Gary Johnson

Correcting the Myth That the Libertarian Ticket 'Refuses to Say Anything Against Hillary'

LP presidential 4th place finisher Darryl W. Perry, who is not supporting Gary Johnson, spreads a commonly heard untruth about the nominee.

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So you're saying there's a chance? ||| Reason
Reason

The Washington Times has a story today noting that two of the top four Libertarian Party presidential contenders, John McAfee and Darryl W. Perry, are not intending to vote for the man who beat them, Gary Johnson. (Our articles reporting on that fact can be found here and here.) This passage from the article contains some correctable and clarifiable claims:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the party's vice presidential pick, has also attracted attention in recent weeks for comments suggesting he could spend the final stretch of the campaign attacking Mr. Trump, even though the Libertarian platform is generally seen as closer to the Republicans' than that of the Democrats.

"He refuses to say anything against Hillary," Mr. Perry said. "I don't think Gary has said anything against Hillary [either]."

Firstly, as Snopes.com has pointed out and I reported here, the underlying Boston Globe article on which the aforementioned "attention" to Weld has been paid has been challenged by the veep nominee as containing "made-up" facts, including the notions that he would be focusing "exclusively on blasting Donald Trump" and that his "new plan calls for him to focus his fire on Trump in a handful of red states." (Since the article was published, Weld has visited the blue states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Maine.) "I said to the reporter that I plan to focus on Donald Trump, because I think his international proposals represent a grave threat," Weld told me the day after it was published, "but in the same breath I said that I'm not going to omit to make the points that Mrs. Clinton, if she were elected, runs the risk of spending and borrowing us into the poorhouse, and that I think her fiscal policies and her military policies are not at all in line with the approach that Gary Johnson and I will take if elected. So nothing is to the exclusion of anything else."

As the above quote indicates, Darryl W. Perry's claim that Weld (and probably Johnson, too) "refuses to say anything against Hillary" is flatly untrue. But given that it has also been a somewhat frequent complaint among libertarians ever since the ticket's poorly executed June 22 CNN townhall, at which Johnson called Clinton a "wonderful public servant" and Weld chimed that he has a "real bond, lifelong" with the Democratic nominee, I thought I would perform the public service of pointing out the number of times Weld and Johnson have walked those comments back during subsequent Reason interviews alone.

Certainly, there's a more disputed question of strategic emphasis by the two former Republican governors, one that Brian Doherty touched on this morning in his review of Johnson's new book (which takes a pretty broad swipe at the Tea Party, for example). But on the narrower claim of whether the candidates are going after Clinton, the following exchanges with Nick Gillespie and I show that the definitive answer is yes.

Ah, but we were so much older then. ||| Reason TV
Reason TV

July 15, Reason TV interview at FreedomFest in Las Vegas:

GILLESPIE (to Weld): Say something negative about Hillary Clinton. You've been dinged in the press. You seem—I mean, you are friendly with her, and you like her as a person, but—

WELD: Oh, I'm old friends with both Clintons, but election time at the end of the day there are no friends, OK? The first thing I would say is the fiscal situation. And this is—she's running with the Democratic Party as perhaps a drag on her, just as for many years I ran with the Republican Party [with] social issues as a drag on me. But I think it's something she truly believes, that she would like to raise the amount of social spending, raise the amount of government spending—called "investment" on the Democratic side of the aisle—and I think that would be bad for the economy, it would hollow out the economy.

When President Obama leaves office, the national debt is going to be $20 trillion, doubled since not so long ago. You can't go on like that….We're small government people. We cut taxes. We shrank government. The Democrats would go the other direction.

Caption contest! What's Bill Weld thinking? ||| Gage Skidmore, via Flickr
Gage Skidmore, via Flickr

July 15, on stage at FreedomFest:

WELCH: Governor Johnson, you went on CNN in front of a million households…and when Chris Cuomo…asked you to quickly describe Hillary Clinton, you said these three words: "Wonderful public servant."

(Some audience laughter)

I want more hissing!

(Audience laughingly complies)

Then later during the email kind of things, you were asked about it…after [FBI Director] James Comey had come out, and you said, "Well, I don't want to throw stones." She lied like a half a dozen times about these things! Like, looked people in the camera and said, "Oh, I was just using the one device," and, "There's never been a subpoena," and just lied constantly! You say "I don't want to throw stones" when you live in a glass house. I don't know you to be a habitual liar; why can't you say Hillary Clinton—

JOHNSON: Do you know me to be a liar at all? I mean—

WELCH: Yeah, that's exactly it. You know, you're running against Hillary Clinton. Is she a wonderful public servant?

JOHNSON: I think that she has—I think that in—I think that she has served. I'm not going to question her motives. What you're not gonna—what you're not going to hear out of Johnson-Weld is, you're not going to hear stone-throwing. But look, Hillary Clinton—

WELCH: Except against Donald Trump! I mean—

JOHNSON: No, no!

WELCH: You're not shy about saying that Donald Trump is, uh, has engaged in what you've described as racist. That's a stone! You threw it!

JOHNSON: Hillary Clinton—is there anyone more establishment than Hillary Clinton? Does Hillary Clinton not have an answer to everything, and does the answer not include government making more decisions in our lives? And as a result of government making more decisions in our lives, of course that costs more money, so taxes are going to go up. And when taxes go up, that's money out of your and my pocket that we can be spending on our lives as opposed to the government.

And then the emails: Was there criminal intent? Was there some stupidity here? Was there some, um, gross mistakes made? Yeah, but I don't think there was criminal intent. I don't think there was criminal intent at the end of the day.

And just for a second, on the military interventions. Look, and this is not intended either by either…Obama or, or Hillary, but when…when they go in and they back the insurgents in Syria and Libya, and the insurgents are aligned with ISIS, which was not intentional, I mean, come on! You can't make this up, but this is foreign policy. So, Hillary as president, this stuff is going to get worse, not better, because she is going to actually be in charge.

WELCH: Governor Weld, I know you've been friendly with her for a long time. Do you think that she is honest?

WELD: Well, in my dealings with her, she has been.

There are a couple of answers I have given in the media appearances that we've done that I would like to have back. And they were, you know, "If you guys don't win," you know, "would you vote for Trump or Mrs. Clinton?" And I've sort of come pretty close to saying Mrs. Clinton. As a matter of fact, in the CNN one, I think I did. As we've gone along, I think Gary and I have gotten more and more in the frame of mind that not only are we in this because we think we have a chance to win, but we can see the path now. So all I'm thinking about now is winning the whole shooting match, and if I got that question now, the next time I get that question, I'm going to be smart enough and disciplined enough to give the answer that Gary has always given, which is, "Look, I don't know. There's going to be a Libertarian on the ballot, and I'm voting Libertarian, and I'm not going to lose any sleep over that."

JOHNSON: Amen.

WELD: But that's—I'm known for being very tactful—that's a very tactful way of me saying maybe Gary would like to have back those three little words, "wonderful public servant."

JOHNSON: (Laughs) Thank you!

Still my favorite moment of this campaign. ||| Reason
Reason

July 20, on the streets of Cleveland just outside the Republican National Convention:

WELCH: Can we assume that you're going to be doing this at the Democratic Convention, and can you say a few words about your, uh, good personal friend Hillary Clinton?

JOHNSON: Well, I don't think anything changes with Hillary. I think government will try and accomplish more, and when it tries to accomplish more, it's going to tax us more, so government answers everything, nothing changes. The ultimate in establishment. And with regard to foreign policy, I think that she's been the architect of our foreign policy, and that it will actually get more hawkish.

July 27, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia:

GILLESPIE: OK, so here we have our first question from a man named Bill Kales: "Does Governor Weld still plan to vote for Hillary if Trump leads in the poll? If so, doesn't that derail his campaign before it begins?" Governor?

WELD: Yeah, no. I was too nice in an early appearance we had….Momentum is everything in politics, and we have momentum. A few months ago, Gary was at 5 [percent] nationally, and how he's at 13, so I think we'll be at the debates. If we're in the debates, we have a shot at winning the whole thing. So, no, I'm not voting for either of them. I'm voting for the Libertarian ticket.

GILLESPIE: And you are registered to vote in the election? You're not going to be like the Trump kids not being able to vote for their parents in the primaries?

WELD: No, I'm a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party….Don't you think everybody should be a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party?

It's all about the hands. ||| Reason
Reason

July 28, at the Democratic National Convention:

WELCH: Hillary Clinton is speaking tonight, and the focus is going to be on her. How is she going to reintroduce herself to Americans after only 40 years in the public eye? I know you sort of wanted to walk back your…she's a "wonderful public servant" that you said on CNN as an opening characterization. But can you just describe what you think about her politics, her ideas about policy? What are the defects about them? What are the positive attributes, if there are any?

JOHNSON: Well, if I could walk back the statement on CNN to describe Hillary Clinton, I would say that Hillary's beholden, that she is the establishment. Is anything going to change if Hillary is president? Yes: Government's going to try and be a bigger part in all of our lives, I believe that….So, if government's going to be a bigger part of our life, it's going to cost us more. Taxes are going to go up. And neither Trump or Clinton want to address the entitlements. Neither Trump or Clinton want to address Social Security. It's a fiscal cliff out there, and if we're going to continue to put our heads in the sand over it, there will be a day of reckoning. It's going to be ugly. It's going to be inflation. That's what's it's going to be.

Related reading: From our November issue, "Libertarians on Tour" (with more from each interview above). And from Aug. 3: "Gary Johnson: I Will Not Be Describing Hillary Clinton on CNN Tonight as a 'Wonderful Public Servant'" And below, watch Nick Gillespie's interview with the ticket three months ago:

NEXT: Politicians Should Try Drugs—and Honesty

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  1. FFS. McAfee would have been the better choice.

    1. Far better. I think the Petersen guy, what ever his name was, would have been better also. Trying to get a libertarian message across by running with an old school blue state Republican is not an excellent plan either.

      You don’t have to be downright dirty and roll in the mud like Donald and Hillary, but for Crikey sake, just tell the damn honest truth. You don’t have to make up anything about Hillary, it’s right out in the open!

      1. Fuck that. Peterson made me want to punch him in the face despite the fact I agreed with most of his positions. I don’t know why he annoyed me so much, but he sure did.

        And do you really want to run a guy who has a NetFlix documentary running about how he had a guy whacked?

        Johnson isn’t perfect, but he isn’t a scary nut either.

        1. Yeah, I can’t help feeling like running a suspected felon against another suspected felon wouldn’t end very well.

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            go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,, http://www.highpay90.com

      2. Peterson gave me the creeps. I wanted McAfee.

        Ok I need to you people to vent now.

        Prog 1: We should have free college
        Prog 2: Yeah
        Me: there’s no such thing as free. Where do we get the money?
        Prog 1: We can just print it
        Me: What?!
        Prog 2: or we can take all the money we spend on the military and jails and invest in education
        Me: so you think we spend too much on the military and jails and you’re voting for hillary?
        Prog 1: so you’re for trump
        Me: no I’m voting for Gary Johnson
        Prog 2: ha ha the one who doesn’t know what Aleppo is
        Me: I don’t care about that. I’m a libertarian and he comes closest to my principles.
        Prog 2: what’s a libertarian?
        Me: well in short, a libertarian believes that you own your body and your labor, and nobody else is entitled to either, and you can do anything you want unless it infringes on someone else’s rights.
        Prog 2: nods head, says hmmmm…
        Prog 1: so you think corporations shouldn’t pay taxes?
        Me: shakes head, walks away, types in this post, calculates there are 4 hours til happy hour

        1. I’m not sure that McAfee would have been much better, honestly, given the way and reasons he expatriated himself, and the trouble he got into.

        2. Corporations aren’t individuals. Corporations are collectivized artificial persons. Indeed, the “bank holiday” proclamation with fines and imprisonment for “natural persons” that Herbert Hoover drafted for FDR spared “artificial persons” from imprisonment, but kept the fines of $10,000 in gold.

          1. Jesus Effing Christ when will you people bother learning what a “legal person” is? Yes it’s true that a corporation is not a single, actual person, but for legal purposes like interacting with the courts or regulators et cetera it is what is called a “legal person”, so that it as an entity unto itself can negotiate, litigate, make contracts and on and on. Admittedly, they should have used a different word that “legal person“, so as to not confuse the retards. But then again there’s enough pandering to retards as is.

      3. Petersen was annoying as fuck. McAfee was the best choice. The most important quality in a libertarian candidate is a sense of passion, a righteous anger at injustice, a burning fire for liberty. It is something Ron Paul had, and it is something McAfee has. Gary Johnson (and Rand Paul) both lack this quality, and that is why they do not inspire people.

        1. You hush your mouth about Rand!

        2. McAfee… I don’t hate his opinions, but man would his candidacy have been a disaster.

          1. I liked the noob… until he threw his little tantrum.

        3. I actually think Petersen has those qualities, his Agent Smith vibe just makes it difficult to see. Listen to actual interviews with him, and consider his gesture towards Gary Johnson after losing the primary.

          A McAfee presidency would have the media turn into puritans for 4 years, and he would be remembered for housing a handful of undocumented Bolivian prostitutes in the Lincoln bedroom (after painting it hot pink, putting a mirror on the ceiling, and hanging numerous Pricassos on the walls.) I just don’t think the US is ready for that..

        4. This is an election year for outsiders, meaning Ron Paul would have fit right in. Millennials love this guy.

      4. Peterson is a good Republican who wants the government to send men with guns to force women to reproduce against their will. For that voters already have Ron Paul and the Boy Randall, the Tea Party Klavern, the Consta-to-shun party and random televangelist “independent” candidates. This, and our cowardly straddle plank, are the main reasons ladies cross the street to avoid us. The only gals of reproductive age at GO-Pee clambakes are hookers struggling to keep prostitution unsafe and illegal. (The Mob has its own doctors.) Already 3/4 of LP members AREN’T women. Must we cross the street to spit in their faces?

        1. The reason there aren’t more libertarian women has nothing, or very little, to do with the behavior of libertarian men. Libertarian men aren’t any more nasty or misogynistic than the general population. So if there are women in bars, despite the fact that men in bars act like pigs, that must mean women have other reasons for being in bars. Similarly, women have other reasons for not being at LP meetings. Women simply are not interested in libertarian issues.

        2. I had no idea that so many women were merely aborting the results of rape Hank, since that would the circumstance where you could say their will had nothing to do with it.

          I get your point though, and tend to agree, but why must we subsidize abortions with public dollars?

          Is it because you don’t believe women have the agency to control their actions? That can’t be it, since you’re so enlightened, but tell me this: how long should women be forced to stay in their rooms alone before we can trust them to leave without spontaneously reproducing on accident since they don’t understand where babies come from? Is there a magic age? Perhaps 45?

    2. Anyone who advocates for inalienable rights would have been a better choice. Weld should go fuck himself with a firehose.

      1. Too bad we couldn’t find a lady to run for Veep. That’s the bad thing about letting Republicans write planks.

    3. Seriously? Gasy Jasy was eventually dismissed as a crazy, unserious candidate after he received national attention; McAfee would have been dismissed instantly.

      Having a candidate who was a pure libertarian would not have accomplished anything. Gasy Jasy was by far their best bet, and I think he has been a net positive for the libertarian movement, because for those D’s and R’s who have been disaffected because of high spending, or foreign wars, or the drug war now know they can at least look elsewhere. Another option exists! I hope some younger people realize that libertarian solutions exist, too.

      Additionally, Trump took all the “outsider, thumb in the eye of the establishment” attention, so the LP didn’t have a chance with those people, either.

  2. JOHNSON: I think that she has?I think that in?I think that she has served.

    Sigh…

    1. These are pretty milquetoast quotes. The point that Matt was trying to disprove in this article, I think he proved it instead.

      1. +1, indeed.

      2. I agree with you, Chipper M. Wood! They just can’t bring themselves to call her a crook, criminal and liar. Her lieutenants solicited donations (bribes) from foreign politicians and businessmen seeking favors. The donations went to the Clinton Foundation while she was Sec. of State, and now, she gets her generous salary from the foundation. And now, by her own words, we know she lies to some groups, while telling a different tale to others.

        Weld and Johnson just don’t seem to have the fire in the belly necessary to give Clinton her just deserts.

  3. Purely based on getting media attention, Johnson was the best choice. But I’m pretty tired of hearing him. Still voting for the guy, but I’m looking at 2016 as a large step in the building process of the Libertarian Party towards major party status, rather than as some final goal. Just get to 5% and start looking to 2020.

    1. This was my sentiment until, rereading Free to Choose, I began to ask: How did the 1928 Socialists changed all those laws into vehicles for their platforms if all their candidates did was lose. The answer is spoiler votes force the venal looter soft machines to change their laws, platforms and jurisprudence in response to 3rd-party spoiler votes. Every such vote is worth 6 to 35 times its weight in law-changing clout. Why else would the looters send so many shills in here pretending to agonize over our “wasted” votes?

  4. NO MOYNIHAN NO PEACE- Oh, wait, he eventually showed up.

    Look, you get one chance to make a first impression – LITERALLY – and our first impression of Johnson/Weld that their town hall gave was unadulterated praise for Hillary Clinton. There’s no living that down.

  5. One way to look at this is that up in New England, if people think that Weld and/or Johnson refuse to say bad things about Hillary, that may not be such a bad strategy.

    If Johnson is pulling support away from Hillary (as much from Trump), then maybe those people who are leaning Democrat would be turned off by someone bashing Hillary.

    Politicians making political calculations don’t bother me. This election, I just care about demonstrating brand acceptance and market penetration.

    I despise Hillary more than the average person, but if it doesn’t behoove Johnson to focus attacks on Hillary, then I understand him not doing that–if that’s what’s happening.

    1. That’s been my thinking, though I don’t know if it’s accurate to their motives. If you’re targeting disaffected Democrats or liberals, sounding like another rabid anti-Hillary right-winger (from their pov) will turn them off. The overarching message here is, “we’re not crazy!,” which means not sounding like the sometimes crazy, sometimes legit folk who shout about every single thing the Clintons do.

      And they’re also targeting Republicans and conservatives put off by Trump (and there’s little reason to think they would convince any Trumpkins), so going anti-Trump does not have the same problems.

      1. They would have been a lot better off just not saying anything about the character of either of their two major party opponents. Stick to positions. By commenting favorably on one opponent, they open themselves up to pointless distractions.

        You are right, as bad as Hillary is, there’s still a sizable chunk of the electorate who are “sympathetic” to her but might be convinced to vote for Johnson and their votes count the same as anyone else’s.

        But there’s a difference between not putting people off and actively courting them despite the implications of how you do so.

      2. And they’re also targeting Republicans and conservatives put off by Trump (and there’s little reason to think they would convince any Trumpkins), so going anti-Trump does not have the same problems.

        Except what the hell is it you think the “disaffected Democrats” are disaffected by?

        1. Plenty of them think Clinton is wrong, old, undistinguished, illiberal, and not necessarily the spawn of Satan sent to whore out the white house and screw over every American.

        2. Communism. The Liberal Party of 1930 wanted repeal of blue laws and prohibition laws. This was a gutsy stand when God’s Own Prohibitionists were not only vowing but literally trying to murder every man, woman and child scofflaw to preserve thuh Consta-to-shun (meaning the Volstead Act and the Five and Ten law). The platform pointedly denounced communism and the dole. Their efforts made the Dems go wet (thereby saving the economy despite later infiltration) just as Green spoiler votes in the Y2k election made the Dems go Econazi (further crippling the economy). Spoiler votes are like fifty-caliber rounds. It dowen’t take all that many to change stuff, for better or worse, depending on how they are aimed.

          1. Perot didn’t seem to have a lot of lasting effects beyond Buchanan, but I see some echo’s of his bullshit in Trump I suppose. (NAFTA, for instance.) I haven’t thought about it overly long though, I’ll admit.

      3. If you have even one anecdotal example of a hillbot moving over to Johnson I’d live to hear it . They’re beyond any reasoning in my experience, whereas I’ve talked two trump supporters into at least thinking about GJ

      4. And they’re also targeting Republicans and conservatives put off by Trump

        By telling them freedom of religion is a black hole, to shut their mouths about abortion, and that carbon taxes will save us from climate change. What’s for a CoC conservative Republican not to love?

    2. If Johnson is pulling support away from Hillary (as much from Trump), then maybe those people who are leaning Democrat would be turned off by someone bashing Hillary.

      I’m sure that’s the reasoning. I just think it’s wrong. If you’re open to not voting the party line, it means you have a problem with the candidate. You’re not going to look for someone to praise them.

    3. Hillary is a Grrrrl surrounded by apoplectic antichoice ku-klux male nationalsocialists. In fact, The Kenyan was likewise surrounded by the same breed of superstitious bigots–right after the George Waffen Bush crowd WRECKED the economy with faith-based asset-forfeiture looting. My observations lead me to conclude that electing mystical bigots makes as much sense now as reelecting Herbert Hoover in 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, or a surrogate with Nixon in 1952. It is in response to GO-Pee mystical prohibitionism that the commies and econazis were able to again take over the Dems. We are the political economy alternative to creeping communism and crashing prohibitionism.

      1. Yep, you’re definitely related to Michael Hihn. Just not sure if it’s by marriage, blood, or both.

        1. There’s really no doubt Hank and Hihn are the same person. They both have the same off-putting infantile name-calling habits.

          But, so what? It’s always a treat to hear from Reason’s only officially elected dumbfuck, no matter what handle he’s using.

    1. That is amazing.

      They don’t get it and never will.

    2. Yesterday someone posted a Cracked article about the same thing. For the first time in years, they wrote an article that wasn’t completely fucking retarded.

      1. Hey, he actually gets it. More or less..

    3. “How did the Democratic Party, the party of the working man, suffer such a hemorrhage of working men? That’s a serious question the left ought to be asking itself.”

      I guess someone didn’t read that excellent but lengthy Vox article on the pretentiousness of the left and how it’s basically alienating everyone except the true blue believers. Just for a reminder, it seems like these articles are talking right past each other.

      Vox: The Smug Style in American Liberalism

      1. The Podesta emails make it pretty clear that they’ve given up the working class. They see their constituency as blacks, Hispanics, and women (ALL WOMEN).

        1. They can’t include the working class in their platform, because they fully intend on looting from them and they’re cognizant of that fact. You can put the gun to their head, but you can’t make them pull the trigger.

      2. The amusing thing about this whole travesty, to me, is that supposedly all of these racist xenophobes left the Democrat party decades ago in favor of the Republican party.

        If that was in fact the case, as many seem to believe, then how does one explain the rise of Trump on the backs of Blue Collar Males crossing into open primaries? Have these guys just suddenly turned into rabid racists, or have they been life long Democrats toeing the party line until the party line doesn’t include them anymore?

        I think if I asked this question of a lefty, the instant response would be that men are just inherently racist but I doubt I’ll bother to actually ask a liberal. If there are any such creatures in these here swamps, feel free to answer. I’d be curious what the response is.

        1. Have these guys just suddenly turned into rabid racists

          Yes, would be their answer. Racist, misogynist homophobes, that’s what they are.

          1. In which case, they would need to concede that their own party contained a large enough number of racist voters to turn the tide in favor of Trump in the 2016 primaries, and that they’ve been a part of the Democrat party for decades. Much like Trump himself, if we’re being totally honest, but it’s become obvious that the media have zero interest in bringing up that fact even though it would probably be damaging to Trump.

            Gee, I wonder why that might be? Could it have something to do with the overwhelming party affiliation of journalists in the United States?

            Naaaah…

            1. You are so naive. You see, white men are intimidated by strong women, brown people, and homosexuals, people who had no agency before democrats came around to save them.

              The Republicans did themselves no favors by aligning with the “throw them out and keep them out! and no gay marriage!” messages.

        2. “Violence has a gender, and I don’t need to tell you which one” — actual quote heard on Canadian Radio.

          1. Nonbinary absorgender?

            1. Yeah, my first reaction was ‘wait, a leftist who acknowledges there are only two genders?’

              Then I realized the quote had to be from a rabid feminist considering that all those new genders are ruining their pecking order. Of course they won’t recognize them, it undermines their whole premise.

      3. “excellent but lengthy Vox article”

        thanks…the part that i’ve read is excellent, but since it is also lengthy, i will have find out just how excellent later on.

    4. It’s like an updated, unironic Pickwick Papers.

  6. “Hillary Clinton? I wouldn’t fuck her with Donald Trump’s dick.”

    1. “Me neither.”
      – Bill Clinton

      1. Bill chose other women, so should everyone.

        1. Now THAT is a campaign slogan!

  7. Well, since we’re collecting quotes…

    September 30th

    Washington (CNN)Libertarian vice presidential hopeful Bill Weld said Friday that he’s “not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States,” the latest misstep in what’s been a painful week for the third-party ticket.

    Weld’s praise of the Democratic presidential nominee was made in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. He quickly added: “I mean, that’s not the end of the inquiry, though. We were two-term governors and I think Gary is very, very solid.

    I think “critical things said in July” are supposed to cancel-out these sorts of fawning remarks about your presumed competition only weeks from the election itself.

    And what a great save there, suggesting, “Hey, Gary’s not bad either! not bad at all. Just not, you know, “The Most”-awesome”.

    I don’t care much about this, but acting as though that sort of thing isn’t incredibly retarded, and just… extremely strange for a 3rd party candidate to be doing? is delusional.

    While I don’t think their feckless campaign has “blown” anything, they could certainly have done far better than they have.

    1. * ” I don’t think “critical things said in july”…”etc

    2. While I don’t think their feckless campaign has “blown” anything, they could certainly have done far better than they have.

      I agree with this. It’s not like Johnson/Weld had victory just within reach until they uttered a couple of gaffes, but I think their poll showing could have been a bit more remarkable and eyebrow raising.

    3. They are professional politicians who couldn’t hack it in the Republican Party and jumped to the LP in a desperate attempt to find an ecosystem where they could be top dog.

      In other words they are on the low end of professional politicians. In light of this, the fact they can tie their shoes without soiling themselves is pretty impressive.

      1. ^^This guy gets it.

      2. While that certainly describes Weld, I feel like it’s inaccurate for Gary Johnson. He used to be more articulate and more libertarian. I don’t know what happened exactly, but I don’t like it.

        1. Too many drugs?

          1. Or the opposite problem, he was a regular user but stopped for this election. Either way, he comes off as less confident than he used to be.

        2. He quit smoking weed. He needs to fire up a big bowl and get “normal” again

          1. At least he’d be far more entertaining. As it is, he just comes across as unable to formulate a simple sentence, compounding his already goofy persona.

      3. This commenter calls itself an anarchist while running down our platform vote-getters. These lot remind me of the National Lampoon spoof of Watergate burglars with “Commies For McGovern, Queers for McGovern, Anarchists for McGovern” posters littering their hideout.

        1. I like how you’re real. It’s hilarious.

          1. Does a person comment using their full name? Chances are that person is a kook.

            Yes, including the staffers.

            1. You just triggered me

        2. This commenter calls itself an anarchist while running down our platform vote-getters.

          I know somewhere in that statement there is a line of reasoning desperately struggling to see the light of day.

          No idea what it is, though.

          Is it:

          – Anarchist:= (Doesn’t badmouth Republicans running under LP banner)
          – Anarchist := (Votes for LP candidates)

          – or –
          – Anarchist := (Supports the LP increasing its vote tally on Federal elections)
          ?

    4. they could certainly have done far better than they have

      I doubt it. Every time they make a mistake (like Aleppo) or say a quote like the one you shared by Weld it receives attention that the LP cannot spin, because it has little to no media influence (Matt Welch is a great man, but he is only one man), so they are easily dismissed as unserious kooks.

      1. I’m also skeptical that they could have done “far better” than this. But I’ve also held that, even if they got into the debates, they wouldn’t crack 5% on election day.

        Though the same thinking led me to be sure that Remain would win easily, so maybe the electorate will surprise me. Come on, 3%!

        1. Trump has the “fuck you, media/DC/establishment” vote, so getting higher than 5% is going to be difficult.

          1. It’s going to be real tough for Johnson to court the ‘fuck you, media/DC/establishment’ vote while begging the media/DC/establishment to accept him as serious.

    5. Weld is being used by the Libertarian Party because of his credibility in the northeast and with the media.

      We shouldn’t be too surprised if he’s using the LP for his own reasons, too.

      If we ever get major influence, we’ll be doing a lot of this overlooking and compromising thing. That’s the difference between ideology and election politics. Ideology doesn’t react to market conditions, but winning at election politics is all about giving the people what they want–even if they want some things that conflict with the ideology.

      The main parties are used to this. Obama campaigned in 2008 on “Marriage is between a man and a woman”. The gay rights lobby all supported him anyway, and, sure enough, once it became politically expedient for him to do so, he flopped on that issue.

      If we ever get a libertarian in office, we’re gonna have to keep cheering on somebody despite issues like that, too. Even if it’s Rand Paul. The best selling beers taste bland for a reason.

      1. The problem with Weld is that there’s no “secret good side” underneath all the bad. If you vote for Johnson because you want him to be President, you have to hope like hell he doesn’t get incapacitated because Weld would be a shitty replacement.

  8. ‘And they didn’t even get the votes’
    – Murray Rothbard’s statement after the 1980 election

    Just waiting to say this after the Clark/Koch redux ticket fails to get 5%.

    1. I expect they’ll get 3-4% or so, net. maybe as much as 7% in a few states.

      And the criticism would be more-correct now than at the time Rothbard said that.

      If they’d run a vociferous anti-establishment campaign, taking up a lot of Bernie’s stemwinding critiques about insider-dealing w/ Corporate Cronies etc, (but leaving out the “and we’ll replace them with socialist Top Men” stuff)…. and also borrowing from Trump’s M.O., talking about how the political status-quo has effectively abandoned the middle class for either their key-constituencies of SEIU/UFT/etc or the military-industrial complex + corporate lobbies… they’d have broken the 10% mark IMO and genuinely changed the game to where 3rd parties would be seen as legitimate threats.

      instead, the critiques that the MSM make of them now – basically as useless losers and irrelevant – is basically proven correct by their toothless “We’re Not As Bad, But Not That Different Either”-approach

    2. Ronald Reagan on the campaign trail sounded a lot like a libertarian in 1980, and with price controls forcing gasoline rationing, stagflation, and the Soviets expanding, protest votes for ideological reasons seemed like a delayed response to problems that needed to be addressed right away.

      I’d be so damn cynical if it weren’t for Reagan. Seeing him fix problems by not being stupid and incompetent made me think leadership matters. I’ve seen competent leadership make a difference at my job, too, but that came later. It’s true that replacing one incompetent leader with another doesn’t matter as much.

      But there’s no substitute for competent leadership.

  9. Libertarian vice presidential hopeful Bill Weld said Friday that he’s “not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States,”

    Don’t forget, Weld is the “smart” one.

    1. That’s like saying Moe was the, “Smart Stooge,” Brooksie.

      1. Soitenly.

    2. You’d be a fool to vote for anyone but Clinton… Vote Johnson/Weld. Please.

    3. I sure miss Toni Nathan…

  10. The question is, does it help or hurt the Libertarian cause if these guys come right out and say “yeah, she’s a power-hungry narcissist, and the world would be better off if those Bosnian snipers were for real”?

    -jcr

  11. Hilary sold the US’s foreign policy for the sake of enriching herself, all the while dodging department and federal regulations in order to dodge FOIA requests and minimize the possibility of transparency. And the only issue on which she’s been consistent over the course of her career was her desire to disenfranchise people of their right to self-defense.

    Hilary: “I want to expand government, and I think that’s well-advised”
    Gary: “She wants to expand government, and I think that’s ill-advised.”

    That’s not an attack, that’s a difference of opinion.

  12. Since when do we have to justify our campaign tactics to sore loser impostors? Anarchists are the communist class specifically excluded from these states by Congress back in the Roosevelt-Taft days, and the big crybaby calling everyone (get this!) racial collectivists because we don’t nominate 6-month clueless noobs can flounce out in a huff all he wants. The only other realistic candidate (not a stealth Republican) died shortly after the convention. And Gary is getting good press OUTSIDE These States. Why bother to attack the looter prohibitionist? We want voters in booths to remember what they said about EACH OTHER.

    1. Agile?

  13. Correcting the Myth That the Libertarian Ticket ‘Refuses to Say Anything Against Hillary’

    HEY!! Someone misspelled ‘CONFIRMING’. It’s c-o-N-F-I-R-M-I-N-G. Not c-o-R-R-E-C-T-I-N-G.

    Jeez, use your spellcheck.

  14. “WELD: Oh, I’m old friends with both Clintons, but election time at the end of the day there are no friends, OK? ”

    Sick Burn there. /sarcasm

    1. “GILLESPIE (to Weld): Say something negative about Hillary Clinton. ”

      “WELD: and this is?she’s running with the Democratic Party as perhaps a drag on her, just as for many years I ran with the Republican Party [with] social issues as a drag on me. ”

      So, Weld you are saying that Hillary Clinton is just like you. Did you understand the question at all?

  15. But on the narrower claim of whether the candidates are going after Clinton, the following exchanges with Nick Gillespie and I show that the definitive answer is yes.

    To borrow a Clintonism, that depends on what the definition of “going after” is. Yes, he has disagreed with Ms. Clinton on policy issues. But, saying one opponent is a racist while saying that you simply disagree with the other hardly strikes me as going after the latter.

    But, I do want to note, thanks both to you and to Mr. Doherty for acknowledging that Johnson might be a little blinded to the problems of the left. Libertarianism encompasses a fairly wide array of views (It’s a full quadrant of the Nolan chart). Johnson tends to have a more left-leaning take on libertarianism than a lot of other libertarians. It’s not entirely out of the question that there’d be a great deal of exasperation with him.

    1. So….he’s the Froot Sooshi of the candidates, then? That explains all of GayJay’s mealy marbled mouthed SJW pandering and Robby Horse riding.

    2. I do find it interesting that Trump saying retarded stuff about immigrants is racist but Clinton being an avid drug warrior isn’t (especially considering the disparate impact on minority communities Reason has shown to be typical of the drug war).

  16. I’m not at all convinced that the LP would have been better served nominating a purist like Peterson who has zero credibility or gravitas since he’s a glorified blogger by profession or in nominating their own eccentric billionaire in McAfee who may or may not have had someone murdered.

    At this point Johnson has done much better than any other LP nominee in history. He’s still hanging around 7-10% in the polls and we’re only a few weeks from Election Day. He’s not going to run again so if he manages to get 5% this year he’s going to make it much easier for the 2020 nominee who might be someone more palpable to the purists like Amash, Massie or KMELE FOSTER.

    1. Every politician is “impure”. No party in this country’s history has run a perfect representative of their platform, even when the candidate gets to set the platform unilaterally (hello, broken campaign promises).

      But Johnson’s in a weird spot because a lot of his voters were the sort of people who saw the LP as a protest vote. What good is a protest vote if you feel like nothing’s really being protested?

  17. their own eccentric billionaire in McAfee who may or may not have had someone murdered.

    A man who can get things done!

  18. Weld is the fucking worst. Very little of what he advocates is libertarian in nature, and he is in every way the kind of New England upper-class preppy asshole you so badly want to punch.

  19. Correcting the Myth That the Libertarian Ticket Reason Magazine‘Refuses to Say Anything Against Hillary’

    I get the impression that THAT’s the article some of the commentariat want to read.

    1. yup

  20. Rockefeller Republicanism: The Way Forward For the Libertarian Party.

  21. Looks like Nick is wearing an Aperture Science shirt.

  22. Frankly, I don’t care a whit what Perry says. Had he been the nominee I would not have voted for him. I’m not happy with the way Johnson has run his campaign, but I can support him. McAfee is too much of a loose cannon for my taste, although I could probably have gotten behind him. But not Perry. Never Perry.

  23. RE: Correcting the Myth That the Libertarian Ticket ‘Refuses to Say Anything Against Hillary’

    Only a misogynist would dare question Heil Hitlary.
    Just ask any feminazi.

  24. This was the year to be a populist advocating for an end to corruption and a return to a constitutional government. Johnson/Weld’s support of the TPP is not a wise political strategy and it is bad policy. Of course we want free trade, but that’s not what the TPP is, even the Cato Institute acknowledges so. The TPP basically transfers trade regulation to an EU-style unelected corporate borg that manages trade to the likely benefit of the same global corporations and banks that wrote it. It’s crony capitalism.

    Gary’s made some rather hawkish comments. Weld’s wavering on the Second Amendment is also troubling. On a weekend National Public Radio broadcast, I heard him suggest that semi-automatic rifles weren’t really necessary and when he was questioned about how his viewed differed from the LP’s platform, he dismissed political platforms as simple statements that politicians were free to diverge from.

    I disagree that Gary and Bill Weld have been somewhat equal in their criticisms of both Clinton and Trump. Gary has called Trump a racist and both have suggested that Trump was a emotionally unqualified to be President, while complimenting Clinton. Look, the whole world knows Hillary Clinton is a criminal. Even Jill Stein said Clinton is “more dangerous than Trump”. Why not call out all the corruption, crony capitalism, war mongering and failed policies of Clinton, along with Trump’s potentially dangerous nationalistic discourse?.

  25. Johnson ran as a moderate democrat for most of the year. For the most part, he (and his VP) was hostile to Trump and more muted on Clinton.

    His reward from the left, of course, was a dismissive ridicule and the same old “LP is just another republican” potshots. Johnson, being the soft spoken low energy guy that he is, never stood up to them nor defended his party.

    He was guest today at KFI 640 AM here at LA, a right leaning station. The hosts were courteous and asked him thoughtful questions. No silly “name your favorite foreign leader” traps. Johnson was relaxed, lucid and in his element.

    Libertarians will always get more love from the right. That’s a fact. Google Gary Johnson and you get half a dozen “Gary Johnson sells out to private prisons and the super rich” from the Mother Jones base. Johnson should have locked up the NeverTrump vote and moved onto the moderate dems unhappy with Clinton. But he wasted his momentum with silly mistakes and now some conservatives are moving to Mcmullin.

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  29. Meanwhile the front page of this website is plastered with articles like “Trump is a big whiny baby” and nothing about Clinton except this tepid article.

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