Wayne Allyn Root's departure from the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) was not exactly unexpected, according to party insiders. The reaction to his exit by high-profile Libertarians has been mostly mixed. Here's a sampling of comments from Libertarians on Root's departure.
Joe Hunter, Gary Johnson campaign spokesman
We are grateful for Wayne's many contributions to the libertarian cause, and wish him the very best as he pursues his own political goals.
Bill Redpath, at-large member of the LNC
I am sorry to see Wayne go. I have a great deal of respect for Wayne. I think he has a tremendous amount of energy, I think that he is an ally with us in so many ways but I am not surprised that this has occurred. I have long thought that something like this would eventually occur. I am pleased that it happened apparently without acrimony. I know there are people that have gone back to the Republican Party and said "Nah, this is not for me." So it is entirely possible that Wayne Root will return to Libertarian Party someday and if he wants to I certainly think we should have him back.
Michael Cloud, At Large Member of the LNC
I see that Mr. Root, after supporting George W. Bush in 2004, has returned to the Republican Party to support Mitt Romney. He will not be missed.
Mark Rutherford, director of the Atlas Liberty PAC
He was a big lightning rod with lots of people and he got a lot of flak and he also got a lot of praise. It sounds to me from the letter he wrote to the LNC that he saw some opportunities in Nevada with the Tea Party element there that he liked and decided to concentrate on that. He's definitely an interesting person and it's interesting to see that he moved on when he did.
There's been an element in the Libertarian Party that's been very, very vocal and very, very unfriendly to Bob Barr and Wayne Root, I didn't see this so much with Barr but I really did see this with Wayne. Wanye certainly took on the people and fanned the flames. Bob Barr was a little different and I didn't see him fanning flames, I saw a guy who realized he made mistakes, as he said at the convention in 2008 and was shifting his position on things as he saw that he had erred in his ways.
Jillian Mack Region 3 Representative
There is no doubt that Wayne was a controversial member of the Libertarian National Committee (some members respected and appreciated his frequent media appearances, and some members thought that he was too much like the Republicans to accurately represent the Libertarian Party). However, no matter which camp you fell in, I believe that you at least had to respect his energy, passion, and drive.
While I wish Wayne the best of luck in his future endeavors, I know that there are more influential, dynamic, and powerful people currently defecting from the Republican and Democratic Party ranks and coming to the Libertarian Party (take Roger Stone, Gov. Gary Johnson, and Judge Jim Gray as a few examples), than there are those leaving the Libertarian Party to go to one of the old, tired, dying political parties. With that comforting knowledge, I have no doubt that the Libertarian Party will continue on its current path of growth.
A veteran libertarian strategist
Root leaving during the Johnson campaign is healthy, because he is recasting the LP in its old Ed Clark mold. Johnson represents an LP as comfortable with campaigning to get the government out of the bedroom as in trying to get government out of the boardroom. Root held fast the now-proven failed strategy of reserving the LP as a repository for disaffected conservative votes, from voters who see the GOP as insufficiently conservative.
David Blau, Chairman of Massachusetts LP
I have a great deal of respect for Wayne. He brought an energy and passion to the LP, and he is a powerful communicator and a successful entrepreneur. I'm sure he will do well with his new party. It is true that he was a polarizing force on the National Committee, and at times his strong opinions caused division. However, the LNC is not just one person, we are 18. While Wayne's absence will be keenly felt, we will soldier on.
Scott Lieberman, Alternate Region 4 Representative
I wish Mr. Root the best of luck in his future political endeavors. As a Republican Mr. Root will face the same "friendly fire" that Congressman Ron Paul has had to put up with. I hope that Mr. Root is able to overcome those challenges and help make the GOP more libertarian.