Gary Johnson: "I'll Run in 2016 to Provide Libertarian Option" That Rand Paul Doesn't Offer


Well there's already good news on today's Election Day. The 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for president, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, has announced that he's running for the 2016 LP nomination.

He directly addressed how his views differ from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the most libertarian likely candidate from a major party:

"On half the issues he's right, but on the whole social issue thing…. Look, libertarians are flaming liberals when it comes to social issues, when it comes to civil liberties. A woman's right to choose, drug reform, immigration, marriage equality. He's not there."

Johnson, who ran with Judge Jim Gray, pulled about 1.3 million votes and 1 percent of the overall total. That was the best showing for the LP since 1980.

In an interview with Newsmax, Johnson laid out his reasons to campaign again. Here's a snippet of the interview (which includes video and a transcript):

"The whole election is a big yawn. Who cares who wins, because nothing's really going to change? It's like a debate between Coke and Pepsi. They're debating over which one tastes better," he said.

"They start talking about tax policy, Coke wants to reduce the corporate tax rate to 30 percent, and Pepsi wants to drop it to 28 percent. 

"Where's the libertarian viewpoint, which says do away with it completely? Do away with income tax, corporate tax? Abolish the IRS. If you're going to replace it with anything, replace it with a national consumption tax. That's real meat on the bones. I just don't see any meat anywhere."…

"People are clamoring to hear good ideas as opposed to the lesser of two evils . . . Either the Democrats are going to win or the Republicans are going to win, but the losers are all of us out here as citizens that really do want meaningful change, and none of it's happening. There's no dialogue regarding meaningful change."

More here.

Back in 2012, Reason ran a series of articles, each making "the libertarian case" for the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian presidential contender. I authored the one arguing in favor of Johnson. Read that (and the others) here.

Back in 2011, Reason TV followed Johnson as he talked with Occupy Wall Street protesters in NYC. Take a look: