The Libertarian Party again nominated former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as its presidential candidate Sunday, believing he can challenge presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton because of their poor showing in popularity polls.
Johnson, 63, won the nomination on the second ballot at the party’s convention in Orlando, Florida, defeating Austin Petersen, the founder of The Libertarian Republic magazine; and anti-computer virus company founder John McAfee. The delegates selected former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld to be his vice presidential running mate.
Johnson, the party’s nominee in 2012, told the delegates during his acceptance speech that his job will be to get the Libertarian platform before the voters at a level the party has not seen.
“I am fiscally conservative in spades and I am socially liberal in spades,” Johnson told The Associated Press. “I would cut back on military interventions that have the unintended consequence of making us less safe in the world.”
On fiscal matters, Libertarians push for reduced spending and taxes, saying the federal government has gotten too big across the board. Johnson proposes eliminating federal income and corporate taxes and replacing those with a national sales tax.
He would reduce domestic spending by eliminating the Internal Revenue Service, the Commerce and Education departments, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On social issues, Libertarians generally support abortion rights, gun rights, same-sex marriage and drug legalization, saying people should be allowed to do anything that doesn’t hurt others.
Johnson served as New Mexico’s governor from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican after a career as the owner of one of that state’s largest construction companies.
After failing to gain traction in the GOP’s 2012 primaries, he changed his registration to Libertarian shortly before running for that party’s nomination that year. He won the nomination and got just short of 1 percent of the general election vote against President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
For Johnson to make a serious run this year, he needs to qualify for the presidential debates. To do that, he must average 15 percent in five recognized polls.
He hopes that is doable because Trump and Clinton are both seen unfavorably by a majority of voters, according to recent polls.
Johnson will also need to overcome a huge financial disadvantage and history.
In 2012, Obama and Romney spent over a billion dollars each, a figure Trump and Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, are expected to also reach. Johnson spent $2.5 million in 2012, about one dollar for every 400 Obama and Romney each spent. Johnson hopes to raise “tens of millions of dollars” this time.
“Then we can leverage that to a level where we could wage political war” by hiring staff and running TV and radio commercials, Johnson said. He said Weld will help in this effort, having raised about $250 million during his political career compared to Johnson’s $8 million. Weld, 70, was Massachusetts governor from 1991 to 1997, also as a Republican.
The Libertarian Party has been running presidential tickets since 1972, but has never been a major factor. The party’s best showing was 1980, when candidate Ed Clark got slightly more than 1 percent of the vote. The only electoral vote the party has received was in 1972, when a renegade Virginia elector pledged to President Richard Nixon cast his ballot for Libertarian John Hospers instead.
Third parties have never won a U.S. presidential election. Former Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, running on the Bull Moose Party ticket, got 27 percent of the popular vote and 88 electoral votes in 1912. He finished second to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, the only time a third party candidate has finished that well.
Other notable third-party runs include former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who got 13 percent of the popular vote in 1968, winning 45 electoral votes; and billionaire businessman Ross Perot, who got 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992 but no electoral votes.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Occam's Razor says
“Johnson stated that he “supports the right of Israel to exist…” This means Johnson is an just another Israeli shill too, another establishment puppet who supports the invasion, theft, and incremental genocide of Palestine and Agenda 21/30, criminal genocide in the light of a hemp economy, constitutionally sound US currency, and zero over-population worldwide. So, all candidates running for president are *selected* by Israel, not We The People.
We should do a write-in presidential NO VOTE meaning we don’t consent to Israel’s talmudic corruption, aka., communism, aka., globalism, the NWO, …pharaonic, talmudic, templar, luciferian, satanic, islamic, illuminati, jesuit masonry and the UN.
Israel, Not In America’s Name, 2016!
What a total ignorant uneducated asshole you are. First, those who come against me I will come against them says the Lord of hosts. (In speaking of nations or idiots like you against Isreal) no such a thing as the Palestinians. Made up United Nations ploy. The nomads to which you speak, came from Algeria during the early 40’s lead by yessir Arafat. They tried a coup attempt on the King of Jordan, instead of hanging the conspirators, the king banished the Algeria rebel nomads to the Gaza Strip& West Bank. How stupid do you look now? The Algerian nomads now known fictisously known as “Palestinians are the invader/ squatters on the land. They have absolutly no claim om Isreal, for the Lord your God made an blood oath convenient with Abraham and his decentants that the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates river was for him and all his decentants to follow. In actuality, the land currently owned by Isreal is smaller than the one GOD himself gave to the people of Isreal. To further prove that point. No other civilization was enslaved as the Hebrew was, lost it,s country, then 2500 later recaptured it in 1967 in the 6 days war. That alone proves Gods will, and his chosen the people of Isreal. Amen
Thank-you, Webpupp; you said what I would’ve if I’d been here sooner. < †
Justin W says
“On social issues, Libertarians generally support abortion rights, gun rights, same-sex marriage and drug legalization, saying people should be allowed to do anything that doesn’t hurt others.”
I would argue those things do hurt others. In abortion, the child dies. In same-sex marriage, a child grows up in a home lacking either a male presence or a female presence. Recreational drug usage often leads to addiction and brings a whole host of problems with it.
I don’t think this guy has a chance of winning. He could possibly through the election for Hillary but his chance for winning is nil.
There are a very large number of Libertarians that are PRO-LIFE as well as Christian including myself. I think that although we probably won’t win this time we are going to have the largest vote totals in our history and get into the presidential debates. In 2020 then we will have a real shot at the White House.
Which is the entire point, this is a tactic used bu the Marxist when it was implemented in the 1912 presidential race. Woodrow Wilson the first Marxist in the White House was the benefactor of this tyrantical practice. 3 of the communist manifesto( Karl Mark’s book) we’re implemented in his first year. He stole the people wealth from the treasury and formed the Federal Bank Reserve. I private bank that has unelected officials, never been audited and creates boom and busts, prints money without the concent of congress thereby flooding the market and making all dollars worth less. Simple supply and demand. By using a cental bank, you steal the people’s rights to all kinds of freedoms, and debouch the value of the American dollar which has been steadily going on since 1913. Income tax against the citizens. Prior to 1912, only the top 1percent paid a tax, that tax was to keep the government working and support the military. Back then congress and the senate worked as a civic duty to country, in other words, they didn’t get paid. Very Nobel, unlike today. Wilson also tried the first arrempt @world government with the “League of Nations”. That was killed as to many patriotic rebuplican came against that bill seeing the attempt @stripping American sovereignty. There are 10planks in the communist manifesto to secure a Marxist state. Wilson was successful with 3 of these life altering &enslaving themes.
Is this the guy who said something to the effect that he didn’t see a real reason to have fought in WWI and WWII??? Gosh!! I must have missed something about these two wars………another crackpot speaks…….
Semper Fi says
The guy looks like he has jaundice and we do not need a lib, We have one now and look at America how it is sinking
Priscilla Harrell says
The only thing he will do is put Hillary in as President if he does anything and it will be Mitt Romey’s fault just like it is his fault that we have had 8 years of Obama. You just can not keep your nose where it belongs.
Congratulations, you just made Hillary our new president. Losers all, and you want Trump to lose too.
Fret not billy, this is exactly what the Marxist wants, see, Saul alinski’s book rules for radicles is his version of the communist manifesto. In his warped mind, he came up with the idea of using mass deception and deflection in attempt to dupe people into the believe their vote does’t matter, I’m just a a little guy, I’m only one vote, my vote won’t make a difference, the poll numbers say, and another 2dozens slogans are exactly what the Saul alinski Marxist want running Thur the heads of the disenfranchised. The progressive is in the minority. Though the media and their jibberish they have the masses to think it is they that are the majority. So don’t fall for the hype of deception. Trump by a landslide. Do your part, the ground swell will be enormous.
The Texan says
There are those people who say they will not vote for either Hillary or Trump. Some say that they will stay home and not vote at all. Others say that they will write in a name (just any name). One alternative would be to vote for a third party candidate like the Libertarians. Unfortunately the reality is that any vote that is not directly for Trump will give Hillary the advantage in the Electoral College and she will win. And America will lose. For all his faults, with Trump we have a chance. With Hillary we have no chance at all.