Free Minds & Free Markets

Gary Johnson Weighs in on NSA, Says He's Open to Running As a Republican Again

The former Libertarian presidential candidate also talks about his own future in politics.

ReasonReasonYesterday, Gary Johnson, a former two-term governor (R-NM) and Libertarian presidential candidate, hosted a Google Hangout during which he spoke on a range of topics, including the NSA and his own future in politics.

"The government can actually listen to your conversations from your cell phone even if it's not turned on," Johnson claimed when asked what he thought about the NSA's recently revealed data collection program. "If that becomes widely publicized, does that become that rallying 'Holy shit! We can't continue to do this!'?"

Johnson called the FISA Court and the Patriot Act sources of government encroachment, and asked, "Where is the due process? Shouldn't all of this be transparent?" The debate over these powers, he added, "never occurred," because people never questioned the PATRIOT Act's legitimacy. He believes we'll be having that debate soon, thanks to revelations about the scope of the NSA's data collection program.

Johnson predicts that the NSA scandal will lead to more interest in libertarianism. "Especially after the NSA," he said, "if there's going to be a viable third-party, it's going to be the Libertarian Party." He also speculated about a more mainstream presence. "I wouldn't discount a libertarian nominee of the Republican Party....maybe we've got the opportunity for Democrats to start labeling themselves as Democrats-slash-libertarians."

The chairman of The Our America Initiative was questioned about his own future in the political realm. "I'm not the guy" for Senate or Congress, Johnson insisted. He explained his discontent with the role those offices play in racking up debt. However, he is "not discounting running within the Republican party" again for either governor or president.

Watch the full hangout below: 

Photo Credit: Foter, Gage Skidmore, CC BY-NC-SA

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Is he at all familiar with the GOP?

  • Paul.||

    I'd be surprised they'd let him run or give him support? Aren't they still pissed off about the whole Mittens loss?

  • Brandon Magoon||

    They didn't let him run last time.

  • fredtyg||

    Yeah. I was thinking he might have a chance running for U.S. Senate as a Republican, except I'm sure he's persona non- grata with Republicans now.

  • SeaCaptain(Yokeltarian)||

    From the Washington Post Comments:

    4:16 PM EDT
    He is not telling the Chinese anything that they did not already know.
    He did not tell terrorists anything they did not already know.
    He did tell the American people some things that apparently we did not know.
  • ||


  • SeaCaptain(Yokeltarian)||

    Maybe GayJay could run for we all said he should back in 2012.

  • ||

    (Damn you, Fist)

    Yes, but he probably realizes that nobody can win the presidency as a third-party candidate.

    It would be interesting to have both GJ and RP running. It would definitely move the debate in a more libertarian direction.

  • Paul.||

    Why not Gay Jay and Mittens?


    There's no reason, theoretically, why he couldn't simultaneously run in GOP primaries and seek the LP nomination at their convention.

  • Brandon Magoon||

    There is no reason but he tried that last time and they put him through legal hell.

  • fredtyg||

    I'm surprised he's sounding like he might consider running for president again. Everything I've heard from him up until now sounded like he was pretty disillusioned with the idea after results of his last run.

  • johnl||

    Gary's campaign style is best suited to races within New Mexico. He should run there.


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