Mitt Romney

Former GOP Presidential Candidate Buddy Roemer Calls For Gary Johnson to Be Included in Romney and Obama's Presidential Debates

"Nowhere is it written--in the Constitution or elsewhere--that we should have only two choices for President," Roemer said.


Former GOP presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, himself no stranger to exclusion, called today for Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson to be included in the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama's televised debates.

From the email sent out by the Johnson campaign:  

"I saw and experienced first-hand how the media and major party 'establishment' can use debate invitations to narrow the field in a presidential election.  That should not be allowed to happen this Fall. Gary Johnson is a very successful two-term governor who has currently met the requirement of being on the ballot in enough states to be elected President. He must be in the Presidential debates."

"Despite what the vested special interests,  the media, and the two 'major' parties would have us believe, nowhere is it written—in the Constitution or elsewhere – that we should have only two choices for President. Especially when those two choices are basically the same choice. Voters deserve the opportunity to see and hear a candidate who will offer real alternatives for this nation. Gov. Gary Johnson offers that alternative. Johnson, has the resume and record to back up what he is saying. Gov. Gary Johnson's voice deserves to be heard."

"I have gotten to know Governor Johnson over the past several months, I am convinced that he is a capable and proven leader. His message deserves to be heard, and as a fellow former governor, I have tremendous respect for his record as a chief executive. He is a leader that many Americans could easily support if only given the opportunity."

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit cofounded by the Republican and Democratic parties in 1987, requires that a candidate receive 15 percent in five major polls to be included in the televised debates leading up to November. 

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  1. Pity Romney if Johnson gets more play. He ain’t pulling many votes from Obama.

    1. I think Johnson is what he is. The people who are going to vote for him have already decided to do so.

      1. How is that possible to say when only 40% of the country has even heard of him, and even less than that know what he stands for?

        1. And “WTF is a ‘Buddy Roemer’?”

          /80% of the country

      2. What if some pro-Johnson PAC spends a billion dollars comparing the records of Johnson, Romney and Obama in nationally televised ads?

    2. The Dude: Fuck sympathy! I don’t need your fuckin’ sympathy, man, I need my fucking johnson!
      Donny: What do you need that for, Dude?

    3. Not true. Just yesterday his campaign sent out a promo obviously targeted towards the Left blasting Obama for doing even things on civil liberties (drone killings, spying, etc.) progressives would have hated Bush for doing.

      1. But Bush hasn’t been doing those things the past three years; Obama has. And for good reasons rather than evil ones. The people who vote on civil liberty issues will never vote for anyone who had an R after their name. Civil liberties is a nonstarter.

        1. What about dope?

          1. Episiarch? I don’t know, what about him?

      2. Trouble is that anything that Johnson says that proggies are remotely sympathetic to will be drowned out by their wailing about him abolishing all the programs for teh wimmins and teh childrun!!!

        Remember these are the people who still remember how during the Reagan Administration the streets ran red with the blood of people dying in them after their benefits were cut off.

        Besides that the proggies would love our great military if it were only used to invade Buttfuckistan to make sure the wymin would get free abortions and birth control.

    4. I thought there was some polling not too long ago that showed that Johnson pulls pretty equally from both candidates.

    5. Yes, but let’s face it, Johnson isn’t exactly the greatest debate speaker.

      1. Especially with the soundbite format and gotcha questioning format they’ll likely use.

      2. He is a better speaker than Ron Paul. I like a lot of Ron Paul’s ideas, but he has a rambling delivery.

    6. Fist, you forget that he was twice elected governor in an overwhelmingly Democrat State. So he must know something about appealing to Team Blue voters, and independents as well. In the case of Johnson, we’re not just talking about hypotheticals, as is the case with most LP candidates. This fellow has a track record in the real world, and the demographics of his electoral appeal may surprise you. Of course, it would help a lot if he could get into the debates.

  2. The Republicans want Johnson in the debates. Johnson has nothing to lose and will go all out. Here is the question, who will handle Johnson attacking them better Obama or Romney? Obama has shown time and time again he is at heart a thin skinned prick who can’t take criticism. Johnson will bring out the worst in Obama.

    1. If this is the case then the Republicans should want Johnson in the debates. Romney could win these debates by simply not being an asshole.

      1. That is kind of what I am thinking.

      2. I don’t see Romney matching any substantive points that Johnson can make. Johson will win the debates if he is allowed in them, which is why the GOP establishment will join the Dem establishment in excluding him.

        1. What Johnson would highlight is how similar the two major parties actually are. Can’t have that.

          1. I was amazed that Roemer pointed that out, but you’re right. To the establishment, that knowledge getting more widespread is a bug, not a feature

        2. Johnson didn’t win the GOP debate he was in. His only recognition was for plagiarizing recycling a Rush Limbaugh quip.

          1. With 9 or 10 candidates, it’s hard to win every time. Even Ron Paul only won about 75 percent of the debates he was in.

    2. Bets on Obama screaming “HE JUST HATES ME BECAUSE I’M A BROTHER” as Johnson calls him on his bullshit on a question?

      1. Let me be clear… the Governor and I must agree to disagree on this point. And if he continues on this line of questioning, I can send him to Guantanamo.

      2. Bets on him not getting a chance to call bullshit on anything Obama says.

    3. Ya think? I agree with FOE that Johnson wouldn’t pull many votes from Obama. Roemer also thinks this, or has he had a true Damascus moment?

      1. People understand that Johnson is not going to win. So voting for him is effectively voting for Obama or Romney depending on who you would have voted for otherwise. For that reason I just don’t see Johnson pulling many votes. I see him doing damage to one guy or the other and helping the other candidate.

        If Johnson destroys say Romney in an exchange, swing voters who were supporting Romney are not going to go “wow lets vote for Johnson”. They will vote for Obama or vice versa. So the question is, who would Johnson damage the most in the debate. And I think that is probably Obama.

        1. I wouldn’t vote if those were my only two choices.

          1. This. Voting for one of the major parties is throwing your vote away.

        2. So John is back on the “Vote for Romney because ______” bandwagon?

          1. So John is back on the “Vote for Romney because ______” bandwagon?

            Nope – but I’m starting to jump on the “The Hammer sucks at reading comprehension” bandwagon.

        3. That’s yesterday’s thinking though. The LP has never had a candidate anywhere near as qualified as Gary Johnson. He has a better record than Romney or Obama, and he’s more aligned to the majority of voters on the issues than they are.

          All he needs to do is to raise and spend enough to crack 15 percent in the polls, get in the debates, and the “wasted vote” theory will fall by the wayside. It did with Perot, who was polling above 30 percent for a while, until he flaked out and mentioned the Republican dirty tricks effort (which was undoubtedly real, but which gave the media their shot to paint him as paranoid.)

      2. I wonder if, almost counter-intuitively, he’ll be such a contradiction to Obama that it will encourage potential Johnson voters to do whatever it takes to get rid of Obama rather than vote for Johnson.

    4. Good points. The easier thing for Johnson to contrast himself to is Obama’s record rather than Romney’s somewhat vague policy prescriptions. He could amount to a attack dog for Romney. It’s a sorry state to find the Libertarian party in, but that doesn’t make any less realistic.

      1. Fuck it. Johnson should attack both of the motherfuckers, alternating with each question, and emphasize how much they are exactly the same thing. It might not win, but it might actually get some new people thinking about the libertarian party.

        1. Go long colloidal silver.

          1. I’ll talk til I’m blue in the face if I have to! I paid for this microphone!

        2. That would be refreshing to see and possibly the only thing, at this point, that would get me to watch the debates. I’m usually first in line to live comment these debacles but I’m having a hard time thinking I can stomach an Obama/Romney debate.

    5. I can’t imagine the Republicans wanting Johnson in the debates. I don’t see that they have anything to gain, since he can equally be critical of both Romney and Obama.

      No chance that Johnson gets in, even if his polling is high enough to qualify. They’ll come up with some way to keep him out. Look what’s happened to Ron Paul’s delegates in some states. Those bastards will NOT give him a chance.

      1. This is pure speculation. He will never get into the debates. Both parties are too risk adverse.

        1. Yep. Lots of risk for potentially zero reward. Not gonna happen. I’d like to see him pull 15%, just to see the shitstorm that could result, but the Rs and Ds have well established records of breaking their own rules to keep the status quo.

    6. Chances of Johnson getting into The Debate = My Chances of getting 75 seconds of naked sexytime ecstasy with Kristen Stewart.

  3. After seeing Johnson in a couple of GOP debates I think neither Obama or Romney should care much about this.

    1. He’s had all summer to polish up his act. I’d be hopeful that he could be a stronger presence this time around.

      1. I doubt it. Every interview I’ve seen with him, he’s had bedhead and awkward speech cadence. Not that those should matter, but it’s hard to get people to listen to your policy views when you look like a homeless guy who’s been given a shave and a suit.

  4. Cudos to Buddy for making the right call. As for those who feel Gary Johnson will only steal votes from Romney . . . that is wrong. Most recent expert opinion indicates Gary Johnson will receive nearly an equal amount of votes from both of the big two. I know more that a few Libertarians (and those who love Liberty) read this rag. In order for Gary Johnson to get on the platform Gov. Roemer suggests is for Gary Johnson to receive a national poll approval of 15%. Many Americans still don’t know about Gary Johnson. He is fighting to get up to that 15% to get him in the debate with Obama. He needs our support right now if we want to get this country back in order. This has become more than an election. It is about the voice of liberty and freedom.

    1. I tend to agree. While true libertarians tend to not be Democrats at all (and are a quite marginalized minority within the GOP), Johnson still serves a useful role as a protest vote, either way.

      The fact that he might try to cut spending and reduce the size and scope of government isn’t really that threatening to the disenchanted Democrat, as he’s not going to win. But it would show that the economy and civil liberties do matter.

  5. Again, I would say forget about the phony-ass Commission on Presidential Debates and look for another debate sponsor which can invite Obama, Romney, Johnson and a couple other 3rd party types (eg, Goode and the Green gal). Let Obamney reject the invitation, and then get some major-party celebrities to speak in their place, preferably actors or musicians with their existing fan base.

    Never mind the CPD – they are simply a proxy for the 2 major parties.

    1. This.

      Seems like a job for the Donald.

    2. Reason can’t host it’s own debate?

      1. Reason probably hasn’t got the money to buy the TV time to make any debate they hosted matter.

        I mean look at the junk they put together for their website, they are obviously using under or unpaid interns to do most of the work and clearly do not even have a QA department to test the crap before posting it live (that said I seem to be in the minority of liking the new look and feel but the number of bugs is way too large and needs to be addressed).

        This is just a guess here but to get their debate on the air on just a single network would probably take somewhere around of 5 million dollars, to get it on all the major networks would probably cost in the rage of 20 – 25 million or they could go on the cheap and do it on just CSPAN for about a million and have nobody watch it.

        1. “Reason probably hasn’t got the money to buy the TV time to make any debate they hosted matter.”

          Kochtopuss doesn’t have the money? :-/

          1. I’m sure the Koch brothers could fund it either directly or through any number of their affiliate organizations, however this would presume that they actually wanted a libertarian candidate to be showcased and not just back the Republican candidate to get Obama out of office.

            1. “however this would presume that they actually wanted a libertarian candidate to be showcased”

              I didn’t know the purposes of debates were to showcase any particular individual. Would that be your reason to fund a debate?

  6. Modern “debates” tend to be alternating monologs. GJ, or *someone*, needs to play the role of gadfly.

  7. I wonder if this will make Taranto’s “Bottom story of the day”?

    1. Now, I have a message to all the members of the IOC. The torture inflicted by “Black September” on the 11 Israeli athletes and their families took 48 hours. Your torture of the families and the memories of those esteemed athletes has lasted 40 years. I am not satisfied with a moment of silence in every Opening Ceremony of the Summer Games. Now I want all of you to lose your jobs and be replaced by real Olympians who care about the athletes and believe in the Olympic charter.

      The threat of the IOC coming after me does not scare me anymore. When you have no more dignity, you have nothing to lose. So, members of the IOC — my name is Guri Weinberg and I am the son of Moshe Weinberg, the wrestling coach murdered at the 1972 Olympics. And I am not going away.

      Yeah, good luck with that.

      1. Still isn’t this:

        Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the [Palestinian terrorists] who died at the Olympics in 1972.

        1. fucked up?

          1. Oh, completely. Believe me I’m with the coach’s kid wholeheartedly.

            But the whole rage against the machine act is kind of gay and Euro-trashy. He should have just ended there, or followed up with some more correspondence, instead of just becoming some kind of internet tough-guy.

            1. (although being an Isreali wrestling coach’s son he’s probably also an actual tough guy)

            2. Yeah I agree. I wasn’t at all into the whole facebook spam over the IOC and Munich until I read this op-ed.

        2. A moment of silence for the Holocaust victims, then one for Hitler and the other Nazis who dies during the war.

  8. Meh, Libertarians perform shittily in debates; mostly because the 1-2 minute response times are fucking worthless for explaining your answer. Debates are such a fucking joke, and people that vote based on debate performance are idiots anyways.

    1. I think debates are total nonsense, too. Being president–a good president, that is–has very little to do with debating and making off-the-cuff responses.

      1. Unfortunately, being elected president has a lot to do with that crap.

        1. Only because we let it. Us and the almost entirely useless media.

          1. Well we’re more likely to get a billionaire glib charismatic Libertarian candidate than to get people to stop being morons and an effective, conscientious and just media.

          2. And the old people who are brainwashed by the teevee. But they won’t be the deciding factor forever.

    2. Those are usually debates they’re trying to win.

      It can (and should) be a different story when you’re basically just in there as a spoiler/enlightener.

      1. I don’t really understand the context of your comment in reply to mine. I don’t think libertarian ideals can be conveyed in 1-2 minute chunks, no matter whether you’re trying to “win” or simply have fun.

        1. You just said what I was trying to say. Libertarian candidates perform poorly in debates they’re trying to win BECAUSE their ideals can’t be conveyed in 1-2 minute chunks.

          However, they CAN (or should be able to) dismantle either of the statist opinions offered in the same amount of time, if that’s all that they care about doing (which it should be at this point).

          1. I disagree. These guys responses don’t even address the question asked most of the time; it’s merely chunks of 2 minute stump speeches that they’ve rehearsed beforehand a thousand times. There’s nothing to “dismantle” because the shit they’re saying basically holds no weight.

            Were the debates conducted via a written format, libertarians could “win” hands down, without a freaking fight. Someone starts reading a line of bullshit (rather than hearing it) and they skip over it; someone starts reading a valid argument, they might get interested in the particulars of the argument.

            1. Oh, I’m confident that Obamney would both say something in their 2 minutes on which an astute listener could concisely destroy them.

        2. Libertarian ideals can be conveyed in 1 to 2 minute chunks, easily. Ronald Reagan did it all the time, he just never followed through. The American people are anti-government. They’re just not anti-government-benefits-for-me-and-my-kids.

          1. Some Reagan quotes:

            Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.

            Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.

            Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.

            Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

            Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

            Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

            Man is not free unless government is limited.

            1. A few more:

              The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

              The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last ? but eat you he will.

              Government is never more dangerous than when our desire to have it help us blinds us to its great power to harm us.

              There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

    3. The debates (as if I’m giving anyone any new information here…) are a construct of the two parties and the media.

      Adding more voices to the debate is hard. It’s hard for the candidates because you set a campaign strategy and focus it like a laserbeam against your opponent. Dealing with a third or fourth voice takes focus off the message.

      For the media, it’s about the narrative. Reporters, writers, editorial boards start creating a narrative pretty early in the campaign season. Which is pretty much 24/7/365 now. But that narrative needs to be simple and concise: What is this campaign “about”. Same problem when you’ve got additional voices muddying up the narrative.

      This campaign is about Jobs and the economy… now build your editorial and reporting around that.

      Oh wait, now there’s some guy shouting about lost liberty and constitutional values.

      It’s hard.

      1. It’s also about taxes for the rich, and Romney, not disclosing all his taxes, and Romney being rich, and Obama being the first gay President.

        1. That’s part of the media narrative. Where does Johnson fit into that?

    4. So don’t go into the debate trying to explain the philosophy.

      Just give them back the soundbites that work best for your election.

      Turn every question back around to show how each of the other guys is basically identical not just to each other but to the last half dozen guys in the big chair and that maybe people should start looking elsewhere if they expect anything to change.

      don’t try to win for yourself, just make the other 2 look really bad.

      Will it win you an election, hell no, but it can win you the debate and in the process spur at least a small percentage of the electorate to investigate what you really stand for and maybe even wander off their respective reservations for good.

      Then regardless of who wins this time around you spend the next 4 years in the media pointing out how everything that is going wrong is exactly like you said it was going to happen because both parties are more interested in business as usual.

      Then come 2016 perhaps you have a shot at cracking 25% winning a few electoral votes and maybe even preventing either party from winning an electoral majority.

      And for the endgame maybe you don’t even need to go on to capture the Presidency, because by 2020 you will have caused enough damage that both parties will have to do some serious internal reforms to pull back some of the voters you have attracted and you have successfully moved the country in a better direction.

      1. Just give them back the soundbites that work best for your election.

        Tell me, what magical soundbite is there?

        “Mr. Johnson, is it true that you would do away with most regulations?”

        “Yes, I’d eliminate pretty much every department under executive branch control.”

        NY Times: “Gary Johnson supports killing babies/dirty air/dirty water/hates fags!!!!1111one”

        1. “”Mr. Johnson, is it true that you would do away with most regulations?”

          No, I would look to minimize regulations to only those necessary to accomplish the constitutional mandates of the government. More importantly unlike my 2 esteemed collegues I would not allow large politically connected companies such as Monsanto, Exxon, and the Bank of America to gain control of the regulatory apparatus to write regulations that shield them from competition of culpability.

          I’d then spend the next 30 seconds highlightling the names of the revolving doors between those corporations and the regulatory agencies that supposedly control them.

          And my next 30 seconds pointing out the size of the political donations said corporations contributed to each of my opponents campaigns.

          Finally ending with. My fellow Americans, left and right you complain about the impact of money on politics and poltical control that corporations have over our country yet we keep electing politicians who tolerate and encourage those same corporations to take control for us, I am the only candidate in this race who stands to end that cycle and restore some balance back to the people and away from those corporate interests and if that means eliminating some regulations then so be it.

        2. “”Mr. Johnson, is it true that you would do away with most regulations?”

          “We give Big Government enormous power to fuck up people’s lives. It is only logical that people will go to extreme lengths to ensure that Big Government will spend its time fucking up somebody else’s life.

          “My opponents propose giving Big Government more power to fuck up people’s lives. I propose giving it less.”

    5. Debates are like the onstage question in a beauty pageant.

  9. IF people knew who Johnson was, IF people knew his policies, and IF people weren’t partisan fuckheads, Gary Johnson would probably pull 15%.

    1. Maybe, although I wouldn’t bank on much higher than 15%. The sad fact is we aren’t a libertarian country, we’re Europe. We’re no more than a bunch of constituent rackets pleading for special buyouts, bailouts and programs.

      1. 60 percent of the country is libertarian. The problem is that most of them don’t vote, or vote for the Republican out of habit.

        1. If by libertarian you mean “wants freedom for themselves but not for anyone else” yeah. But I’m pretty sure that’s not what libertarian means.

          Face it, Obama and the Democrats did not promise free healthcare because they are ideological doctrinaire socialists (although they may be), they promised because that’s what the majority of people want.

          The only reason Obamacare is unpopular is that everyone has pretty much figured out it ain’t free.

        2. Also, last I heard, 60% was about the percentage of the population that gets some kind of handout from the federal government.

          Pretty hard to square an assertion that “60 percent of the country is libertarian” with that.

    2. Hrm…I think IF people weren’t partisan fuckheads he’d pull more than 15%.

      I’d go as high as 25% on an optimistic day.

      But that’s a huge and ridiculous IF. We can dream though.

    3. IF half the country weren’t receiving money from the federal government, a lot of things would be different. In a good way.

  10. No way the LP has enough money to run advertising that would vault GJ to 15% in the polls. The only way he’d get in the debates is if Obama insisted he be included. Why? On the premise that GJ would pull a ton more votes from Romney than from Obama. If the Ron Paul delegates are treated like 3rd class crap at the RNC convention, then
    Obama should seriously consider demanding GJ get a place in the debate so GJ could make a blatant appeal for RP voters to abandon Romney.

    1. That would be good strategy by Obama, but I doubt he’ll violate the bipartisan gentleman’s agreement to ignore third party types.

      The LP doesn’t have to come up with the money needed to publicize Johnson. One good super-PAC with one crazy billionaire donor is all it takes.

  11. I always love it when the “major” party officials and their media puppets start caterwauling that “…but but but we can’t have third party candidates in the debates ’cause the debates are sooooooooooooo important and only serious candidates should be allowed…”

    LOL these “debates” are to debating what professional wrestling is to sports.

    1. Hence, why Jesse Ventura won in Minnesota, once he got into the debates long enough to convince people he was a “serious” candidate. The fact is that candidates can win, coming in from out of left field (to mix sports metaphors). Ventura and Schwarzenegger are living proof of that. Votes for Johnson are not wasted (even if he doesn’t win but gets a significant total).

  12. It’s about time that a notable politicians is publicly calling attention to Gov. Gary Johnson. Republicans and Democrats are two wings of the same party and only Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, will offer a different set of solutions for this nation’s problems and he must be heard in the national debates. Even if he doesn’t win the presidency, his presence alone will cause positive changes in the political landscape. He’s got my vote.

  13. Thank you to Buddy Roemer. Democrats, Republicans and mainstream media outlets should include Gary Johnson in the presidential debates. On the big issues, like war, government over-spending, civil liberties and auditing the Federal Reserve, Romney and Obama are the same. I think both major parties have kept pressure on the networks and the Commission of Presidential Debates to keep Gov. Johnson a silent voice in the race for the presidency. Gov. Johnson will cut federal spending by $1.3 trillion, balance the budget, end the war in Afghanistan and close the FED. The big boys don’t want you to hear that.

  14. Well done Buddy.

    Go Gary Go!

  15. To hell with downsizing DC. Johnsonize it.

  16. So Johnson doesn’t like being excluded. So why doesn’t this libertarian believe in housing choice and why does he think exclusionary zoning is OK? I’m not against zoning an area as commercial or agricultural or residential. But once you zone an area as residential then I’d like to be able to reside there in a home of my own choosing. I spent 18 yrs in a mobile home park in Farmington Hills, MI (near Detroit) because the city said your home has to be at least 24 feet wide and conform to existing housing. My singlewide was only 14 feet wide. After I lost my job at 59 in Oct 2008 I decided to just retire (didn’t even apply for unemployment). I moved my singlewide to a quarter acre lot 300 miles south of Detroit at Rocky Fork Lake about 55 miles east of Cincinnati. Now I’m paying $662/yr in property taxes compared to the $3,720/yr that I was paying in lot rent to the mobile home park. If the Libertarian Johnson could have the courage to support an end to exclusionary zoning then he might garner some support from the 33% of Americans who are not homeowners as well as all those who got foreclosed on due to the mortgage crisis. All of you tired of being sheared of your wealth like sheep need to contact Johnson and ask him to support an end to the hypocricy that is exclusionary zoning. Exclusionary zoning is the American dream withheld. It is not social justice nor is it economic justice. Come on Gov Johnson, what have you got to lose? Do the right thing here.

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