When Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson was asked about his stance on polygamy, he said, “It is personal choice” and up to the states to decide their stance on the issue.
Appearing on Fox News’s “Special Report” on Monday, Daily Caller Editor-In-Chief Tucker Carlson said to Johnson, “I’ve got to give you the libertarian test. Now you’ve said as a libertarian, you believe that people ought to be able to make personal decisions without interference from the state which is why you support gay marriage. And yet, there are many, many millions of people in this country whose religion either allows or commands them to take more than one spouse under polygamy, that’s a felony. If you marry the mothers of your various children, you get charged with a felony.”
“Are you for legalizing polygamy?” Carlson asked.
“You know, I think that really is a states issue,” Johnson replied.
Carlson interjected, “No, on principle, why would that be a tough call for you?”
“Well, because it, it, it ends up obfuscating the goal which is smaller government. Really, it’s about smaller government. It is about being, people being able to make their own choices,” Johnson replied.
“Do you feel that way about gay marriage?” Carlson followed up. “Would you be comfortable with a state banning gay marriage?”
“I would not. I would not,” Johnson replied.
“Then why are you comfortable with a state banning polygamy?” Carlson followed up.
After letting out a deep sigh, Johnson said, “I think that that is something that would ultimately, potentially derail — it is personal choice, Tucker. It is personal choice. For a state to do that, a state can have at it.”
In 2012, The Daily Caller asked Johnson about his stance on polygamy and he said that “if you talk about those kinds of issues” you will be “labeled as kooky.” (RELATED: 10 Things About Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson)
Adding, “And I would hate to have come out of this meeting that Johnson supports polygamy… I would hate to have that happen.”
When pressed about it being hard to support gay marriage and not support polygamy between consenting adults, Johnson said: “I agree with that philosophically.”
Adding, “If the headlines out of this meeting is that Johnson supports polygamy, that’ll be the end of my campaign.”