In a recent blog post, National Review’s Jim Geraghty dismissed former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party presidential bid. “Sometimes, a candidate just isn’t any good,” he concluded.
Johnson is a far stronger candidate than Geraghty realizes, thanks in part to the diversity of his issue positions — all of which are dictated by his consistent libertarian philosophy — and in part to his record as a two-term governor. In fact, National Review has described Johnson’s job creation record as better than either Rick Perry’s or Mitt Romney’s.
American voters have never been offered a real libertarian choice — i.e., someone who is for smaller government, cutting spending, ending debt, withdrawing from senseless and expensive foreign wars and standing up for gun owners’ rights while at the same time supporting a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality for gays and marijuana legalization. Though Ron Paul shares many of these views, Paul is not a pure libertarian.
Johnson’s Republican candidacy never gained traction because, as a result of his arbitrary exclusion from the GOP debates, voters never came to understand his views. Why Rick Santorum, whose poll numbers register in the same 1% neighborhood as Johnson’s, was included in the debates while Johnson wasn’t is anyone’s guess, but I think elite censorship had something to do with it.
The New York Times breathlessly writes about the left-of-center Americans Elect being a “new third party,” but we already have a third party: the Libertarian Party. As a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination, Johnson will be eligible for federal matching funds and will appear on the ballot in all 50 states. And Johnson is far more credible than Bob Barr, the non-libertarian who captured the Libertarian Party’s nomination in 2008.
Americans are about to discover Governor Gary Johnson and his Freedom Agenda. They are going to like what they find.
Roger Stone has served in senior campaign capacities in the campaigns of Richard Nixon (1972), Ronald Reagan (1976, 1980, 1984), George H.W. Bush (1988) and George W. Bush (2000).