Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson/William Weld: 'Skeptics' of Intervention That Will Involve Congress in Decisions on Military Action

Would also cut the military budget 20 percent, just like the rest of the federal budget.



Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, and his running mate William Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts argued that if elected they would be "skeptics" of intervention that would involve Congress in the decision-making progress. The two appeared at a CNN town hall hosted by Chris Cuomo.

Johsnon reiterated his proposal for a 20 percent across the board budget cut, saying even the Pentagon acknowledged it could close down a fifth of its bases, but that members of Congress looking out for their own interests prevent it. "I've never seen a layer of government that didn't have 10 or 20 percent waste in it," Weld said.

Weld pointed out that "the baseline position of the Libertarian party is an 'invincible defense'" that included the projection of air and naval military supremacy around the world. "It does not encompass interventionism, boots on the ground, American blood on foreign soil," he insisted.

Weld brought up the letter signed by 51 State Department officials urging the Obama administration to intervene in Syria. "it takes a lot of the boots on the ground to effectuate regime change," Weld pointed out, "if you want it to stick."

Johnson agreed that military intervention in Syria was a bad idea that's only served to grow the Islamic State (ISIS), leading Cuomo to point out that Libertarians were "seen as isolationists" and asking him what he saw as the role of the U.S. military around the world.

"If we're attacked we're going to attack back," Johnson said, pointing out that one "can argue that about ISIS," but that it was important to involve Congress, which had "abdicated" to the president and the military their role in the decision-making process on intervention. "So we find ourselves in these conflicts without open debate," Johnson concluded.

Cuomo then asked Johnson how he would "stay out of Syria" and Johnson reiterated the point that U.S. intervention up to this point has only helped ISIS. "You had Assad against ISIS, and we've decided to go against Assad and that's ISIS," Johnson said, "so that's now our new ally?"

NEXT: Gary Johnson on Tonight's CNN Town Hall: 'It can't be bigger. I mean, really, this is really, really big'

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  2. Congress can sit-in until they get military intervention in hot spots around the world.

    1. Well, you are up late tonight.

    2. Gary Johnson will only deploy our military for humanitarian interventions. He’s promised to pull our troops back within the borders the Sunni Muslim world. “Our friends and allies in the region”

  3. Weld, you are so not with it. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a phone booth here in the US, let alone sending one overseas to fight in an unconstitutional war.

    1. I saw a phone booth in Headwaters, Virginia the other day. It’s cheaper than a SAT-phone

      1. Did you mean Backwaters, VA?

        1. I doubt he can use a map.

          1. I make maps for a living you Canadian twit.

            1. Well that’s frightening.

  4. German tank hunters and assault guns.

    I do like a turretless AFV if it’s done right and the Stugs certainly were.

  5. “It does not encompass interventionism, booths on the ground, American blood on foreign soil”

    So no spreading democracy where it isn’t wanted. A typo that works.

    1. That’s what they accused Jefferson Davis of wanting.

      1. Though it turns out not even Davis was into that stuff.

      2. Instead, he got booths in the balcony.

      3. Nice.

  6. So, are we talking trade show booths? Like where we show the Syrians the wonders of America, stuff you can’t see on TV?

    1. Ticket booths where they can get discounted tickets to *Hamilton*?

      1. “Dude, where are we?”

        “I dunno, dude, but I don’t think they like us.”

        “They’re staring at our booth on the ground.”

        “This doesn’t look like your Dad’s office, but our instructions specifically referred to ‘bag Daddy.'”

        (note: If you get the reference it means you’re old)

        1. Bill and Ted?

    2. Standard/Linear, Perimeter Wall, Peninsula, or Island?

  7. Johnson was great when talking about the drug war and decriminalization. Other subjects he was not as strong. Weld was strong all around. When Johnson takes an extremist position like “abolish the IRS” it does not go as well for him. And why can’t they agree on a position before prime time?

    I suggest he stick with even keel, incremental changes. I’m glad they didn’t bash Obama. I love seeing Weld eviscerate Trump. I don’t mind that he said respectful things about Hillary. Johnson needs more public speaking practice, either that or he’s getting bad advice.

    1. That’s what I was thinking! He says abolish the IRS. Weld says “Well we might not need to do that.” Same thing on the “Who would you vote for” thing. Johnson is like “Oh there would always be a Libertarian on the ticket.” Weld says “Oh Clinton is definitely better.” You can’t have that sort of shit going on. Get on the same page or you look unprofessional. Of course in reality the prez and the VP disagree fairly often. But you keep it behind closed doors.

      1. I dunno. Pure spitballing, but they need an angle pretty damned badly. They can’t have the anti-establishment angle – Trump and Trump’s Hair have sucked all the oxygen out of that room. Voters want something new, they want something fresh. Maybe a team – and actual, honest-to-goodness team, whose demons play well together and whose platforms and approaches are complementary while still being vibrant and interesting, could be their angle.

        Sincerity could sell it. Going up against excellent cardboard-cutout, focus-group tested fakers with all the depth and substance of lingering beer farts, they wouldn’t have to be the best. They just need to be believed.

        1. Yeah. I think Gary needs a lot more preparation though. Love the guy but he needs to do a better job of talking in our 30 second soundbite culture.

    2. I’m kind of shocked that Weld was better, but I guess I should not be.

      1. Weld’s answers were more forceful and fluid. But the content was pretty awful at times. On the last question, he basically served up something that could have come right out of the mouth of Barack Obama, circa 2008. It was better than Johnson’s though who, instead of taking a moment to offer a cogent presentation of the core features of libertarianism, started talking about raising the retirement age. Really like Gary so hope he keeps getting better.

        1. He’s not going to. He’s like Trump in that he started awful and stays that way.

  8. Weld pointed out that “the baseline position of the Libertarian party is an ‘invincible defense'” that included the projection of air and naval military supremacy around the world.

    Um, what?

    1. The Defense Dept threatened to drown him if he didn’t say it.

      1. Sounds pretty serious. Hope he doesn’t end up in a woodchipper somewhere.

        1. I’m starting to understand why you hate me so much. I thwarted your incitement campaign. I’m sorry but I didn’t realize what a hornet’s nest I had stumbled upon when I came here and cleaned things up. However that does not give you the right to threaten to kill me.

          1. Drama! Link?

            1. Mary Stack is off her meds again. Click the username.

    2. I fail to see the problem.

  9. If Johnson’s comments re: ISIS were supposed to be the !@*@*$ highlight of his appearance*, it sounds to me like he said absolutely nothing else that anybody could find cause to celebrate.

    IMO from what i saw, even those were qualified/mixed/couched in manners that in the end are little different than Trump’s “make appealing noises, say nothing of substance”

    1. Yeah. The drug question was a bitch. He’s been getting a lot of friendly questions on the pot issue but this time he got the questioner from hell (no disrespect to this woman’s pain but she was dead wrong on policy and it was hard for him to make the case without her looking at him like he put the drugs in her son’s system). The gun question too. Also was at odds with Weld. A lot.

      1. I found those two questions to be easy, and similar answers:


        Gun free zones create victims. The woman who asked the question was a gun owner, I would have rhetorically asked, “Would it have helped if you had your gun with you that night?” And the second part of the question comes from identifying contributing factors, and there are two that are easy to talk about: access to and de-stigmitization of mental health care (and I would have pointed at the useless Democrat sit-in going on at the same time); and eliminating gun free zones because all mass shooting occur in them. Remove those two contributing factors; which are common amongst all mass shootings, and you can start pretending these tragedies.

        1. Drugs:

          I would have asked the woman, “Did you ask your son why he did heroin that evening?” What are the factors that contribute to a person going out for the first time with friends to do something stupid (beyond drugs, like jumping into flooded quarries from cliffs, for example). And focus on the motivations of individual and if it is at all possible to curtail them (it’s probably futile, which means the a person seeking drugs will find drugs regardless of where they come from). The second part of the question is answered using prohibition as an example. All prohibition does is create vast, lucrative criminal empires. So we can ban drugs and continue fighting the drug wars, but in the end we fund vast criminal empires with those dollars. After establishing those two points, he could have talked about government programs and the rest of the crap he was spewing. But he would at least show the futility in the drug war and the unintended consequences of fighting it versus building a safety net for addicts and others.

          I was aghast at some of Johnson’s answers. He stumbled badly.

    2. “IMO from what i saw, even those were qualified/mixed/couched in manners that in the end are little different than Trump’s “make appealing noises, say nothing of substance””

      I’d say that the fact that I can understand what Johnson is saying is an improvement over Trump.

    3. I watched a little bit of the townhall meeting. I thought Johnson/weld did a pretty good job and they didn’t pander to SoCons. They’re the real deal.

      You’re right, though… Trump’s better for people that want limited government.

  10. Hey guys,

    There are a bunch of assholes doing a sit-in in the Congress. They’re upset that 10,000 people a year die from gun violence and want to get all uppity and bitchy. Fuck them.

    1. How many of those 10,000 will be resurrected by this sit-in?

      1. If only there were more concealed weapons at clubs playing hip-hop and serving alcohol we’d have less gun deaths.

    2. Just goes to show you how much more efficient socialism is than capitalism. 94 million deaths and counting with civilian gun ownership effectively outlawed. Checkmate, libertarians.

    3. They are a bunch of assholes because they’re cynically ginning up anti-Muslim hysteria because they can’t accept that gun control loses every time it’s actually put to a vote before voters and Congress.

      1. They are? I thought they were just pointing out how crazy the Republican positions on security are. Yes, we’ll get around to your Green Card application in the year 2083, Mr. Afghani, but in the meantime let me invite you to buy an AR-15 at your local gun show while you wait.

    4. Yes! you, sir, are a firm defender of the second amendment that understands who exactly needs to be fucked.

    5. And yet gun deaths are at a 50 year low as gun ownership has increased. Since 50% of gun violence are committed by blacks I bet none of those assholes are talking about that either.

  11. My expectations have been that all anyone will want to talk about with GJ is

    – ‘so you get high. wow. and you think you should be president?”
    – ‘and you want everyone to have guns. i presume that means kids and crazies.’
    – ‘non-intervention’? as in ‘surrender to ISIS’. Fascinating.

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