Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Calls "Horseshit" On Reports That He Doubled Debt As N.M. Governor

During PBS debate with Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the Libertarian candidate shows his fangs.

|

Horseshit, Tavis. Horseshit.
Screenshot/PBS

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is increasingly showing his fangs in the waning days of the 2016 electoral cycle.

Last month, Johnson displayed some righteous fury over how much media attention was paid to his "What is Aleppo?" face-plant compared to how little attention has been paid to Hillary Clinton's hawkish and largely failed foreign policy. More recently, he got feisty with The Guardian's Paul Lewis, who pressed him about his tax policy.

And during a two-part debate he took part in with Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein (Part 1 aired last night, Part 2 airs tonight), Johnson described moderator Tavis Smiley's characterization that he increased New Mexico's debt by more than double during his eight years as the state's governor as "horseshit." Watch the clip below:

Smiley didn't directly cite his source for the debt figures, but he may have been referring to James Spiller's article in National Review that "Johnson inherited a debt of $1.8 billion and left a debt of $4.6 billion, a rate of increase unmatched by the 22 governors in either party who have filed for presidential primaries in the past two decades."

Though Johnson says "there is absolutely no basis in fact for that," Reason's Brian Doherty wrote:

While Johnson had the veto and used it around over 700 times—he thinks that's more than all his fellow governors at the time combined—the legislature ultimately has the power of the purse. On his way out Johnson vetoed an entire budget for 2003 but got overridden. What New Mexico spent during his administration was somewhat, but by no means ultimately, up to him.

As Johnson has repeatedly demonstrated this electoral cycle, he's not the best communicator or extemporaneous public speaker, but he could have capitalized on his sure-to-be noteworthy use of an expletive on public television by explaining that he worked hard to battle the Democratic-controlled legislature's tendency for what he believed was "profligate" spending, and that despite the increase in total debt managed to leave office with a reported $1 billion budget surplus.

NEXT: University of Kentucky Takes Student Paper to Court Over Reporting on Sexual-Assault Complaints Against Professor

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Partisans gonna party.

    1. Ain’t no party like a partisan party ’cause a partisan party is really stupid.

      1. Start working from home! Great job for students…Making more income $97 a hour from computer at home. My sisters friend has been earning 20k for a months and she works about 15 hour a working week. I make 12k last month, it is in real easy and meaningful , here you can checking..
        Go this web site… http://www.Trends88.Com

  2. Tavis Smiley’s characterization that he increased New Mexico’s debt by more than double during his eight years as the state’s governor

    Who are you going to believe? A ‘non-partisan, independent moderator’ like Tavis Smiley, or this weed-smoking Rand-reading amnesiac?

    1. I do a pretty good Tavis Smiley imitation.

      1. *really*?

        with the partial-lisp and everything? That’s pretty tough-stuff.

        I have at times been able to do an impression of “Charlie Rose introducing [generic guest]”…

        …which involves a few characteristic gestures, like the way he starts with his head tilted forward and looking up under his brow, then gradually tilting his head back and pointing his chin at you, then leveling out…. while listing a highly-exaggerated list of [generic person’s] accomplishments embellished with superlative-adjectives, all done in a slightly-intoxicated North Carolina accent…. closing with a sweeping turn to his guest, where he opens the interview with a completely nonsensical statement/question like,

        “Your work has challenged so many people in ways that critics have said “defies characterization”, and yet your widespread popularity is undisputed: is there something in your upbringing that this traces back to.. or is it a factor of the historical moment…..?”
        (gestures vaguely and leaves the statement hanging allowing the guest to just start talking about whatever they want)

        1. That’s a remarkable description.

          1. I watched Charlie Rose like every night for a decade+.

            1. You forgot the obligatory, “Tonight, a conversation with [Generic Guest]” Before the sweeping gestures, that is.

              Can you do Bill Moyers too?

              1. I watched him once and spent the next few hours pouring bleach over my brain.

            2. The Ozzy Osbourne interview was my favorite.

        2. Stalker?

        3. *really*?

          with the partial-lisp and everything? That’s pretty tough-stuff.

          Yep, lisp and everything.

          1. Check out Mike Nelson’s impression of James Lipton.

  3. You can’t say bs without saying what the truth is. As for Aleppo I expected him to say: “Yes I know about Aleppo, and what is going on there is unacceptable.” Instead he said, “Yes I know about Aleppo, and my misunderstanding during the interview was unacceptable.”

    He keeps missing the point. He doesn’t see the forest for the trees.

    I’m voting for Rand Paul.

    1. Translation: I am a troll for The Antichoice, only here to sucker you lot into giving up the power of spoiler votes and instead wasting opportunity on the looter Kleptocracy.

  4. He could have capitalized on his sure-to-be noteworthy use of an expletive on public television by explaining that he worked hard to battle the Democratic-controlled legislature’s tendency for what he believed was “profligate” spending, and that despite the increase in total debt managed to leave office with a reported $1 billion budget surplus.

    Yeah, those were reasonable expectations back in August. Now, i’m just glad he didn’t go, “Dude, I know, seriously, I feel terrible about that. Wait, what state are you talking about again?”

  5. Even with his personality flaws and stoner reputation, if Gary got in the general election debate, I think he would have taken this election. The debate commission is the only thing about this election that has gotten me legitimately angry. It’s a fucking atrocity.

    1. You put way too much stock in the importance of the debates, plus Johnson does not appear to speak adroitly on his feet, he would have said something that could made to sound wierd.

    2. It was started by the Republicans and Democrats, so you cannot get to mad that the debates are only for those two parties.

      Should there be a new group that includes all candidates over ~5% of popular vote? yes.

      1. I just think the media should have never let the Republicans and Democrats steal the debates from the Leageu of women voters back in the 90s, and there should have been more outrage about it this election.

  6. Posting here because I probably won’t get around to posting it in the PM links; feel free to repost in the PM links if you are so inclined.

    The Slate story about the “secret communications server” between Trump and Russia is bullshit. Unsurprising, because it’s Slate and it was gibberish.

    The best overview of the evidence against it for a lay(-ish) audience that I’ve come across is “Debunking Trump’s ‘secret server’ “. Here are credentialed, anti-Trump folks agreeing with him.

    For reference: Rob Graham is a well-known security consultant who created an early intrusion prevention system (IPS) called BlackICE, since sold to IBM. His politics make a lot of left-leaning folks mad, though. Thomas Ptacek is another well-known security consultant / engineer who founded Matasano Security, since sold to NCC Group, a fairly large and respected security firm. You can see his anti-Trump commentary here if you search for “tptacek”. Chris Soghoian is the ACLU’s chief technologist.

    1. Two less-readable tweetstorm takedowns: here and here. The latter individual is Matt Tait, but is probably better known by his Twitter handle, IMO.

      And here’s the executive editor of The Daily Beast, who tweets back-and-forth with security folks on Twitter quite a bit and seems to know his stuff, saying that they actually passed on the story.

      And finally, buried in the NYT:

      F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages ? a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another ? to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.

      1. I heard on the radio at lunch time today that the FBI said they found no links between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Thus confirming what everyone already knew; that the Democrat’s “Russians” bullshit was an intentional lie to distract from the contents of the leaked emails.

        1. You mean, that the FBI is in the pocket of Trumputin.

          1. obviously recently acquired, as they were totally spot on when they said no resonable prosecutor would act on the evidence.

          2. Yes, the FBI, headed by Obama appointee James Comey, which is overseen by Loretta Lynch, an Obama appointee, and run by by the Obama administration, is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

            1. DU is absolutely convinced they are.

              I knew after Comey’s letter that Leaks about Trump and Russia would start flowing out

              Any military or intelligence type that still supports Trump after this needs to be investigated to see if they are spying on the US for Russia.

              1. Jesus, you can’t even parody these idiots anymore. When the DNC throws out these moronic talking points, I always think “who in the fuck would believe such obvious nonsense?” Well, here they are.

                1. A wretched hive of dumb and retardy.

                  1. You, sir, are disrespecting retards. Shame on you. They could never be that retarded.

                    1. Retards at least have retard wisdom. I don’t think Joan Walsh has ever said something as profound as, “life is like a box of chocolates.”

                2. When the DNC throws out these moronic talking points, I always think “who in the fuck would believe such obvious nonsense?”

                  Democrats, without fail. They’re either gullible or intellectually dishonest, both of those reasons are why they’re Democrats in the first place.

          3. They also ran a clip of an interview with James Carville, who was totally losing his shit.

            1. Carville lost all his shit sometime back in the 90’s.

              1. Well yeah, but in the clip they played he actually sounded hysterical. Shit must be bad for herself.

                1. Carville does seem to be firmly in “cranky old guy who lives with all the curtains drawn” territory now.

                1. Carville is the only bald pussy I don’t like.

              2. Carville was the asshole who in reference to Paula Jones, said “it’s amazing what you’ll dredge up if you drag a $100 bill through a trailer park” (paraphrased). I also blame him for permanently turning our elections into shit shows with talking points instead of actual discussion of the issues.

                1. Carville…He who looks like a skull on a lollipop.

      2. Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages ? a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another ? to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.

        *facepalm*

        1. innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam

          An oxymoron if I’ve ever see one.

        2. Uhhh… Wait… I have something for this… DNS as evidence… or something.

    2. Part of me doubts even Slate bought it. But they needed to report SOMETHING damning to Trump so close to the election.

    3. The entire conception is ridiculous.

      The Russians have been cultivating Trump for years? Why? Did they know he was going to be a political contender, based off his completely non-existent background in politics?

      The Russians helped him win the GOP nomination?

      The Russians convinced Clinton to use a private server?

      The Russians convinced Huma to use her pervy husband’s laptop for work?

      The Russians convinced Huma’s pervy husband to start calling himself Carlos Danger and sexting minors?

      If so, the Russians should be running the world because they certainly know their shit.

      1. If so, the Russians should be running the world because they certainly know their shit.

        How do you know they’re not, comrade?

        1. *strokes chin, nods*

      2. But of course it is ludicrous to assume that even one sensitive e-mail sent by SOS Clinton never ever ended up the hands of these crafty Russkies.

        1. Completely ludicrous and totally irrelevant.

          1. Hoarding data is way more important than protecting it. Capisce?

    4. Small update: adding to the comment from the editor from The Daily Beast, “at least five outlets including The Intercept” passed on it — though of course a lot of Hillary supporters don’t / won’t find The Intercept, credible, FWIW.

      The Slate piece contains the following:

      After Tea Leaves posted his analysis on Reddit, a security blogger who goes by Krypt3ia expressed initial doubts?but his analysis was tarnished by several incorrect assumptions, and as he examined the matter, his skepticism of Tea Leaves softened somewhat.

      Said security blogger has responded, denying he ever “softened”.

    5. Slate is so cute. They try so hard, but are always so stupidly silly. Honestly, I get confused between, Vox, Slate, and Salon, but, in my defense, they are all crap.

      1. Vox is more prone to uproariously funny fails of geography.

    6. If Trump’s people wanted to communicate privately they could just use Telegram (quite popular in Russia) or Signal, with self-destructing messages. And if they’re going to use email, why not use Proton or Hushmail or some other obscure and encrypted service? And if you have to host the damn thing yourself, why use a domain with Trump in the name? Just doesn’t seem likely.

      (PS my first comment on H&R after a decade+ of lurking and 25 years of voting while libertarian, you’re all very welcome.)

  7. “Gary Johnson is increasingly showing his fangs”
    Angered at Weld for not doing his bit to attract votes to the LP ticket perhaps?

    1. Who? Reason has apparently developed an acute case of amnesia WRT Ole’ Geldy.

    2. Why would Bill Weld be trying to attract votes for the LP? I thought he was Clinton’s VP.

      1. He’s Kaine’s VP after Hillary croaks due to having been an ambulatory corpse for half a year now.

  8. That’s a good tactic, actually. Toss out the same expletive every time the assertion is made, you will train a public television hairdo to stop tossing it out.

    1. The media is trained to pan for sound bites like they’re gold nuggets. Give them exactly the same sound bite they got before and they look stupid for reporting old news.

  9. Johnson inherited a debt of $1.8 billion and left a debt of $4.6 billion

    despite the increase in total debt managed to leave office with a reported $1 billion budget surplus

    lolwut?

    1. So wait, he did double the debt, but it’s just horseshit because he left office with a surplus?

      Yes, I understand that it wasn’t really his fault because of the state legislature. It’s still not really horseshit if the debt doubled under him, it’s just that he did everything he could to avoid it.

      1. I think the disconnect is between “he doubled the debt” and “the debt doubled under him”. The man vetoed a substantial number of bills. If most of the spending is attributable to bills passed by veto-proof majorities, then it’s not Johnsons’s fault in the slightest for the increase in debt.

        1. There is no disconnect, Keebs. The loaded question was thrown out with ruthless effect. This type of thing is not Smiley’s first rodeo. He knew exactly what he was doing. GayJay, to his credit, could not have had any better response to the loaded, purposefully disingenuous, question.

          Being technically correct is the best kind of correct if you are trying to discredit someone.

      2. How does the debt double while getting a budget surplus? What was the year over year breakdown that had that happen?

        1. There is a difference in Bonds owed over time (typically 5, 10, 15, and 20 year maturities), and extra money that didn’t get spent in a given year. You can have restrictions on early re-payment of Bonds. There is also “rainy day” clauses that require the state to put away money that was not used in the fiscal year in a “rainy day fund” for things like economic downturns. So various public services would not get cut and can have a smooth transition during recessions. It is different for states that have real money left over, versus the federal government which simply “pays down” the national debt with a surplus by doing absolutely nothing.

          So “surplus” is the unallocated money left at end of year; “debt” is all the outstanding loans and bonds the state holds.

          Can you imagine all the bonds and lack of a surplus the state would have if he didn’t force a 2/3 override! Why isn’t anyone talking up that angle?

  10. There was a blurb in NYT about how Johnson got all sniffy with some interviewer (maybe the Guardian) and told him “I’m the dumbest guy you’ll ever meet.”

    Of course, the NYT writer treated it as if it were some sort of Alcoholics Anonymous type sincere confession of his sins against the legitimate political process.

    1. Who are you going to trust, the Paper of Record, or some lame libertarian magazine funded by the Kochtopus?

  11. Too little, too late.

    1. Dude, he’s running for the LP, it was too late before he was nominated.

  12. Nobody puts Gay Jay in a corner

    1. He runs face first into them himself.

  13. The biggest single element in New Mexico’s increased debt under Johnson was the massive highway construction that was his baby, his idea, his proposal. As an executive with a hostile legislature, Johnson was somewhat less fiscally conservative than, say, Barack Obama.

  14. I’m gonna haveta go with Gary on this one, Brian. Tim Geithner’s “Stress Test” gives the impression there was worry that These States might pay off all debt when Slick Willie was in office (like it would have been a disaster). When once I cited the “factoid” (lie) I was quickly set straight with lookup of numbers. Now that I know Geithner lies I’ll not rely on his assertions made out of whole cloth. But the Kleptocracy, both factions, excels in producing baldfaced lies repeated my mindless idiots in the Public Brainwashing system. Reason could publish NM budget and debt figures and do a lot of good.

  15. Hey man, if it looks like horse-shit, falls like horse-shit and smells like horse-shit…it’s horse-shit. Would you rather he suggest some say-nothing lawyerly wordy response on the possibility of horse-shit but it remains undecided until we gather all the facts, then change the subject to something more politically expedient…?

  16. I loved how Simley used 110% of his might to not react to the comment. Why isn’t he doing the prime time debates!

  17. not quite as awesome, but using an expletive on pbs does sort of remind me of justin amash’s victory speech in his 2014 primary fight. i still love thinking about that.

  18. Why the fuck can’t Johnson ever talk straight? He gets the concepts. He does the work. He gets things done correctly. Yet he can’t run his campaign worth a crap. Why does he not, when the first press releases started circulating, work on getting the proof and a way of presenting the truth so as to make anybody spreading the lies look like idiots. Is he too stoned out of his mind to get somebody to work on his presentation abilities?

  19. I know everybody in Reason land loves Gary but just admit it, he’s a fool, look, I understand the anger but come on, he needs to handle himself better. On one of those videos, the one with the limey interviewer bringing up “legitimate economists” say a consumption tax wouldn’t work he should’ve replied in a calm manner “Oh, you mean the ones who helped contribute to the slow and disastrous economic environment we have now.” Instead, Gary had to look like the insane idiot he is. Just admit it, he isn’t a libertarian, he’s Republican lite which is why I won’t vote for him. Next time nominate a real libertarian, please. Trump it is.

  20. The Clinton/Trump trainwreck is horseshit!

  21. I thought I would enjoy watching a candidate cussing out a scumbag journalist. I always had an intense dislike of Smiley.

    It didn’t work for me. Johnson is too much of a nice-guy Mr. Rogers type, and the profanity was jarring.

  22. my neigbour recently purchased Infiniti FX SUV just by part time work from a laptop. try this site>>>>>>>>>>> http://tinyurl.com/h5r9tme

  23. Watch Now….!!! Recomended Streaming Online :
    If This Sound Good For You
    Latest Update More HD Quality Movie Available Here:
    ? ? ? http://bit.ly/2eA9W4k ? ? ?
    Happy & Enjoy to Watch For Free

  24. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  25. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  26. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.