Gary Johnson

Johnson/Weld Roundup: The Two Former Governors Make the Rounds and Try to Distinguish Themselves Before Tonight's CNN Town Hall


As Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson (for president) and William Weld (for vice president), both former Republican governors (of New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively) gear up for a CNN-aired Town Hall tonight at 9 pm eastern, their unprecedented media wave continues.

Matt Welch

• The Hill has a decently detailed account of the campaign's current position, with experts' opinion both that what's at stake for the team tonight is not seeming too extreme or anarchistic, and that they need to make sure their positions on pot and non-intervention are clear and strong. L.P. National Committee chair Nicholas Sarwark is quoted:

"As long as Johnson and Weld keep going to tout they're the sensible, sane candidates, I think the poll numbers will follow," he said, adding that the exposure [on CNN] could help voters leap "the psychological hurdle" of "voting for a party they haven't voted for in the past."

• CNN analyzes what its viewers should look for tonight, including feuds with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the old pointlessly subjective "commander in chief" test.

• Johnson will be speaking to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) tomorrow.

• And he'll be in Los Angeles Saturday for PolitiCon.

• Former Washington Republican Sen. Slade Gorton in Seattle Times kinda-sorta says you should vote Johnson/Weld this year in the face of the horrors of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

• Newsday columnist interviews Weld and finds a candidate focused on debt, beating the bush for campaign cash, and who, in a paraphrase that will alarm many Libertarians, "made it clear that the United States needs a strong international military presence to safeguard its interests."

• Fortune identifies "big business' four big ticket priorities: an overhaul of the tax code, new foreign-trade agreements, a long-term plan for federal debt reduction and the budget, and comprehensive immigration reform" and decides Johnson is the candidate most likely to deliver.

Johnson's Fortune interview:

NEXT: Drug Dogs, But for Porn

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  1. Hopefully Johnson has enough sense to wear a suit and tie and ironed, collared shirt, and not an open sport coat with a wifebeater underneath.

    1. Well not the wifebeater, but business casual might actually be better than the suit-and-tie approach.
      Try dressing like Steve Jobs doing a TED talk, maybe.

      1. No turtlenecks.

      2. As long as he doesn’t wear that stupid old guy Bluetooth device around his neck!

    2. He’ll wears a suit and tie with canvas shoes. It drives me into a rage

      1. But at least he’s good on subject-verb agreement.

  2. I thought these were the PM Links and Brian decided to go all-in on Johnson.

    I assume this will be streaming on their site tonight, though I may wait for the highlights on youtube. If there any. Don’t be unprepared knuckleheads, guys.

  3. I think Tom Woods’s take on the Johnson/Weld milquetoast appeal to Republican/Democrat voters is spot on.…..ian-party/

  4. “I think they’re going to have to distance themselves from more extreme Libertarian policies that borderline on anarchy. It’s not going to appeal to a wide range of voters,” said Kyle Kopko, political science professor at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. “I think they have to be able to really show that they’re reasonable candidates.”

    I’m guessing their definition of “reasonable” includes such things as “reasonable restrictions on political speech”, “reasonable gun control”, “reasonable levels of quartering of troops in private residences”, “reasonable searches and seizures without a warrant” (and about 6 other amendments worth of popular and common sense abridgements).

    1. No, just a “reasonable” national sales tax that’s called “fair.”

  5. I can see just a CNN townhall featuring a couple so called libertarians, and the questions they will be asked. I’ll just summarize that right here:

    So you want to legalize all drugs and allow more drug pushers on our playgrounds, let people have machine guns on our playgrounds to shoot more of our children, let our children die from no health insurance, and let the terrorists win?

    Did I miss anything?

    1. Yeah, there is almost no chance that the Clinton News Network doesn’t try to embarrass Johnson & Weld.

    2. Here’s how I would answer that question.

      “I favor an incremental approach to decriminalization of drugs, starting with marijuana. I believe that states should be allowed to experiment with a variety of approaches to marijuana policy, and I would push for decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level as president. I would start by removing marijuana from it’s schedule I classification. Current drug policy results in the punishment of many young adults for low-level non-violent drug offenses, which can ruin their lives, and which I consider this a tremendous injustice that I will work to remedy. As for other drugs, those can wait until we see what happens with marijuana.

      As to your other comments, I strongly support the second amendment right to bear arms, and I would repeal and replace Obamacare with a system that preserves the freedom of choice of Americans to choose their own health plans and keep their own doctors. I would also look at what we can do to prevent terrorism from reaching our shores in a manner which is consistent with our principles as a free society. “

      1. Here will be Gary’s answer:

        Did you know I have a nickname?

        Wait, what were we talking about?

        I climbed Mt. Everest.

      2. That’s not how you A Qs like those. You turn it around by talking about the good things you’ve done for children, preferably personally, and you have some of them who are now grown up stand up & bow in the audience.

    3. Honestly, the Libertarian Party creates this perpetual problem for itself. Just look at the idiotic questions they asked their own candidates at the LP convention. The LP obsession about and search for purity is what introduces this stuff ‘into evidence’. The mainstream media merely repeats the questions/answers and spins it for the wider audience that the LP purists never even talk to because they are too busy sitting in the choir listening to sermons about anarcho heaven.

      1. agreed. but Johnson did manage to distance himself from some of the purists positions that would be most likely to become sound bites.

  6. I hope they present themselves as two sane, competent guys on that show, and not as kooks.

    1. And then you woke up.

  7. Since 2010, the news has been full of Democrats lamenting the lack of so-called “Reasonable Republicans”. Well, here ya’ go. Two pro-choice Republicans, reasonable enough to win the governorships of two Blue States, and neither one has a war-boner. Your other choice is an war-mongering felon that thinks the dumpster fire in Libya is smart power done right. Here’s your big chance to tell the machine to fuck off, make the party establishment respect the anti-war wing of the party, and show you aren’t a total hack and will support a Republican if he isn’t Trumpish crazy or Akin levels of disgusting.

    Yep. That’s what I thought.

  8. Anyone see austin petersen on cnn this morning?

    1. I avoid that cunt like the plague.

  9. My advice to the duo: Be steadfast in your refusal to discuss the major party candidates.

    I’d go with “They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to tell you about themselves and each other. They’ve got that covered. I’m here to tell you about how we can bring liberty back into the forefront of American life.”

    1. Liberty, honesty, integrity, and sanity. That would be a nice speech. If he said it he would get some nice soundbites and press.

  10. Where are the drinking game rules?

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