Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president in 2012, tells The Daily Caller he is gearing up to run for the White House again.
“Unless something catastrophic happens in my life, I hope to do that,” Johnson said in an interview at The Daily Caller’s newsroom in Washington on Wednesday.
Johnson — the former governor of New Mexico who ran for president as a Republican in 2011 before dropping out to run on the Libertarian Party ticket — said “there’s no real rush” to announce though he is actively preparing for a campaign.
Asked about the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s entrance into the race this week, Johnson said: “I like the fact that he’s running. I mean of all the Republicans, he’s the closest to my ideology. The things that we differ are immigration, marriage equality, women’s right to choose, drug policy and military intervention.”
But Johnson said of Paul: “He has to pander to the right to get the nomination. And it’s a process where Republicans right now are putting out candidates I think are unelectable in a general election.”
Johnson also disputed the characterization that Rand Paul is a libertarian. “Out of his own mouth, he in no way would describe himself as a libertarian,” Johnson said. “Because that is something he is running from right now to get the Republican nomination.”
Johnson, who is now CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., which sells medical marijuana, said he’d welcome Jesse Ventura, the former Minnesota governor into the race for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president. Ventura has expressed interest in a campaign.
“If that happened, that would be terrific because that potentially could be a televised-kind-of-a-debate situation,” Johnson said of a matchup with Ventura.
For now, Johnson’s political group is working on a lawsuit to help third-party candidates get into the presidential debates.
“Our America Initiative is going to sue the presidential debate commission on anti-trust grounds, on the notion that although it sounds very official and it sounds very fair and it sounds very governmental, it’s nothing but,” Johnson said. “It’s the two parties.”