Gary Johnson

Watch the 60 Minutes Interview With Gary Johnson and Bill Weld

Libertarian ticket gets a respectful, skeptical hearing on TV's leading news magazine


One of the many ways that Gary Johnson's 2016 run for president doesn't remotely resemble his 2012 campaign, let alone any other in the history of the Libertarian Party, is the level of media interest. Four years ago Johnson was begging CNN for coverage; this year the cable-news network has held two different town hall conversations with he and vice presidential nominee William Weld.

Last night, the L.P. ticket was presented to considerably more viewers on longtime CBS hit magazine program 60 Minutes. You can watch the whole broadcast below:

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No big surprises or deviations for anybody who's been paying attention to the campaign. Host Steve Kroft gave a respectful probing of their views, though his shock at notion of dismantling the Department of Homeland Security (among other "radical" ideas) was amusing, as was his lingering on Johnson's pot-smoking past. That latter point, in fact, got big play in the 60 Minutes overtime materials on its website. Sample:

Johnson's positions are informed, in part, by being personally acquainted with the effects of marijuana use. He was an unabashed consumer of the drug until earlier this year, when he was happy to trade the title "cannabis user" for "presidential nominee."

Johnson says the role of Commander-in-chief is too important to gamble with ganja. "I've always said you should not show up on the job impaired," he told Kroft. "Running for president is a 24/7 gig. Being president is a 24/7 gig. Incoming missiles, you got 12 minutes to deal with it."

I wonder sometimes whether the '60s-'70s generation of journalists realize how much they ended up sounding like their once-despised parents…. Anyway, part of Johnson's rambling answer to 60 Minutes about ISIS—specifically, his contention that the group is "overrated," though that's a "terrible thing to say these days"—may get some play, given the ongoing terrorism investigations in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, and Johnson's bungle on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday morning that he was "just grateful that nobody got hurt" in attacks that injured dozens. ("Gary Johnson completely botches Chelsea explosion response," went the headline in the New York Post.)

Meanwhile, the candidate was asked on CNN in the wee hours of this morning about Carl Bernstein's speculation that Weld is considering dropping out to make sure Donald Trump doesn't win. Johnson's response: "Bill Weld is in this for the long haul." UPDATE: The Hill reports that Johnson added "No, no chance Bill Weld drops out."

NEXT: 'I'm probably the person on the left who's most open to libertarian thinking'—Robert Scheer in Conversation With Matt Welch

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  1. Why would Johnon’s marijuana use be of such interest in the first place, other than he actually discusses it openly and honestly instead of, say, claiming he smoked, but didn’t inhale? The last three presidents have used it and other harder drugs. George the Lesser did mountains of coke back in his day before, like many an incompetent screw-up and whore, he found Jesus in his midlife crisis.

    1. You misspelled “tax collector”.

    2. OK. I’m going to defend Dubya here.

      Dubya was traumatized by the death of his sister when they were teenagers. She died of cancer, and he, being the oldest, took a big role in nursing her when she was at home. He also was apparently crushed by her death.

      Like many people who suffer through a sibling’s terminal illness, he dealt with his depression by drug and alcohol abuse. And when he hit rock bottom from that, he embraced Jesus, which again is pretty typical.

      For all his faults, Dubya tries to do the right thing, and has the humility to recognize his faults and try to atone for his misdeeds.

      He was a terrible president. When considering him, I oft recall Othello’s final speech:

      Soft you; a word or two before you go.
      I have done the state some service, and they know’t.
      No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
      When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
      Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
      Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
      Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
      Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
      Perplex’d in the extreme; of one whose hand,
      Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
      Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
      Albeit unused to the melting mood,
      Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
      Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;

      1. Incidentally, his words as he stabs himself are ones that probably cause Gary Johnson some pain:

        And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
        Where a malignant and a turban’d Turk
        Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
        I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
        And smote him, thus.

      2. I think he was more like 6 and his sister was 2 or 3 when she died of cancer, although it did seem to hit him pretty hard. Right after or before JEB was born.

  2. “Incoming missiles, you got 12 minutes to deal with it”

    Well, it’s comforting to know that Hillary will be having a 15 minute coughing spell or seizure during those 12 minutes.

    1. But Gary’s ten second delay from his perpetual high is totally more dangerous, cuz drugs and stuff.

    2. Hell, when they were having their meeting during the Benghazi attack, they spent most of their time on political optics and image control.

      It doesn’t matter if she’s physically incapacitated. She is simply incapable of doing anything other than advance her own personal interests. She doesn’t have the wiring to be anything other than dishonest, corrupt, and self-serving.

    3. Did they ask also him of his opinion on Denzel Washington’s performance in Crimson Tide?

  3. Incoming missiles, you got 12 minutes to deal with it.

    Are these al Qaeda missiles or ISIS missiles?

  4. I wonder sometimes whether the ’60s-’70s generation of journalists realize how much they ended up sounding like their once-despised parents?

    That would require a level of self-awareness.

    1. I was going to say the same thing. That’s just not something they’re capable of.

  5. Fuckin’ CBS. Framing the shot to focus on their jeans and the resulting bunch up. Despicable!

    1. If only their pants legs had been perfectly creased…

  6. Johnson’s bungle on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday morning that he was “just grateful that nobody got hurt” in attacks that injured dozens. (“Gary Johnson completely botches Chelsea explosion response,” went the headline in the New York Post.)

    They bitched about Trump offering condolences because no one died.

    One suspects that if the media didn’t have anything to bitch about the non-bitch candidates, they’d bitch about that.

    1. The (alleged) Aleppo “Gaffe” was horse-puckey, HoD, pure and simple. Most people, save political junkies, ME history buffs, and foreign policy wonks and weirdos are going to know about Aleppo and it’s recent military and US foreign policy significance. That wasn’t a huge deal (though I thank our stars that he didn’t respond, “What about Purina? Don’t they make that brand of dog food?”)

      This bombing thing, HoD: People in MOTHER FUCKING UKRAINE KNOW ABOUT THIS! And, knew at the time it happened (thank you Internet), and this is *precisely* the type of domestic thing that GayJay should be prepared to know about, and answer. That’s why he has Gelded Weld and digital information employed with his staff, no?

      If people on The Steppes knew about this exploding dumpster stuff in real time and can answer questions about it when it’s not even their country, GayJay should sure as shit better know what’s going on in this here Internet Age.

      1. Not even the gayest, most cosmotarian of gay cosmotarians can spin this latest squirt of verbal diarrhea.

        Johnson is just a complete idiot even by dumb politician standards, plain and simple.

      2. I dunno, Groovus. I lived through the Bush II years, when the proggies were gleefully compiling daily office calendargrams of his verbal peccadilloes. And then Obama (I-I-I-I-I, ummmmmmm).

        Slip of the tongue, maybe. In any real sense, not particularly important, though now that you have phrased it in this manner I admit to making a mental note that Johnson needs to be watched in future for being uninformed and apathetic about it. The media has cultivated a tradition of having the vapors over any words which are not perfectly sculpted, and I personally feel there’s probably not a wolf this time either.

        1. Both The Shrub and Obumbles were already in office when the media shit storms (The Shrub in particular) started. Granted with Obumbles, most of his ire has come from Fox outlets, terrestrial AM radio, and some Intertoobz sites, but even then, the scrutiny has been far from equitable WRT Shrub v. Obumbles (FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT!).

          GayJay isn’t even in office, and he’s *SUPPOSED* to present himself as fit for service; this isn’t stupid stuff like The Shrub’s “NOOKLAR” and “KUHTTER”, and Obumbles, “57 states,” and “Corpsemen” twaddle.

          People have been injured from things going BOOM! In NYC, arguably the most recognised, (allegedly) important, and inflential city in the USA, and possibly the globe. And home of 9/11.

          Let me ask you this, HoD: Would you be as forgiving if GayJay was

          1) Ignorant of the news if this had been the Boston Bombing attacks (or even The Pulse Massacre); and,

          2) TEAM RED’S nominee instead of TEAM ORANGE?

          GayJay has to be above and beyond these two other imbeciles, and he must be held to a higher standard if he wishes to seriously garner some positive attention, not negative jeers from eating toe jam sandwiches.

          1. Let me ask you this, HoD: Would you be as forgiving if GayJay was

            1) Ignorant of the news if this had been the Boston Bombing attacks (or even The Pulse Massacre); and,

            2) TEAM RED’S nominee instead of TEAM ORANGE?

            Yes. You’ll note my OP was mildly on Trump’s side as well.

            TEAM seems an odd argument to make to me, considering I’ve been vocal about neither having my vote. Consider that if I have a bias, it would appear to be more anti-media than pro-presidential candidate for whom I’m not voting.

            1. I would say GJ is a fucking verbal idiot. Even so, this gaffe is, I would say, a gaffe for gaffe’s sake. He should come out and say ‘I meant to say nobody got killed’ and that should be the end of it. It doesn’t reflect anything important.

              The media is going to pound him for it I’m sure though. Ironically that will probably help Trump more than Clinton.

      3. Gelded Weld

        Oh, bravo, doc.

        1. *bows*

          Thank you for august patronage, Counselor.-)

      4. It was probably just being stupidly imprecise with language and meaning that he was glad no one died. I mean, you can’t actually have a mass stabbing unless people are hurt, otherwise it would be a mass knife-waving.

  7. For those who are unfamiliar with them, there wasn’t much there other than ‘We’re fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.’

  8. OT: There is some speculation that the guy that used the “cloth” to wipe the server was on reddit asking about stripping a “VIP” email address from “to” and “from” off archived emails.

    1. *Hillary’s server.

    2. Unless someone has a link to the actual reddit page (or a shot of it on the wayback machine), I think this is too good not to be a forgery.

      1. I kind of agree.

          1. It still seems too good to be true, but from what I can tell it really does seem legit.

    3. Holy shit, that reddit thread is rich. Too many excerpts to post. But just one good one

      There is no supported way to do what you’re asking. You can only delete emails after they’re stored in the database. You can’t change them. If there was a feature in Exchange that allowed this, it could result in major legal issues. There may be ways to hack a solution, but I am not aware of any.

      1. And it’s definitely the same guy, Paul Combetta:

        Here is the guy who wiped Hillary’s server asking about how to do it on Reddit. Yes. Seriously. He also asks how to replace real emails with fake ones.

        His post happens right about the same time congress was requesting Clinton’s emails. He specifically said it was for a big name client who everybody would recognize.

        A Reddit post has been found from Paul Combetta (the IT guy who got FBI immunity and deleted Hillary’s emails) proving they were covering up for Hillary.

        First, notice Paul’s email address here:

        He uses the same username on his Etsy page: (Backup )

        Now look at the username of this Redditor asking how to strip the name of a “VERY VIP” from email archives.

        “Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out.”

        1. the IT guy who got FBI immunity

          With immunity, he should either answer every single question, or go to jail.

          The fact that the FBI can’t be arsed to do this tells you all you need to know about how deep the rot goes.

          And, no, there’s no attorney-client privilege preventing him from answering, either. He’s not an attorney. If privileged info was disclosed to him, it loses the privilege. If he was consulting with his own attorney or the company’s attorney, he or the company can waive the privilege. Consulting with Hillary’s attorney, or the State Department’s attorney, creates no attorney-client privilege.

        2. I love how the responses on reddit are mostly “You should just use a different, non-official email to obfuscate the identity of the sender”. You seriously can’t make this up.

  9. I’m interpreting from this gloss that “It didn’t go very well”

    1. It could have been worse, actually. They reeled off the things that liberals would like before describing the murderous dystopia that would result from eliminating the Dept. of Education.

  10. I wonder sometimes whether the ’60s-’70s generation of journalists realize how much they ended up sounding like their once-despised parents?.

    At this point, standing on any different ground as their parents is beside the point. They’ve got a cadaver to drag over the finish line. And any argument they can muster to that end is now fair game. Hillary could shoot up heroin on live TV and the press would be telling us how it’s a sign that she’s cool and in touch with today’s youth culture.

  11. I don’t have time to watch it right now, but I’m guessing this is basically “Get a load of this pot smoking weirdo extremist (he wants to do away with the DHS – what does he want teh terrrists to win?!) who’s going to cost Queen Hillary the election because millennials are the worst generation evar!”

  12. Didn’t have much time to make any case except “we exist.”

    Which, given what Johnson does when you give him time to talk about issues, is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Good for them for landing a show with relatively high viewership though.

  13. Johnson was just on Fox Business w/ Cavuto.

    I turned it up, and wish i hadn’t. He seriously can’t answer a single question without saying 5 different unrelated things and then waffling on what his position actually is. He then asserted that he’d make a great “Communicator in Chief”. He’s talking about getting rid of DHS (*which i wholeheartedly support) but he doesn’t seem to actually have any clear statement about ‘why’ a bloated govt hydra-agency isn’t necessarily better than fewer, leaner, specific ones with limited mandates.

    1. Every time you guys listen to scum like professional polticians, even when it’s a hate-listening, you enable them.

      The only thing scum like Gary Johnson, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton deserve is your disregard.

      1. I’d love to disregard them, but someone keeps having elections putting these people in charge of stuff.

        1. Imagine you are a low level guy living in the Soviet Union. How much energy would you put into the power struggles over seats in the politburo?

          My guess is none.

          Once you accept that:
          1) You have 0 impact on who becomes President
          2) You have 0 impact on their policy decisions
          3) They have a minor impact on the civil service that besets and bedevils you.

          Adopting the approach of someone who is determined to live as happily and prosperously as they can despite living in a totalitarian state that is determined to loot him and is otherwise inimical to any of his aims is the prudent thing to do.

          And the first step is to break their hold over you; by studiously ignoring them.

          1. 1) i don’t think the things you “accept” are actually true


            2) I can be “determined to live as happily and prosperously as they can despite living in a totalitarian state” regardless of whether or not those things are true.

            I also think your posture is completely feigned (or you’ve fooled yourself into thinking that’s what you believe)

            If you actually held the position you’re pretending, you wouldn’t be wasting your time reading political magazines & gabbing with others about the subject matter

            1. It’s not feigned. I enjoy the discussions here, and I like Reason as a news source. I’ve just come to realize that I have no influence on the U.S. government. There’s a greater chance of me dying of N2 asphyxiation because all the O2 in my office migrated to a corner than there is in Hillary or Trump not winning MA.

              The current crop of awful politicians derive their entire power comes from people attending to them. The worst thing for them is to be ignored. The only influence you can exercise over them is to ignore them. If you pay attention to them, you have lost all influence. At best you are annoyed. At worst you become their puppet.

              1. At best you are annoyed.

                i suppose that’s right.

                I think maybe the difference between your perspective and mine is that i’m not so concerned with the government as a whole, and generally see things as a collection of individual policies each of which can be pushed in different directions (*not by much, but over time it can make a difference)

                iow, i’m more of a policy-dork. I’m not interested in any ‘savior’ to come along and fix the world. I don’t have any illusions about government. But i do think (unlike you) that specific policy issues can be affected, and being informed about them helps that.

  14. “Anyway, part of Johnson’s rambling answer to 60 Minutes about ISIS?specifically, his contention that the group is “overrated,” though that’s a “terrible thing to say these days”?may get some play, given the ongoing terrorism investigations in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota”

    We’ve lost thousands of American soldiers in the war on terror. We’ve spent trillions.

    If it was all to avoid attacks like those that happened in Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey over the weekend, then we paid too much.

  15. Krugman article today was classic hatchet job on 3rd party candidates. I think it is pretty funny that Krugman thinks millennials give a rat’s ass what he thinks about anything.

  16. My watched this and asked me if they were a gay couple. I just laughed.

    1. Maybe they should start putting their wives and children in their campaign ads?

  17. It would have been nice if they’s greatly shotened the horse-race and pot stuff and asked more questions like “what makes you different from the other two parties?” and “what experience do you have which is relevant to the Presidency, if as you say you are running to be elected?” And following up on Johnson’s semi-admission that he and Weld don’t really see the LP platform as binding, and his gay-cake things, “in what respect are you libertarian and in what respect are you just a Rockefeller Republican?”

    But OMG who are you taking votes from, why do you smoke so much dope?

    1. *shortened* the horse-race stuff

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