely vote for him, but I am not going out of my way to support someone whose followers rabidly act like the worst cult followers.

              1. You have to prioritize. Any group that gets big enough is going to have some assholes in it. But the ideas are the important thing, and Paul (and Johnson) has the best set of ideas available right now. I guess it’s easier for me, since I didn’t have to register as a Republican to vote in the primary back in 2008, so there was no issue of making any more effort than just showing up at the polls.

      3. They’re not stomping on any other libertarian running for president, because Gary Johnson is not a real libertarian.

        He is in favor of humanitarian WARS (You know, that little pesky thing where innocents end up getting bombed for their own good by Uncle Sam). He believes in “military trials” for Guantanamo detenees (because we all know the military is so good at opposing unnecessary/illegal wars based on lies where people defending their country are seen as “terrorists”) and while he is in favor of legalizing marijuana he is not going beyond that. So you own your own body, but only as long as Mr. Johnson agrees with what you want to put into it.
        Marijuana? You own your own body. Heroine? The government does.

        There is a reason the Ron Paul “camp” is stomping on Gary Johnson. Even when they themselves are too quick to dismiss Paul’s deficiencies.

        1. Fine, then Paul isn’t a libertarian either because of his immigration positions (let’s not argue about this, we all know what we think). They are both still a million times better than any other candidate.

        2. Federalism isn’t libertarianism either. Sorry, but the Constitution is not a “libertarian” document, since it established a Federal Government with powers the private market could have done (roads, post offices, etc.) It also enabled slavery and other violations of rights because it did not enumerate enough freedoms.

          If libertarianism wants to go mainstream, it needs to make the case that it is the best form of utilitarianism in practice, because individuals can determine their utility better than government. That’s what Johnson advocates.

        3. Johnson is at least pointing in the right direction. He’s got more moderate views, which could make him more appealing to more people. If you don’t think he would be orders of magnitude better than anyone else we’ve had as president in decades, you’re wrong. And if you do think he would be better, but that’s somehow not enough, you’re being impractical. Getting him in would be let getting a beachhead set up, and would allow people to begin to see the benefits of reduced government. Further arguments would be a lot easier.

        4. How am I supposed to take your comment seriously when you don’t know the difference between ‘heroin’ and ‘heroine’? Heroin, the drug, is a condensed form of a natural substance and thus more dangerous. Marijuana is not.

  3. Johnson is a quirky character, a libertarian who wants to legalize marijuana and is opposed to a border fence to stop illegal immigration.

    Oh, please. He’s also open to “humanitarian” wars, which is something like advocating for pity rapes.

    1. Thin gruel, OM:
      “The Kochtopus, for all its many criticisms of the Paul movement, was at a strategic disadvantage: they could diss Paul all they wanted, but what was the alternative? They had none. Now they do: Gary Johnson,…”
      Tin-foil hats are on aisle #6.

    2. Does the position of pity-rapist come with a gov’t salary and pension?

      If so, can I find any openings on the jobs.gov website, or is this one of those crony things where I have to “know” somebody?

      1. Purity Test!!!!1!

    3. The ‘pity rape’ was real good actually.

    4. No STEVE SMITH spoofers?

      1. Please, no.
        Tired beyond any humor.

    5. He’s also open to “humanitarian” wars, which is something like advocating for pity rapes.

      Intervening to stop genocide is now the equivalent of rape? Is that part of a new libertarian litmus test?

  4. Whole Johnson contribution: “As Governor of New Mexico… When I was governor… I did this as New Mexico’s Governor…”

    There. Now you don’t have to watch.

    1. Yep, really poor to run on your accomplishments.

      1. Right. He has ideas, and when he was in office, he implemented policies that brought them to fruition. Imagine!

        1. Horrible!
          And then he has no charisma!
          Burn him!

    2. Yeah, why do we want to know what he’s done in the past? We’ve done so well with a guy who’s work experience consisted of “Community Organizing” and not showing up to vote in either the House of Representatives or the Illinois Legislature.

      I mean, I know snark is de rigueur on these pages, but find something better than ripping on him for actually having been an executive. How about his hiking?

      1. I’m no Obama fan but

        Senator Obama would have to be really f–ed up to try to vote in the House of Reps.

    3. Yeah, why do we want to know what he’s done in the past? We’ve done so well with a guy who’s work experience consisted of “Community Organizing” and not showing up to vote in either the House of Representatives or the Illinois Legislature.

      I mean, I know snark is de rigueur on these pages, but find something better than ripping on him for actually having been an executive. How about his hiking?

      1. I was so angry I posted twice!

        1. Senate, dude. Not House.

          1. Well he definitely didn’t show up to vote in the House then.

    4. Hey, I’m all for past accomplishments- they’re more indicative than anything else. I’m just against a guy with no charisma who babbles on with repetitive lines.

      1. Oh, no! Not no charisma!
        Why, that would be……………….
        uh, what?

        1. “Why, that would be……………….
          uh, what?”

          I believe the answer is, “unelectable”.

          1. “I believe the answer is, “unelectable”.”

            In which case, vote for Obama: He’s “electable”.

      2. So “charisma” is a key factor in deciding who to vote for? Yikes.

        Do you also prefer politicians with nice hair?

  5. Bill Richardson was a better governor if you’re a liberal turd liek ME!

    1. Johnson, less corrupt, but lacked follow through. More often than not, couldn’t get what he wanted implemented. When he did, he ignore details and things went south on him. Won reelection with 55 percent of the vote.

      Richardson, more corrupt, but got his programs implemented. Had lower unemployment than Johnson until the national meltdown. Won reelection with 69 percent of the vote.

      Pretty much a wash.

      1. I will note that Richardson cut taxes below where Johnson left them. His spending habits, however, were hardly admirable.

        1. So perhaps a case could be made that Richardson was only able to cut taxes because Johnson’s spending baseline was lower? In the medium run, it’s the spending that matters.

          1. Nah. I think gas prices were a bigger factor.

  6. I’d much prefer if I was included in the debate. I’d really fuck their statist shit up. Unless I turned out to be a chickenshit on camera, in which case I wouldn’t, but it’s worth a try. If Newt Gangrene can do it, why can’t I?

  7. Aside: We’ll soon need a sticky Solyndra thread:
    “Solyndra executives to plead the Fifth at hearing”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/……DTL&tsp=1
    First, they’re too busy washing the car to show up, and now, well….

    1. What the fuck is a Solyndra?

      1. The “Old Tesla”
        http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05el…..pAscending
        Tesla “received $465 million in low-interest loans in 2009 from the Department of Energy to jumpstart production of electric cars.”
        Current production = zero. But a new car is promised real soon!

        1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Tesla just use old tech to build it’s cars? IIRC, the battery systems were akin to laptops or cellphone batteries. That boondoggle was just more of the same.

          IOW, all of these subsidies need to disappear. Not only are they rarely worthwhile, they don’t pass constitutional muster.

          1. sloopyinca,
            A while back I had some solid information on the issue; no longer.
            At that time, yes, they were using the ‘laptop’ batteries; the same ones that caught fire in Dell computers and (one other notable brand).
            The last I heard, the overheating problem was finessed by re-writing the operating instructions and some effort at directing cool air towards the batteries.
            All of which ignores the fact that their 2-seater went not quite half-way between SF and LA, requiring two charges on the way.
            And now, they claim to be introducing a sedan, and I haven’t seen one suggestion of, oh, like crash-testing like other car builders have to do, let alone anything suggesting the ‘tank-mileage’ has changed to accommodate the heavier vehicle.

            1. But it’s saving the earth how could it not be safe?

              1. This is an interesting point.
                I’m waiting for the first serious accident involving an ‘electric vehicle’.
                It’ll probably require haz-mat teams blocking off a half-mile radius to remove the heavy metals and acids spilled in the event.
                The victims will require quarantine to make sure they don’t contaminate by-standers.

                1. When insurance companies start getting the bills for hazmat cleanups you can bet electric and hybrids will begin to look even less attractive economically those who have to pay the premiums (the owners). Then it’s only a short jump to socialized auto insurance for all.

                2. Apparently fire and rescue type are already receiving training on dealing with hybrids (which–also having large battery systems–present similar risks), and the manufacturer do things like coat all the high current bits in brightly colored plastic (it’s got to be insulated anyway).

                3. I’m waiting for the first serious accident involving an ‘electric vehicle’.

                  Right. Because there have never been any accidents involving batteries before. And all of the stuff in a combustion engine is perfectly safe an benign.

                  The subsidies are stupid, the government shouldn’t be picking winners, but wild speculation like this isn’t helping your case.

            2. They are claiming a 300 mile range for the Sedan, goes on sale in 2012. Also claiming a 45 minute recharge. Hmmm….

              1. sevo db…

                Have you ever left your house? The Prius has been around since 1997. This is not the problem you are imagining.

      2. Something that’s more of a scandal to the political elite than a heap of Mexican corpses.

        1. ^This. Also, gov waste is not really news.

  8. GAREEEE!!! clapclapclap!! GAREEEE!!! clapclapclap!!

    Seriously, I think GJ does a much better job of giving the libertarian perspective without freaking everyone right the fuck out than Paul does.

    I hope he swats at the ringleaders hypocrisy with glorious aplomb.

    1. Totally agree.

    2. Umm, Paul’s not freaking people out because he’s doing a rain dance up there. People are seriously afraid of not being at war, not arresting high people and changing the ruinous status quo in government. Everyone else is trying to shit rainbows out their ass and that’s what the audience wants. Even if Paul was nice and calm about it, people would still freak out at his suggestions of radical change.

      GJ won’t change that, no matter how cuddly he may be.

      1. People are seriously afraid of not being at war, not arresting high people and changing the ruinous status quo in government.

        Last I checked the polls show the majority wants us out of both Afghanistan and Iraq, to decriminalize marijuana and despises both parties with a passion.

        Maybe the base GOP folks are against all three, but that’s my point about GJ. I think he appeals to centrists and independents better than RP because he isn’t as shock inducing in his delivery.

        1. The GOP base would still hate and despise them as they hate and despise Paul.

          Dude, people may not like war or locking high people up in the abstract sense, but tell them its that or the end of society and see how fast they hop back on the bandwagon.

          Paul and Johnson won’t change that, but they do provide focal points for those few left not paralyzed by fear.

          1. I agree that Johnson has no chance at the GOP nominee but I just think he does a better job of explaining libertarian fundamentals to a Gop audience than Paul. He doesn’t seem to scare them as much I guess.

            1. Except when he mentions that he’s pro-choice. 🙁

            2. “I agree that Johnson has no chance at the GOP nominee”
              You’re probably right, and the same goes for Ron Paul.
              Which means my string of NOT voting for a GOP presidential candidate will continue.
              (actually not quite: I voted for Goldwater and, yep, we got war)

              1. You’re old, sevo.Are you enjoying my Social Security payments?

                1. “Are you enjoying my Social Security payments?”
                  Yep, they pay for the gardener.

            3. I agree that Johnson has no chance at the GOP nominee but I just think he does a better job of explaining libertarian fundamentals to a Gop audience than Paul. He doesn’t seem to scare them as much I guess.

              Indeed, and as others have mentioned, Paul has a bizarre cult of personality that tends to scare people away. On the issues, it seems to me that Johnson, while far from perfect, is vastly superior – and he could give the fundamentalist Christians (including Paul) who dominate the Republican Party a run for their money. Everyone but the most fanatical Paul worshipers is also aware of the political baggage the guy carries. It’s difficult for me to take Paul seriously when the guy is enveloped in conspiracy theories and surrounded by lunatics.

      2. You don’t know that! He’s cuddly as fuck.

    3. Ron Paul is freaking people out BECAUSE he is giving the libertarian perspective.

      Gary Johnson can’t be doing a “better job” than Ron Paul, unless being totally irrelevant and ignored is what you would consider doing a “good job”.

      The degree to which GJ isn’t “freaking people out”, it’s either because nobody takes him seriously anyway, or because his positions are wishy washy and open to compromise with establishmentarian politics.

      I would hardly call the latter “doing a good job at giving the libertarian perspective”.

      1. GJ and Ron Paul are very different on many issues – gay rights, borders/immigration, abortion being primary ones. Ron Paul wants to leave gay rights, drug law and abortion to states. While there are many, many merits to federalism, do states really respect individual rights better than the Federal Government? I’d rather a president that affirms those rights outright and uses utilitarian arguments to sell it to the public than hide behind Constitutional federalism, which cuts both ways (see also: Jim Crow).

  9. He doesn’t want to build an 800-mile fence along the border? That’s so quirky!

  10. Of course, it won’t matter a damn bit if he doesn’t get any questions. Too bad Santorum didn’t fall behind in one of those polls…

    1. God, Santorum is rediculous. Can we just merge him with Gingrich and get it over with.

    2. Despite the sleaze and political typicality all the candidates besides Paul and Johnson are saturated with, Santorum takes the whole mother-fucking cake.

      The guy simply oozes sleaze and deceit and untrustworthiness. Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t trust the son of a bitch to mow my frigging lawn, let alone allow him to become the holder of the most powerful office in the history of the world.

      1. Santorum certainly oozes something. Especially when he gets worked up into a froth.

          1. I would not vote for Santorum if he got the nom. I would naaaaaahhht.

    3. Huntsman is farther back than Santorum even. He’s the Media’s Candidate?.

  11. I might actually watch this debate. Although Johnson will probably look like a left fielder at a t-ball game.

  12. Awesomeness.

    But he’s really gonna have to go for the homer on this one. He might not get another chance.

    1. Agreed. He is going to have to perform much much better than he did at the first debate. He was awkward and let himself be led into stupid sidetracks, e.g. the reality show nonsense.

  13. When he doesn’t get the nomination, Johnson should seriously consider running for Bingaman’s old seat in the senate. Since he’s already won statewide election he should have a good chance of winning the seat, and he’d be quite an improvement over the recent batch of senators that state has sent to Washington. Plus, Rand Paul could use the company of another libertarian.

    1. This X1,000,000

      He would have done so much better in the Senate. 2012 was the wrong timing. Ron Paul will not be in the 2016 race, so Johnson could pick up the banner at that time. Maybe he would be seen as a more serious candidate, then, also.

      … Hobbit

      1. One of the issues that any NM governor faces when running for president is that NM’s entire state budget is many times smaller than, say, that of the NYC public schools. Being governor of NM actually isn’t experience that prepares you to be president. The only thing it will prepare you for is the corruption and partisan brinksmanship.

        1. “Have you ever left your house? The Prius has been around since 1997.”

          Yes, it’s very hard to balance a check-book when there’s all those zeros on the right, isn’t it?

        2. Ooops:
          “One of the issues that any NM governor faces when running for president is that NM’s entire state budget is many times smaller than, say, that of the NYC public schools.”

          Yes, it’s very hard to balance a check-book when there’s all those zeros on the right, isn’t it?
          (note t self: Preview!)

  14. Johnson is a quirky character, a libertarian who wants to legalize marijuana

    Obama is a quirky character, a socialist who wants to not legalize marijuana

  15. for those that don’t know, GJ has been doing Hangouts on google+ where pretty much anyone can get on and ask him any question they want. It’s amazing stuff. HIGHLY recommend getting on there and checking them out.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely have to look into that.

  16. Those guys really do seem to know exactly whats going on out there.

    http://www.anon-surfing.it.tc

  17. 10 to 1 that this debate gets next to zero media coverage.

    1. Well Fox will be covering it…

  18. very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it.

  19. “they do provide focal points for those few left not paralyzed by fear”who is they?

  20. “Maybe he would be seen as a more serious candidate” who is he?

  21. Though I was sympathetic to Johnson’s complaints about being excluded from the prior 2 debates (can you really argue that he has less of a chance of becoming president than Gingrich, Huntsman, or Cain?), I can only paraphrase Katherine Mangu-Ward: he’s bringing some great ideas to the debate, and he’s getting about the right amount of coverage for someone who’s never going to be president. He knows it.

    Personally I think Johnson is a bit of a lightweight. But the bigger problem is that he doesn’t have two dimes to rub together to run his campaign. Which is probably why no one outside of Reason knows who he is.

  22. You know, I wonder if missing a few debates and finally getting back in could be better for his campaign, in the long run, than having been just another also-ran in the last four would’ve been. According to an e-mail I received from his campaign, press interest and website traffic have both spiked dramatically since the announcement of his inclusion. I mean, he’s the only thing that is different about this debate, so he’s kind of the hot topic for the week. Since practically no one watched the first debate back in May, most people didn’t even know he was a candidate.

  23. It’s about time! Reason has been amazing at covering GJ before and after he declared his candidacy. The American voters, not the establishment press, are the ones who elect the President. Allowing the media to pick winners and losers this early on is antithetical to our democratic process. My coverage of the Gary Johnson campaign: http://www.spatialorientation.com/

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