Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson: I Will Not Be Describing Hillary Clinton on CNN Tonight as a "Wonderful Public Servant"

Libertarian nominee also says he's got no specific olive branch for #NeverTrump conservatives, aside from demonstrating fiscal conservatism and a sound temperament

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Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, CNN is hosting a second town hall discussion with Libertarian Party presidential and vice presidential nominees Gary Johnson and William Weld. This time it will be star anchor (and skilled debate-moderator) Anderson Cooper in his normal prime-time slot, instead of the more affable substitute Chris Cuomo. Here is CNN's preview.

I caught up with Johnson and his communications director, Joe Hunter, over lunch this afternoon for a preview. Due to user error, I did not record the conversation, but here are some essential takeaways:

* Johnson will not be calling Hillary Clinton a "wonderful public servant." The first Libertarian CNN town hall, on June 22, was given indifferent-to-negative reviews, in part due to Johnson's awkward and inaccurate answer to Cuomo's prompt to describe Clinton in one word. Adding to the discomfort was Weld's unbridled personal enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee.

Weld told me when I interviewed the L.P. ticket at FreedomFest that Johnson wishes he could "walk it back," then Johnson said the same to Nick Gillespie and I when we interviewed him at the Democratic National Convention. When I asked him today what he would be doing differently tonight, he zeroed in on that comment. What would be the new word? "Beholden."

Johnson emphasized that everything Clinton said during here DNC speech called for bigger and bigger government, and he also talked with wonder about the pay-to-play allegations made in Peter Schweizer's new book and related documentary Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, though he didn't anticipate bringing it up tonight.

* Johnson has not been preparing any targeted rhetorical olive branch to #NeverTrump conservatives, even in the wake of this week's Donald Trump freakouts. I asked how he would be responding to what may soon be a "preference cascade" of Republicans ditching Trump, and Johnson said merely by demonstrating a comparatively calm, competent, and likable temperament. "We won't even have to mention Trump by name!" he said, stressing yet again that he's just Not That Guy when it comes to personal attacks.

But even the Democratic president of the United States has been addressing potential #NeverTrumpers, so don't you want at least nod in that direction, I wanted to know? Not particularly, he said. What do you tell those conservatives who keep complaining to me that it seems like he's not even trying to cultivate them? That "we're the only serious fiscal conservatives" in the race, he said. Which, it must be acknowledged, is supposed to be kind of important to Republicans, particularly those appalled by Trump.

Related: Read Brian Doherty from earlier today on "The Uphill Fight of Republicans for Johnson/Weld."

* Fundraising is night and day compared to four years ago. Yesterday, while not being any kind of 24-hour-money bomb or anything, the campaign raised $150,000, Johnson said. There are now something like eight different SuperPACs associated with helping his race. After lunch he was off to meet some unnamed rich person who is potentially interested in donating. They will be using campaign money on targeted radio ads in the Mountain West and Northeast, Hunter said.

* Likeability is still important. Like last time, Johnson is focused on projecting likability to the viewers at home. Though, he hastens to add, not in the bend-your-views-to-make-them-acceptable kind of way, but rather in the "I disagree with what you say but I like you anyway" way. The obvious idea is to demonstrate a contrast to two historically unliked candidates, who keep doing unlike-worthy things.

* It's the independents, stupid. Here's a Joe Hunter sentence worth pondering: "If the election was held today, among independents who know who he is, Gary Johnson would win outright."

The candidate continues to do disproportionately well among self-identified independents, polling consistently in the double digits, and eking out some second-place results in state and even national polls. Name recognition is still low, so getting into a million or so households tonight is an important step in addressing that. And since independents are the now the largest political bloc, and Millennials are even more independent than the rest of the population (Johnson does particularly well with that age group as well), the future of politics lies somewhere near here.

Click this link for a pile of recent Reason interviews with Johnson and Weld.

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    1. Everybody likes waffles.

      1. Except for the blue ones…

      2. Even Luftwaffles?

      3. Even Luftwaffles?

        1. Stupid double post.

  1. ” Due to user error, I did not record the conversation”

    I thought that only happened to cops?

    1. I knew Matt was a user.

  2. The big Johnson needs to go back to the weeds, he might make more sense. What the hell am I saying? He fits right in with this election cycle shit show. Come on Johnson, give it to ’em good and hard!

    1. Be firm and rigid with penetrating insights and never go soft!

      1. Sounds like a slogan from the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Anyway, we need to face facts: our Johnson is flaccid.

  3. …stressing yet again that he’s just Not That Guy when it comes to personal attacks.

    Coincidentally, this will also make him Not That Guy when it comes to getting elected.

    1. Disagree. People view negativity very negatively. If he runs a positive campaign people might go for him just because of that. Yes, people are that stupid.

      1. You’re probably right about the negativity. Michael’s right about him not being elected.

  4. “Demonstrating fiscal conservatism and a sound temperament” is the best masturbation euphemism yet.

    1. Remember that time when your mom walked in on you while you were balancing the budget?

      1. Did she close the books?

        1. There were too many unnecessary expenditures.

          1. 401k to IRA rollover account…my ass!

            1. That photo shoot Janet Yellin did with Christine Lagarde…did it raise your interest?

      2. There was an unsuccessful effort to control the inflation.

  5. After lunch he was off to meet some unnamed rich person who is potentially interested in donating.

    You can just say “The Kochs” Matt. You don’t have to be coy with us.

    1. And after that he will continue to talk to high level Republican figures who are potentially interested in offering an endorsement, before they vote for Clinton.

  6. What are the eight different SuperPACs associated with the campaign?

  7. I hope he does well but I’m not expecting a lot. He’s dug himself a pretty deep hole as far as I’m concerned but I’m still open to persuasion.

    1. If it’s a race to the bottom you’re after, might i introduce you to the major party candidates?

    2. He’s not living in the mineshafts with Trump or farther down close to the eternal fire with Clinton. But he’s running neck and neck with Stay Home and Get Drunk, it is true.

      1. Yep, considering not voting. A lesser of three evils isn’t much more appealing to me than the lesser of two evils argument.

        1. The only reason I see to vote is to help ensure the LP’s ballot access and perhaps nudge their argument for inclusion in future debates.

          But it’s still only one vote, so do whatever. I am also partial to the romantic notion that, if the LP does get a big total this year, I can say I was one of those votes.

          1. At 2% in KY, the LP would become a “political organization” which gives every candidate easy ballot access for the next 4 years.

            Literally 2 signatures required.

            At 20% they would become a “political party”, which gives even more stuff.

            1. Free shit?! Hell yeah!

      2. He’s not living in the mineshafts with Trump or farther down close to the eternal fire with Clinton. But he’s running neck and neck with Stay Home and Get Drunk, it is true.

        well put

  8. *Rick Sanchez voice*

    And awayyyyy we go!

    1. Well, then, get your shit together… get it all together and put it in a backpack, all your shit, so it’s together. And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere, you know, take it to the shit store and sell it, or put it in the shit museum. I don’t care what you do, you just gotta get it together.

      Get your shit together.

      1. I
        Hurt myself today
        To see if I can feel

      2. Caaaan Do!

    2. I hope Johnson’s ready to get schwifty in here

  9. I hope Johnson comes out swinging tonight because he’s gonna get creamed in the general if he doesn’t stick his head out.

    1. I wish they’d let Johnson out onto the debate stage. I would love to see the other candidates get hosed by Johnson.

      1. I see what you did there.

    2. “I hope Johnson comes out swinging tonight because he’s gonna get creamed in the general if he doesn’t stick his head out.”

      Did you read the article?

      ” I asked how he would be responding to what may soon be a “preference cascade” of Republicans ditching Trump, and Johnson said merely by demonstrating a comparatively calm, competent, and likable temperament.” We won’t even have to mention Trump by name!” he said, stressing yet again that he’s just Not That Guy when it comes to personal attacks.”

      It looks like Johnson is swinging for the bleachers fence out field short stop pitcher!

      1. I read it. I was just being juvenile and throwing euphemisms around 🙂

        I understand he’s going for the calm, nice guy approach but he could use a little backbone.

  10. Gary Johnson: I Will Not Be Describing Hillary Clinton on CNN Tonight as a “Wonderful Public Servant”

    Straight Talk Bullet Train

  11. I really don’t give a shit if Johnson refuses to take the orthodox libertarian position on religious discrimination and freedom of association. Clinton is the motherfucking space devil and would ban all private ownership of guns if given the chance. Trump speaks on both sides of (almost) every issue, except for a balanced budget, which he vigorously opposes, wants government discrimination against muslims, and historically supported assault weapons bans. I seriously don’t understand the members of the commentariat advocating for him.

    I believe private business owners have a right to discriminate based on personal beliefs, and ideally government policy would not attempt to compel them based on public accommodation theory. But that is so incredibly fucking far down my list of priorities right now. It’s a moot point anyways because those business owners will face consequences for their unpopular beliefs, regardless of whether it comes from the state or their customer base. The bakers in Portland Oregon who declined to bake a cake for a gay wedding – let’s say Oregon state did nothing to them at all. Do you really think their business would survive in Portland? In the hollywood district/belmont neighborhood? No fucking way they would still be open a year after their refusal made the newspapers.

    1. But Nazi cakes though!
      Therefore Clintrump

      1. Never been a big fan of single-issue litmus tests in an otherwise complex world. Besides, tests are hard.
        Honesty and civility are sufficiently large stumbling blocks to trip up candidates.
        Plus, Johnson can be inclusive without being divisive.

    2. Trump is only better than Hillary. That is the extent of my “support” for him. I find the constant and oh-so-concerned whinging on every dumb fucking thing he says or does ridiculous.

      Johnson will probably get my vote, but Hillary Clinton is getting my state’s electoral votes regardless. It would be nice if he didn’t come off as lacking a backbone, and I don’t really like Weld at all.

      1. Trump is better than Hillary because, if elected, he could be impeached and convicted. Republicans can be merciless towards their own; the only reason that Nixon resigned is that Goldwater told him he could not count on GOP support in the Senate when it came time to convict. Democrats fully buy into the notion that the ends justify the means. Hillary could commit any crime, violate any oath, and abuse any authority as president with full confidence that Democrats in both House and Senate would have her back. She is above the law and she knows it.

        1. Also, the media and popular opinion will gladly hold a Republican accountable. A Democrat? Meh, not so much…

    3. Why reward the Libertarian Party for nominating a liberal Republican with your vote when he stands zero chance of winning? If he does particularly well we’ll get a carbon copy of Johnson next time who will, in the presence of better candidates, really get his clock cleaned.

      1. Why reward the Libertarian Party for nominating a liberal Republican with your vote when he stands zero chance of winning?

        Because that long string of Libertarian Presidents proved that strict, big “L” libertarianism gave you a better shot? Gary Johnson is already the most successful LP POTUS candidate. If he were mildly competent at campagining or picking VPs he’d probably be a serious contender. And since Trump is – wait for it – at best a moderate Democrat running as a Republican, and Hillary Clinton is, well, Hillary Clinton, the fact that Johnson probably will probably not order a drone strike while he’s being sworn in, and not restock SCOTUS with new hippies to replace the aging ones, puts him heads and shoulders above either of the other two, his problematic views notwithstanding.

        1. My hippie neighbors would be better than Roberts and Ginsburg.

          1. Above and beyond anything else, the SCOTUS noms scare me. Bush fucked it up, Clinton will ram through Constitution busters in their 30’s and 40’s so they can rule for 40 years, Trump will try to appoint himself or one of his kids or some other bizarreness. Jesus, there could be 4 vacancies for the next Prez.

        2. Johnson doesn’t believe that the 2A protects an individual right to bear arms and his VP pick is wide to the left of Clinton on gun control. If you’re a single issue voter on guns, I wouldn’t put too much of your faith in Johnson.

          1. As opposed to Hillary or Trumpf?

            1. That whooshing sound was the point flying over your head.

              1. The point being Johnson isn’t perfect so I should vote for a guy who was giving money to his opponent and opposed to 90% of the stuff I care about up until a couple of years ago, instead of his newly held 75%.

                No, I got it, it’s just a stupid point.

      2. NY Times reported that less than 10% of voters actually voted for ClinTrump.
        That leaves 90% of the country to save us from this fringe group of primary voters come November

        1. Technically it was about 9% of all Americans and 14% of those eligible to vote.

          1. Thanks for the correction. That still leaves a sizeable chunk available to save us from 4 years of misery

      3. Because the country deserves better than Trump or Clinton.

        And Johnson’s chance of winning is greater than zero. His stance on the issues is mainstream, and he is more experienced and less unlikable than the other 2 candidates. It’s a game of prisoner dilemma — the prisoners can win if they realize they do in fact have that third choice they say they are wishing for.

        Johnson is no libertarian. So what? If he wins, we can start a real pro-freedom party.
        If he loses, Trump or Clinton will be the president, both of whom are enemies of liberty.

        1. It’s a game of prisoner dilemma — the prisoners can win if they realize they do in fact have that third choice they say they are wishing for.

          That’s exactly right. But if you take a sampling of of 150 or so million voters, run them through the prisoner dilemma and the prisoners will lose every single time.

        2. If the Libertarian Party is to gain any power worth the name, there would have to be other people beside libertarians (of whatever bent) in it. It would become not unlike any other major party.

    4. I seriously don’t understand the members of the commentariat advocating for him.

      See The Grinch’s comments above.

      The most consistent message I get from GayJay on the 2A is that he is “Open to debate.” We’ve got two flavors of pure evil vying for POTUS and Johnson, vying for the same position, refuses to call them by name for fear of offending people.

      It’s like being caught on the battlefield between the Nazis and the Communists and refusing to shoot anybody.

      1. Okay, not the post above, this post.

    5. I really don’t give a shit if Johnson refuses to take the orthodox libertarian position on religious discrimination and freedom of association.

      I don’t know that there is one;

      I think more-relevant is the complete & total incoherence of the position he does take.

    6. The bakers in Portland Oregon who declined to bake a cake for a gay wedding – let’s say Oregon state did nothing to them at all. Do you really think their business would survive in Portland? In the hollywood district/belmont neighborhood? No fucking way they would still be open a year after their refusal made the newspapers.

      ergo, there’s no difference between letting the market decide, and using the government to destroy businesses

      that’s some pretty sharp stuff you’ve got there.

      1. In principle there is an important difference. But I’m having a hard time understanding why it’s so high on some people’s priority lists.

        1. the “right to refuse to associate” is pretty basic stuff.

          1. It’s actually “the right for a business to irrationally refuse to serve customers” (which I do support businesses being free to do). Blowing this narrow issue out of proportion is silly in my opinion. I suspect we’ll have to agree to disagree, although I hope you express such fervor for candidates staking positions on businesses refusing to serve customers because of racism too.

            1. Giving the government the power to utterly destroy the businesses of people you don’t like will inevitably lead to the government using the same power to destroy the businesses of people you do like, you unprincipled piece of fucking shit. That’s not a narrow issue. Not even a little tiny bit. It’s a great big wide issue.

              1. Stop being a drama queen and settle down. The government has been doing this for over a half-century and the end of the world hasn’t happened.

                Fighting for the rights of business owners to discriminate based on homophobia (which I support) is a very narrow issue, and it’s low on my priorities list just like it is for racism or sexism or anything else. Stop acting as if it was the defining issue of our lives.

                1. Stop being a drama queen and settle down.

                  Or why don’t you stop being an unprincipled piece of shit and get animated? I don’t owe it to you to surrender my will to the government because you don’t give a flying fuck about the persecution of anyone you don’t personally agree with.

                  The government has been doing this for over a half-century and the end of the world hasn’t happened.

                  The Holocaust happened and the world didn’t end either. If the yardstick by which you measure government policy is “did it bring about the end of the world”, then there’s nothing the government can do short of total nuclear war that you could possibly oppose. You can be an unprincipled piece of shit without also being a stupid one (the generic “you”, anyway, maybe not you in particular).

                  1. Priorities are different than principles. You can call me unprincipled if you like, but that does not make it so–as I’ve said constantly, I support businesses being able to discriminate however they want. But the facts still stand: the rights of business owners to discriminate based on homophobia is an extremely narrow issue. To constantly bring up business discrimination based on homophobia to trash a candidate is like constantly bringing up the tyranny of requiring driver’s licenses. To me, things like fiscal policy and entitlement reform are much more important and it’s annoying to constantly read people trolling about gay wedding cakes. Both gay cakes and driver’s licenses are very narrow and small fish compared to the big fish.

                    You can have the last word. I simply hope you express the same fervor and vitriol about bakers who are forced to bake cakes for interracial or minority couples against their wishes.

                    1. But the facts still stand: the rights of business owners to discriminate based on homophobia is an extremely narrow issue.

                      That’s not a fact, that’s your opinion. And the issue is not narrow in the slightest, since your definition of “homophobia” is broad enough to include any practicing Jew, Muslim or Christian, which constitutes ~70% of the United States, more than a few of whom happen to own businesses.

                      Also completely irrelevant since that’s not even the issue at question. Johnson supports anti-discrimination law in all areas, wants anti-discrimination laws expanded into areas where they do not currently reach (not just sexual orientation), and has expressly stated that the enumerated 1st amendment right to freedom of religion is a “black hole” that should not be a consideration when enforcing federal law.

                      It’s not “trolling” when other people are appalled by the retrograde, anti-liberty stances of your preferred candidate and your willingness to carry his water because you simply don’t care about the people against whom those policies will be used. And this is certainly not Johnson’s only retrograde, anti-liberty stance. And if you’re annoyed by that, well, shove it up your ass. “Stop being a drama queen and settle down” – after all, homophobia has existed for millennia and the world hasn’t ended.

                    2. I simply hope you express the same fervor and vitriol about bakers who are forced to bake cakes for interracial or minority couples against their wishes.

                      My vitriol was directed at unprincipled pieces of shit like you, not against bakers of any stripe. It’s kind of amusing that you’re so obsessed with the homophobia bogeyman that you can’t even tell when it’s you being insulted rather than your pet identity group.

                      But yes, actually, I am equally fervent about the government wielding the power to take away a person’s livelihood because of their personal beliefs regardless of what those beliefs are. Not being an unprincipled piece of shit, I actually care about the government persecuting people even if I don’t happen to agree with them. I’m not aware of any bakers (or photographers or florists or pizzerias or bed and breakfasts or caterers or dining halls) who have been fined out of existence for racial discrimination, but if the Ku Klux Bakery or Nation of Islam Family Photo Center ever gets shut down, you can bet your ass I will be up in arms defending their rights.

                    3. I read your comments in Rick Sanchez’ voice and I love it.

                2. It only seems “narrow” because you do not share the beliefs of those whose rights are being violated. Just as a thought experiment, look at it from the point of view of a devoutly Christian baker who, although NOT hating gay people in any way, nevertheless regards homosexual CONDUCT as deeply sinful. The state is demanding that you bake that cake (and thus endorse a union you find immoral) or face financial ruin. Keep in mind that caving in might just mean the difference between an eternity of harps and angel wings or pitchforks and asbestos underwear. (No, I don’t believe that personally, but they might, and who are you and I to tell them differently?)

                  Libertarians are fond of asking folks if they are willing to send someone to jail for violating some regulation or other. I ask you now… are YOU willing to send someone to HELL for a gay wedding cake?

        2. e.g.


          Libertarianism is deeply rooted in the freedom of association. The author’s portrayal of this right as an “excuse” seemed to be the highest point of contention for readers. As one commenter explained, “The thing that bothers me isn’t different viewpoints within libertarianism. Rather, it is promoting viewpoints that try to change the meaning of libertarianism from consistent defense of liberty to something quite different.” If libertarians can defend the KKK’s right to free speech without being charged with racism, we should be able to defend discriminatory business practices?be they against homosexuals, blacks, or any other category of human beings?without facing accusations of bigotry, a criticism much more fit for the cultural realm than the political one.

          Individual liberty is not a social commentary. It doesn’t aim to form a consensus on the “right” or “wrong” way to exercise a freedom; it merely acknowledges the virtue of that freedom’s existence. Discrimination is nothing except the act of making a distinction, and in our communities it can have an ordering function as effective as those which govern the marketplace.

          IOW, its a high-priority because its fundamental to individual freedom.

          that the “baker” here held an unpopular view, and would suffer in the market for it, is irrelevant.

          The principle is not.

        3. Yeah, who wouldn’t want the government telling them who to associate with? Good point!

      2. And again, in practical terms, they jumped in front of a bus. Theoretically, I would prefer they had jumped in front of the market bus, rather than the government bus, but I have a hard time caring too much about idiots who jump in front of buses.

        1. So what about people who jump in front of the government bus, but not the market bus?

          You’re saying you don’t care if the government has a bus, because this one business would have been hit by the market bus (which is pure speculation on your part, I note).

          We don’t want the government to have a bus, and you apparently do. And so does Johnson. This is not a small issue.

          1. 100% this. If you don’t understand why giving the government the power to close down the businesses of people you don’t like is a dangerous slippery slope, you’re an idiot in addition to an unprincipled asshole.

    7. The bakers in Portland Oregon who declined to bake a cake for a gay wedding – let’s say Oregon state did nothing to them at all. Do you really think their business would survive in Portland?

      Based on the fact that it did for quite a while… Yes?

      Also, even they were run out of town on a rail by their fellow citizens, the difference is not negligible. Anybody who believes that it is the government’s place to put people out of business for their religious or personal beliefs is not a libertarian. Period.

  12. How to turn the campaign around:

    “Gary Johnson announced today that William Weld has been sent on a factfinding tour of the underground Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, where alas he won’t be able to access the Internet or contact the media.

    “Also reporters are advised to beware of a Gary Johnson impersonator who has been going around saying dumb stuff – we think he’s quit but if he comes back and says things contrary to the LP platform, please ignore him and pay attention only to the *real* Johnson.”

  13. That all sounds very good as a strategy, but you don’t change government by complimenting the top men and assuring them that you like where they’re coming from.

    He can be likable and nice and still advocate clearly in favor of the liberty that both other candidates speak against.

    If Gary can dial down his John Kasich knob, we will be fine. I do honestly look forward to this, and Cooper is much better than Cuomo so I expect less dumb “why do you want to inject all toddlers with heroin?” shit.

    1. Is he a candidate for President or not? A libertarian or not? The guy is so middle that he’s hard to like for libs, cons, progs or even libertarians. In the year that could at least put libertarians into the conversation, he can’t actually say libertarian things. Just nice things. He’s like the stoners I knew in high school.

      1. And just like other libertarian-ish politicians who tried to run a middle ground (See Paul, Rand), he’ll fail spectacularly the more careful he is to stay in the middle.

  14. Johnson is focused on projecting likability

    He’s going to drop his Blue Steel

    1. Nothing about libertarianism is nice to most voters. I don’t care if the pocket constitution is popular this year. No one will read it.

      So GJ needs to get over being nice and run for President. Or let someone like Penn Jillette who at least knows how to use his words.

  15. “Libertarian nominee also says he’s got no specific olive branch for #NeverTrump conservatives, aside from demonstrating fiscal conservatism and a sound temperament.”

    Which is EXACTLY why I ain’t voting for him — frigging IDIOT!!!!!!!

    When did libertarians sell out to the left? LESS freedom in exchange for what? They hate you a little less?

    Nothing says “soundness” better than trashing religious freedom and free association.

    Idiot …

    1. The political world is full of self-described conservatives and libertarians who cow-tow to the left so they’ll be liked more at parties or thought of as “oh, well he’s conservative, but he’s a cool conservative!”

      What they don’t realize is THESE PEOPLE WILL NEVER LIKE YOU AND THEY’LL NEVER STOP TRYING TO RULE YOU.

  16. I’ll just keep posting this because i think it remains the best summary of my own problems/lack of enthusiasm w/ GJ

    from Allahpundit

    If you’re thinking of casting a vote for a guy who can’t win, it doesn’t matter what his positions are, really. All that matters is whether he’s gone too far in muddling the message you want to send with that vote. Johnson is, in theory, the candidate of smaller government; in practice, if he’s willing to entertain the idea of appointing another Breyer to the Court, then maybe he isn’t. Is ideological purity unimportant in a protest vote or is it very important since, after all, you’re choosing to forfeit what tiny influence you have over the outcome of the election in order to cast that vote? I’m leaning towards writing in Harambe the dead gorilla for president at this point but it’s something to think about.

    1. The vote count for Harambe the dead gorilla won’t get reported, so you got that going for you

      1. Its the symbolism of the thing that matters.

    2. Have you checked out down-ballot access rules for your state? As I posted above, 2% is a huge factor in my state. Takes signatures out of the picture for 4 years.

      And as I have said a jillion times before, I voted for Barr-Root. In comparison, Johnson-Weld is an easy vote.

  17. I get that pandering is awful, but you have to do at least a tiny bit of it, Gary. Come on!

    1. unless he offers free college for everyone, and swears to create Civil Rights Act v2.0 = “Erasing White Privilege”, i’m not sure how much more pandering is possible. He’s already waffled on guns, drugs, SCOTUS nominees, etc.

    2. A good start would be pandering to your own constituency, rather than your competitor’s.

      1. They should have done that in the Gillespie interview. Tonight is a better occasion for projecting a “moderate” position, I think.

  18. Fundraising not exactly “night and day” compared to 4 years ago.
    More like “night and maybe a few minutes closer to dawn”.

    1. It really is night and day. In 2012, he raised less than $2 million during his entire campaign. In the last two weeks, they’ve raised over a million dollars.

  19. GayJay’s rightward pivot to something resembling “libertarian-lite is fooling no one. He’s a puppet of the northeasten liberal Republican establishment. Gary Johnson is playing Madam to William Weld’s Wayland Flowers.

    1. We get it. You think bombing the shit out of people is more important than fiscal responsibility.

      1. Kinda rich considering Johnson wants to bomb ISIS and also thinks we should be involved in more humanitarian wars.

  20. Northeastern liberal Republican sounds a lot more like Trump (or Daddy to you) than a former governor of New Mexico.

    1. ^ Responding to SIV

    2. Seriously. Other than Mitt Romney, what prominent Republican establishment figure in recent years has been from the Northeast? Before 2012, it had been decades since any GOP nominee was from there. And in terms of recent congressional leadership, the four that come to mind immediately are Ryan, Boehner, McConnell, and McCarthy. Again, none of them from the northeast. This isn’t the 1960s and Trump isn’t Goldwater.

      1. The only Republicans who’ve been able to win the presidency since the 80s, the Bushes?

        1. Tony = the prog war monger.

      2. Other than Mitt Romney, what prominent Republican establishment figure in recent years has been from the Northeast?

        Poppa Bush? May not be “recent years”, due to the tendency of some ex-Presidents to retire gracefully.

      3. The Bushes.

  21. I am hoping for some strategic voting.

    For example, Clinton has no chance in KY.

    But, I think Johnson can beat Trump head-to-head. Repeat in reverse for many blue states.

    Throw the race to the house and see what sticks. Clinton could even win if the Dems take enough house seats.

    1. If it goes to the House I suspect Paul Ryan will once again be “reluctantly” promoted.

      1. Paul is having a tough go in his primary. It would be very interesting indeed for a defeated Representative to be elevated to the Presidency by a lame duck Congress.

        If so, Ryan would be either the fifth Bush term, or the third Obama term, depending on how you count.

  22. And since independents are the now the largest political bloc, and Millennials are even more independent than the rest of the population…,the future of politics lies somewhere near here.

    I dunno. I get the sense that for Millenials claiming to be an independent is just empty posturing, like claiming that they fucking love science. I’ll believe it when they stop consistently voting for asshats and full-retard policies.

    1. People keep talking about how the Libertarians will not win the White House.

      They will win the WH.

      Sound unbelievable?

      If it is even slightly close then neither ClinTrump will get 270 necessary to win.

      Slowly, with minimal publicity, Johnson/Weld numbers are rising. The oft quoted 13% is an old poll that skews everything. As noted on this blog, 9% is more accurate.

      But that 9% is a lot better than the 5% they were getting not too long ago. And it keeps rising.

      I will be very curious to find out what happens after the CNN Town Hall tonight.

      With Anderson Cooper and a prime time slot as well as CNN heavily advertising this all day long, everyday, a lot of people will watch it.

      It is a chance for them to truly make a great impression or not.

      Then come the debates. There is a very good chance he will be in them. Today’s Trump statement that he doesn’t want Gary in them turned off a lot of people including the Commission group.

      If no one gets 270 then the House, Republican controlled by Ryan, who once again has been insulted by Trump recently, gets to choose from among the three candidates.

      Gary will take Utah (6), Idaho – 26% Mormon ( assuming Gary makes no more Mormon bashing comments) (3), Alaska (3), NH (4), Montana (3). That makes 19 and there may be more.

      He could do it.

      For the sake of our country, let’s hope that he does and we have our first but not last Libertarian president.

      1. LESS THAN 1%, LOSERDOPIAN, LESS THAN 1%

      2. And they say that pot has no lasting cognitive effects.

    2. If you live in your parents’ basement or you’re on the federal tit, you aren’t independent. You may be undeclared.

    3. Yup. Millennials are indeed Independents—they just happen to vote straight D.

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  24. I really don’t care about ” #NeverTrump conservatives”. Most are too indoctrinated in two-party politics to vote 3rd party. Some will break for Clinton, some will break for Trump despite their protestations, and some will sit it out in November. In their view, a vote for Johnson is a wasted vote, not a vote against Trump, and that’s what most NeverTrumpists want to do. A minority might vote Libertarian or Constitution Party, but there is very little Johnson can say or do that will undo a lifetime of K-12, higher education, and media indoctrination that there are only two parties.

    My question is whether Gary Johnson will offer an olive branch for libertarians.

    1. I’m going to hesitantly (I know, split infinitive!) disagree with you, Cato. #NeverTrumpers ARE worth pursuing, and they REALLY, REALLY want to like Gary! Over at National Review there are articles LITERALLY BEGGING Johnson to throw them a bone or two! (Go ahead, snicker away….) Nothing major, just a little love. Reversing the whole Nazicake thing and adopting a principled Libertarian stance in favor of freedom of association would do it. Even a little less emphasis on the “socially liberal” and a bit more on the “fiscally conservative” would clinch it for them. They are the single most unappreciated voting bloc in this election, and they need a home. Won’t you please help with your donation of a few cents a day?

  25. As a measure of the candidates I’d suggest using the number of hours of your life that will be controlled by a government run by Hillary, Trump or Johnson. Hillary will take your guns, Trump will take your home but Johnson is supposedly terrible because he would make you bake a cake for a Nazi wedding. How many hours of your life would it take to bake a cake as opposed to the cost of a firearm not to mention the increased risk of being killed when you’re unarmed? How many hours of your life go into paying for your home?

    Who is most likely to get involved in another stupid war? Trump would invade any country whose head of state suggested that Trump’s hair was fake and Hillary never met a country she wouldn’t invade.

    Who is most likely to veto a gun control bill or a project using eminent domain? Who is most likely to veto a liberty crushing immigrant expulsion law? Who is most likely to veto increases in tariffs?

    Who is most likely to veto anything at all?

    There are only two choices – Johnson or Tyranny.

    1. Hillary will take your guns, Trump will take your home but Johnson is supposedly terrible because he would make you bake a cake for a Nazi wedding.

      The problem is that those are all actually the exact same thing.

      To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument?is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment; you threaten him with death if he does. You place him in a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life?and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.

      Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: “Your money or your life,” or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: “Your children’s education or your life,” the meaning of that ultimatum is: “Your mind or your life”?and neither is possible to man without the other.

      1. Johnson is exactly as bad as Clinton or Trump because he accepts the exact same principle. That you suspect his guns will turn on you last is one of the shittiest and most hilariously bad arguments anyone has ever made.

        1. He can’t win, so what he would do with his guns in practice is irrelevant.

          If we take him at his word, he would turn his guns on free association and clothing items.

    2. I can understand and respect voting for a candidate because you agree with their positions, even if they have no chance to win.

      I can understand and respect voting for a candidate whose positions you disagree with, because they can beat a candidate who’s worse.

      I can neither understand nor respect voting for a candidate whose positions you disagree with and has no chance of beating either of the other candidates.

  26. Clinton is a bigger war monger than Cheney. She’s been for ever war since she nagged Bill to bomb Serbia.
    She’s a sworn enemy of freedom and the US Constitution.

  27. I asked how he would be responding to what may soon be a “preference cascade” of Republicans ditching Trump,

    God luck with your new career as a Republican strategist after the Trump Administration DEPORTS YOU TO FRANCE, Welch

  28. Gary Johnson: Now that the horse has left the barn, I plan to firmly close this door.

    1. Wouldn’t that impede the pot drying?

  29. I thought that Trump vs. Clinton made voting for Johnson a slam dunk. He’s worked very hard to lose my vote though, and succeeded for the time being.

    To put this in perspective, I voted for Michael Badnarik in 2004.

  30. I have been critical of GJ’s performances from day 1, but I think he did well tonight.

    My sense was that GJ was well-composed. He was clear on vast majority of the questions and vaugue on some of the tough ones where he wouldn’t be able to respond well anyway (where vagueness was probably the best approach)

    Perhpas more importantly, he was quite personable.

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