Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and a likely candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is talking about hookers.
“It’s never been a consideration that I would enlist the services of a prostitute, myself personally,” he says. “But if I were to do that, where would I want to enlist that service? Well, it would probably be in Nevada, where it’s legal, because it would be safe.”
When’s the last time Mitt Romney engaged in a hypothetical like that? But Johnson doesn’t even blink. It’s not like this is the only topic on which he risks offending the GOP’s base. He also favors legalizing pot, supports abortion rights, and opposes the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Oh, and he doesn’t go to church. “I don’t think you’ll ever hear me invoking God in anything I do,” he tells me.
It is an incongruous foundation from which to seek the mantle of a party whose last president, George W. Bush, famously claimed that his favorite philosopher is Jesus Christ.