Gary Johnson

CNN to Host Second Town Hall With Gary Johnson and William Weld This Wednesday

Libertarian ticket gets another prime-time hour, this time hosted by Anderson Cooper

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CNN announced this morning that the cable network will hold another town hall discussion on Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. ET with the Libertarian Party White House ticket of former Govs. Gary Johnson and William Weld. "Johnson and Weld will address the current state of the 2016 race and the platform of the Libertarian Party in addition to fielding questions from voters," the press release reads.

More than 900,000 households tuned into the Libertarians' previous CNN town hall on June 23, in a highly anticipated performance that I and many other observers judged as "awkward." Since then, the duo has been making pretty much nonstop media rounds, including at the two major-party conventions. It's a far cry from four years ago, when Johnson was almost never included in national presidential polls, and was reduced to organizing protests begging for media coverage outside of…CNN.

Nick Gillespie and I interviewed Johnson at both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention, and Gillespie interviewed Weld at the RNC. And at FreedomFest just before convention season, Gillespie interviewed both:

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  1. I can’t wait to see what grieving mother CNN pulls out this time. Maybe someone whose daughter was killed by the free market.

    1. Escaped orphan slaves.

  2. Ever wonder why a left wing organization like CNN would give libertarian candidates airtime? Seriously, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure this out.

    1. Sure, it is no secret, the DNC is hoping to pull voters from the right to the L party, we know this. I thought this was natural and true, but then it turns out that the left, and disaffected Berners, were jumping on GJs bandwagon instead. If I was a D, now that Stein and the Greens are more in play, I’d think it completely foolish for the D machine to give Green or Lib any press whatsoever because it will hurt the D cause.

      Perhaps there is a modicum of journalistic integrity!?! You know the kind that informs the public of all positions, in a thoughtful manner, and leaves the individual to decide based on the facts. We’ll see if there is any Gotcha moment. Also, the strategy of the Ls to put GJ/BW for the ticket, looks to be a winner over the strategy of putting up a conservative like L. Good read of the land. Here’s to 15% or bust!

    2. Maybe Trump will push to have Johnson included in the debates, just so he has to spend less time discussing details of issues.

  3. I sure hope those two take some time to practice this time.

    1. You are so funny.

      Do overs are mythical like unicorns!

    2. It wouldn’t matter to me if they came out in their undies and did a two-man rendition of Les Miz – I am voting Fag/Hag 2016 regardless.

  4. I’m excited, but the last two weeks are making me doubt that we can reach 15 in the polls. People are reverting to their teams, and starting to make peace with Hilldebeest and Drumpf. Fucking American politics.

    1. You mean 15 people, right? Don’t despair, there’s hope for that.

      1. Ha! I’m laughing….and crying.

        1. I don’t see the LP getting to 15%. Not this time. The two teams are still too effective at scaring people into voting for their awful candidate so that the even more awful candidate on the other team don’t win.

          1. I agree with “I don’t see the LP getting to 15%”.

            But I disagree with “The two teams are still too effective at scaring people into voting for their awful candidates”.

            It is my opinion that GJ is too ineffective at explaining the reasons for LP’s positions.

            1. Certainly less effective than he appeared to be 4 years ago… So strange. I am less and less a fan of his stump speeches. They need a major overhaul.

    2. FWIW, I’m in a Facebook debate right now about whether or not people should vote for a third party, and the majority sentiment is in favor of a third party (even though the original post was about how we have to vote for Clinton because Trump is a sign of the end of days).

      1. You aren’t looking for sentience on Derpbook, are you?

    3. There should be a push to lower the debate inclusion threshold to 5 percent.
      Clinton might agree if she thinks Johnson will appeal to moderate Republican NeverTrumpers.
      Trump might agree if he thinks having a third candidate means less time for policy details.

    4. No they aren’t. Trump is imploding. Republicans are desperately looking for an alternative. Same for sidelined Sanderistas or/and Democrats who don’t like Clinton’s move to the statist left. But Johnson/Weld have to get out there and make their case.

  5. Speechcoachspeechcoachspeechcoach…

    1. I am not sure speech coaches will help.

      Seriously, is there any issue that GJ articulates well at?

      Perhaps just lean on Weld even more; maybe they can get more endorsements out of it

    2. Again, Johnson should do a series of well-written, well-staged Policy Speeches. Make him look/sound presidential, let several surrogates, including Weld, take care of the tv interviews circuit. Only let Johnson out for Official Statements and rallys etc.

  6. God I hope he practiced more for this one.

    1. 4 words of advice is all I have. Smoke blunt, be blunt.

  7. Oh, please don’t be a disaster. They don’t even have to be fantastic (but how awesome it would be if they were!!). The “serious options” are so abysmally, catastrophically bad, all you have to do is give us an excuse, gentlemen.

    Pleeeeease don’t be a disaster. We can get to fifteen… if they just don’t fall flat on their faces this month.

    1. FTA:

      Incidentally, I heart Welch.

      He gives good Johnson.

    2. The problem is that maybe these guys don’t know how to assess a situation and approach it for what it really is.

      They should be going in there knowing that CNN are doing this for one reason, to ridicule libertarians and project a false image to the public that libertarians are silly clowns who don’t have any serious ideas.

      Instead, they go in thinking ‘wow, we libertarians are really getting taken seriously now!’. They’re just walking right into a trap and they’ll fall for it once again. Sad.

  8. Polling numbers are stagnant around 10 and 12. They need to get on all the news outlets especially Fox.

    1. Not sure where you are getting those numbers. RCP avg today showing Johnson at 7% in a 4 way against Trump, Clinton, and Stein. NBC News poll has Johnson at 10%, but he’s lower in all the other polls that I’m seeing.

      1. That’s going in the wrong direction

        1. If I remember correctly, he was at right around 10% last time, right up until the day of the election, when he got 1% of the vote.

          1. You don’t remember correctly. His high was like 8 percent in one poll several months before the election.
            Most polls didn’t even include him and he rarely topped 4 percent.

        2. Looks like there is a real chance that Stein will get on the debate stage before GJ does

          1. That would be extremely discouraging.

          2. Really? What’s this based on?

      2. Was looking at CBS polls. I guess real clear politics has a poll tracker shows various polls ranging from 6 to 12 even more gloomy

      3. 7.5 percent average for GJ right now on RCP in a 3-way race.
        CNN and CBS had him at 9 and 10 percent in the 2 most recent polls.
        NBC also at 10.

        Amateur outfits like PPP, Reuters and YouGov have him at 6, 5 and 5.

        1. Holding up at 7.2 percent when Stein is included as a 4th option.
          She’s getting around 3 percent.

    2. The poll numbers were bound to take a hit as a result of the conventions.

      1. I was thinking they would go up.

  9. I don’t know about how everyone else here feels, but every time I see Gary on an interview, he is flat-out unable to explain WHY his policy proposal is better.

    He has been prepped to talk about his positions, and he has improved in expressing those positions. But I have not heard him explaining the WHY’s with me cringing massively.

    1. He needs to focus on not being Trump or Clinton. People don’t care about the issues.
      Just seem presidential and qualified and not a circus barker or a corrupt DC insider.

      1. Exactly. Packaging and presenting Johnson as Presidential, Experienced, Proven Leader, Self-Made Businessman Mountain Climber, should be the priority of his campaign.

  10. So I assume theyll be discussing their ideal jurists and legislators, stalwart friends of liberty like Stephen Breyer and Susan Collins.

    1. That shit is depressing.

  11. This ticket will be lucky to get to 2% in the November polls. When the Libertarian VP candidate is asked to name politicians he can work with and names a Republican who never met a spending bill she didn’t like, and not Rand Paul, the Libertarian Party has a serious problem. If you want to vote for someone promoting the Johnson/Weld ideas who can actually win, vote Hillary.

    1. What Johnson/Wed ideas does Hillary promote?

      1. Keeping Clinton out of jail.

    2. If you are referring to the candidate who will expand government control of our lives and increase the federal deficit, then yes, please vote for Hillary. For myself, I’d rather vote for freedom and liberty, hence the only party left that truly believes those ideas.

      1. Then vote for the party. But do not make any illusion that Johnson and Weld (well, especially Weld) are making a strong case for libertarianism.

    3. “If you want to vote for someone promoting the Johnson/Weld ideas who can actually win, vote Hillary.”

      The center-left darling of Wall Street talking up issues of inequality? The former Wal Mart board member posing as savior of American Jobs? The “Smart Power” leader whose achievement at state was wrecking a nation and turning it over to Sunni terrorists faster than George W. Bush? A champion of women who pretended the leader of the free world was the victim of his intern? The wife of a man who flies on the Lolita Express with a porn star that was booked for “massages”? Yeah, I think I’ll pass on the vote for Hillary thing.

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  13. I hope that a debate expert works with Johnson on his responses to questions. He is not a good public speaker or very charismatic. At the very least, he needs to stay on-point when responding to questions. Stay-on-point and pivot to his beliefs.

  14. This is great, I’m looking forward to this. Even just a small amount of new viewers are introduced to Johnson through this, it’s a win. That’s the biggest issue now. Once enough people know about him we can worry about the rest.

  15. When Trump gets a hold of him it will be Goofy Gary, is he ready for that? We need a Trump nickname, Twittering Donald something not obscene.

      1. Needs be simple something 90% of voters understand. Looks like its going to be Triumphant Trump!

        1. BB (Big Blowhard) Donald vs Slitherin’ Hillary

  16. I saw GJ’s interview on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”

    Wilmore asked “Why pot?”

    I thought this was a great jumping off point to talk about how bad the WoD is. But GJ got hung up on pot, so he just sounded like a stoner.

    IMO they need to go around and get as many high profile endorsements as they can. (since GJ sucks at articulating his positions.)

    He did mention the NAP though.

    1. And he doesn’t seem confident, at all.

  17. It will be interesting to see how different their performance is this time vs round 1 with CNN.
    Post Bernie/DNC convention, Clinton supporters I’ve talked to are much more pissed off now in demanding that the vote not be split. Like I want to enable their pathetic 1st choice on the basis that someone else’s pathetic 1st choice is even more pathetic than theirs.
    Here’s to hoping that we still live in the home of the brave and that the vast majority of us have not all been transformed into fearful sheep. Vote your conscience. Baaaaaa

  18. Not a big fan of AC, but no doubt he will do a better job than that idiot who was there last time. I can’t remember his name, but I think it was a Cuomo (gesundheit), all I remember was his shiny forehead and uncomfortable delivery. I also remember he started out by saying: “This show is all about these two candidates” and then spent most of the rest of the next hour talking about himself and making uncomfortable TV. I was really looking forward to that Town Hall, but had to turn the TV off half way through – it was terrible. And Johnson/Weld had some part to play in that awful TV, but the host was a dumpster fire.

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  20. Did all of Rand and Ron Paul’s people sign non-compete agreements or something? A CGI Gary Johnson voiced by Rand Paul will be eminently more watchable and authoritatively libertarian than what happened last time. Barring that, there have to be at least a half-dozen writers and coaches between Rand and Ron Paul who have half an idea about what to do.

  21. CNN: All the news that we deem Non-Trump!

  22. Johnson has a good message. He does very poorly articulating the three takeaways he and Weld need to hammer home to the public. He needs to learn to sell. Weld is better at it. He needs serious work on his facial expressions, too. Just as Steve Forbes did. Weld is better at it.

    Can’t someone get through to Johnson on this? He has a beaten puppy look. He needs to get rid of it — right now. He needs an assertive, winner attitude — something Rand Paul lacked as well.

    They don’t have to be as boorish or wrong as Donald Trump. But they need some of his winning attitude. And stop worrying about offending the left or right. Trump and Clinton (both of the Clintons) are all chronically lying sleazebags — and always have been. They need to be called out on that. Johnson seems unable to do that. They needn’t use my sort of language, but they both need to punch much harder against both the Rs and Ds.

    1. Rand seemed pretty confident and assertive in the primary debates. Not that it helped him much.

  23. Seriously, again, let Gary Johnson do well-written, well-staged policy speeches. Make him look more presidential.

    Let several surrogates, including Weld, do the tv interviews – Johnson sucks at those. Show the many faces of libertarianism, frame Johnson as leader of a movement.

  24. The less speaking time this man has, the better. I see a lot of people really talking him up these days though. I ask them if they’ve ever seen him in a debate, they all say no. I think good, let’s keep it that way. He’s just the most embarrassing representative we could have ever put forth.

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