Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson's Post-Debate Reactions

Watch Matt Welch interview the Libertarian candidate about his reactions to last night, and his campaign strategy going forward


Well, we did the pre-game last night, so it's time for the Tuesday morning quarterbacking: Watch Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson take my questions and yours on Reason's Facebook page (and right here). What do you want to know about the campaign strategy ahead?

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  1. his campaign strategy going forward

    He’s going to try real hard to not be a dumbass in public.

    1. I thought that was Trump’s strategy.

      1. If it is, it’s not working.

      2. Well, to Trump, “not being politically correct” apparently means “being a dumbass in public”.

    2. Make libertarians less cynical so that more vote for him?…On second thought, no, that never happens.

      1. Let’s not be so crazy as to think that us Libertarians have that much of an impact on election voting.

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  2. If Gasy was President, would he nominate any very against police judges on the Supreme Court?

    1. Why is Gary playing with himself while talking to Matt??

  3. Can we please stop already?!?

    For the love of God, isn’t there real news to report?

    1. ‘I will use my body as click bait’: Katy Perry announces plans to release a video of herself NAKED in a bid to ‘help change the world’ ahead of US elections…..tions.html

      1. Dude, Russell Brand has been all up in that. ewwwwwww……

        1. She’s tainted yes, but still has an amazing rack.

      2. Orlando Bloom recently attracted headlines when he was photographed paddle boarding in the nude during the couple’s summer getaway.

        Wait, Perry’s gay?

        1. She kissed a girl and she liked it, or so I’ve heard.

      3. Brings new meaning to the term “polling station.”

        1. Or should I say “poling station”?

      4. I mean, definitely would, but she’s like the classic example of someone who’s like a 6 or maybe–maybe–a 7 prior to her army of stylists going to work on her. Mind you, 6 or 7 is more attractive than average, just not like “would shoot myself in the knee to get her number” attractive.

      5. Is that it? What the fuck?

    2. Elections are the billboards of our faith, dear creature.

  4. Trump is literally falling into the same trap he fell into with the Khans with Alicia Machado. Is he constitutionally incapable of shutting his fucking mouth?

    1. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Trump is deeply insecure and profoundly stupid, neither of which is conducive to exercising the better part of valor.

      1. I don’t think he’s stupid; he is (or at least has been) extremely smart and savvy when it comes to maintaining his brand. He understands and can play the media like few others.

        He is, however, extremely insecure. Part of prepping for debates is having somebody attack your weaknesses in private before being attacked by the opposing candidate in public. Trump, even if he read the policy books his team meticulously put together, would not have been able to go through anybody attacking his record to his face, even if this person was honest-to-God trying to help him. This failure showed itself on Monday night; Clinton was needling and setting traps for him and he fell into nearly every single one.

        1. So you think his public persona is just shrewdly calculated to sound like he never knows what the fuck he’s talking about? If so he’s playing a game in dimensions even Obama can’t perceive.

          1. he’s playing a game in dimensions even Obama can’t perceive.

            + 11 Dimensional M Theory Chess

          2. Of course, he is playing a game, but, no, the dimensions are what they always have been for decades. If there are striking differences in the campaign styles compared to eight or sixteen years ago they are related to the present distribution of the public’s anxieties and opinions. Anyway, Obama ran with the hopey-dopey, dorm-room bull shit artist persona. He caught the mood of enough voters and he did pretty well. Trump is running with the get-er-done hypomaniac persona and he is doing pretty well now. But the purpose of the debate for him was to assure enough fence-sitters that he is not dangerous. He appears to have done that, and so he “won” the debate. By the way, if you’re not just being tendentious and if it really does come across to you as if he never knows what the fuck he’s talking about, you should ask yourself why that perception is not shared by almost everyone. A good two-fifths of those who respond to poll either disagree or think that not knowing what he’s talking about is not so bad a trait under the circumstances.

          3. I think he isn’t stupid (at least not completely stupid, he does have his talents, I’m sure). But he also doesn’t seem to know what the fuck he is talking about half the time. Ignorance and stupidity are different things.

            I didn’t watch the shitshow last night, but from the excerpts I’ve heard, it does sound kind of like he just went in unprepared.

        2. I used to believe that he was secretly a genius and all this is just a clever ruse, but after last night I’m more inclined to go with Penn Jilette’s appraisal that he really is dumb as a bag of hammers but aggressive and wealthy enough to just sort of bully, bribe, or bluff his way into what he wants. Plus, he’s surrounded by handlers and sycophants for whom he is a meal-ticket. That can get you pretty damn far.

          1. “he really is dumb as a bag of hammers but aggressive and wealthy enough to just sort of bully, bribe, or bluff his way into what he wants”

            Or maybe his entire campaign is to guarantee Hillary’s election. I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but the debate last night definitely seemed staged since neither of them showed any emotional reaction.

        3. i think we shouldn’t confuse smart or even clever with being able to say/do something that makes the media get weak in the knees. plane crashes do that much.

      2. A billion bills trucks a ton of trifles.

  5. Ahhhh, a guy in a yellow tie and blue jeans. Now THERE’S a guy I can get behind. He’ll begin to turn the tide, making sound 1.5%-2% changes to how things are – as a beginning to bringing about the libertarian paradise by 2075. The impending corrections in the next 3-5 years of $100,000,000,000,000 of economic misallocations, when people very soon learn they are half (at best) as wealthy as they think they are – a guy in a sport coat, yellow tie, and dungarees comforts me every time. We’ve simply been missing the casual-day-but-I’m-the-COO-hip dressing from the equation. In the end, it’s the tennis shoes that seals the deal. The “hey, I’m looking off camera, casually addressing that which is coming that you can’t see and ain’t concerned no-how” body language doesn’t hurt either.

    1. Right! We should keep voting for the shit we know doesn’t work because that shit is better dressed!

      1. The upshot to the comment had more to do with the “marketing” aspect Reason is engaging in. It most have hit close to home because they changed the picture.

        And the office of Presidency, at it is currently constructed and empowered, is beyond ANYONE, regardless of how they are dressed. That’s the 3,000lb elephant in the room when it comes to these elections. NOBODY seems to have the guts to point out no one person can be the “CEO” of a $4,000,000,000,000 budget, oversee 375,000,000 lives in anyway materially, and have a finger on the button to incinerate the world. But that’s just me. It’s along the same lines as to WHY do we send the vast majority of our tax money the furthest away? It’s THAT cognitive breakdown that makes choosing the person to do the enumerated things above come down to the best dressed for so many people.

        1. If we don’t keep electing more and more powerful presidents then we’re never going to eventually get a king.

          1. King? Pshaw…. we want an Emperor!

  6. I think GJ should spend the next debate riffing it MST-style. Just put him in a row of theater seats in silhouette at the bottom of the screen and mock the hell out of those two jackasses.

    1. Except trained comedians normally take *at least* 2 viewings to get all the riffs right. So, I’d expect Gary to take anywhere between 4-6 and still end up as a trade off between being funny and providing a solid libertarian message.

      Maybe if he got Drew Carey, Joe Rogan, and Penn Jillette they could do some NFL-style pre-/post- color commentary from Gary’s living room or something.

    2. Speaking of MST3K, I think it got a reboot.

  7. Simple and most important difference between candidates this election, IMO:

    Clinton hates business. She makes her money thru corruption.

    Trump only understands big business. He wants HUUUUUUUGE deals. Its why he couldnt stand owning a minor league football team and tried to force a USFL/NFL merger. His hotels/casinos must be bigger and better and regularly go broke.

    Johnson started a small business with a single employee (himself) and grew it to a large business over 20+ years.

    I would mention Stein, but I dont think that needs to be said. Less corrupt than Clinton, I would guess.

    1. Very nicely put.

    2. Stein … Less corrupt than Clinton

      But a “true believer” in Marxism/ Socialism.

      1. Hence the no need to mention.

  8. The U.S. is $20 trillion in debt. trump the self-proclaimed “king of debt” has stated now is the time to borrow. “This is a time to borrow…” How is that good for US?

    Hillary proposes $275 billion in spending plus $225 billion in loans for infrastructure. According to trump “Her number is a fraction of what we’re talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure. I would say at least double her numbers, and you’re going to really need a lot more than that.”

    How about trumpcare’s massive expansion of Medicaid — the heart and soul of Obamacare? In 2016 Medicaid spending alone was $365 billion. The CBO is expecting $6 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. trumpcare will cost more.

    How about trump’s new entitlement for maternity leave? He estimates the cost at $2.5 billion and he’ll pay for it by wringing fraud out of the system. How many times have we heard that lie?

    Moody’s Analytics, projected trump’s deficit spending would cause a recession, run up $11 trillion in debt and cost 3.5 million jobs. How’s he going to pay for it? “It’s called OPM. I do that all the time in business. It’s called other people’s money. There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money.” Whose money is that? It’s our money and out kid’s money, our grandkid’s money and generations of Americans unborn, because we know from this campaign trump never pays himself.

    1. I don’t remember who the commentor was, but I was relieved to know that “debt” isn’t the same for the Federal government than it is for us folk. They tax to keep inflation down.


      Me neither.

      The only way debt is different for the government than individuals as they can use Force. If they repudiate, they can kill the people trying to enforce their useless paper loans. They can use Force to control a fiat currency and debase it. They can borrow money and use Force far and wide to guarantee enough flow to pay interest and maybe some principal. THAT’s how it’s different. If individuals or a private association behave the same way, it’s called racketeering. Accepting the difference as just another “to-ma-to/to-mah-to” variation of legitimate forms of governance is to accept Tyranny as 1A of government privilege. Certainly not a government built on preserving peaceful and productive people’s wealth from usurpation. It’s pretty much the exact opposite. It’s the monetization of people’s stored wealth and future labor and artificially changing “gravitational” forces to spiral the output of people’s labor, past-present-future, to the government. It’s using smoke and mirrors so that the laborers don’t know they’re slaves.

  9. Johnson blew the best opportunity for Libertarians will have for probably a very long time. Did it occur to him since basically to tap the brakes on the quirkiness crap, that the new party name + positions is a lot for the public to absorb? That beyond goofy sound bite last week. The jeans/suit ensemble. The stint as CEO of pot firm, while the public already misconceives the Libertarians as a single issue pot movement…. All he had to do was act the conventional pol for a few weeks, and maybe not scare off the public. There’s actually a big market for normal/not-crazy this time around if willing to take advantage. idiot.

    1. The major criticism here is the exact opposite. That he went too far off the libertarian plantation.

  10. Welch said that Trump was trying to out-left the left on trade. I didn’t really see that from his comments.

    He brought up a good point, that our Free Trade agreements are not actually free trade. We are the only ones holding up our end of the bargain. In Maine, for example, we compete with Canada in the logging industry, but Canada is subsidizing their mills, putting our mills out of business. While Maine mills can compete with other mills, they cannot compete with other mills plus the government of Canada.

    You see this through most of our Free Trade agreements. What Trump is saying is that we need to ensure the deals are upheld, not hold our nose while our companies and workers get screwed.

    I think it is an extreme disservice to libertarianism when there is a blind support for these so-called free trade agreements that are not actually free, and they give a horrible name to actual free trade and free market capitalism.

  11. What the hell was GJ playing with during this interview?

  12. So much for 2016. Johnson fades from here. The public doesn’t care that he was not invited to the debates. The one-note samba is wearing thin. Strategy going forward? Well, staking your candidacy on the debates is not going to work to build a 3rd party movement. There’s no energy or creativity coming from the Johnson-Weld campaign. With the Internet and social media, there’s room for creative strategizing. Why should they let Gary debate when he hasn’t said anything of substance in his campaign? His unprepared, low-energy campaign is one-dimensional. This is an example of how not to run a third-party campaign. Why not debate Jill Stein? Then some might see him as a debater. As a crabby old guy firing off irrelevant tweets, I see him as out of ideas. The question now is whether he can muster the focus and energy to win 5% in 2016 so that the LIbertarian Party will have ballot access in 2020. Then maybe a true Libertarian candidate will use intelligence, preparation, focus and creativity to show how a minor party can gain attention and support and crash this fucking Leviathan shitshow. 2016 was a great opportunity–now wasted.

  13. Holy smokes the audio for this was bad. Matt how could you let this happen?

    Go Gary!

  14. Awesome, the video and sound are wildly out of sync and Gary playing with his penis. Perfect.

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  17. What’s Gary doing with his hands? Is he playing with himself or rolling a doobie?

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  19. Don’t ever pair a colored shirt with the same colored tie. Go with a light yellow tie next time you wear a blue shirt, Matt.

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