Entries in Gary Johnson (8)


RNC Chairman Dismisses Third Party Candidate Gary Johnson

Matthew Simmons/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today dismissed Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s run for the White House calling it a “non-factor.”

“I think that people understand that they’re not going to throw their vote away,” Priebus said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Johnson, a businessman and former governor of New Mexico, is now on the ballot in 48 states but is hoping to make it on all 50 by election day.

Third party presidential candidates historically have been accused of siphoning votes away from the major party candidates.  In 1992 Ross Perot, a successful businessman, ran for president as an independent.  Many blamed Perot for diverting votes away from George H.W. Bush thus allowing Bill Clinton to win the White House.

Priebus said he doesn’t see the same thing happening in 2012.

“We don’t have a third party candidate anywhere near the name recognition or the popularity of Ross Perot or John Anderson,” Priebus said.

Anderson ran for president as an independent candidate in 1980 and lost.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Struggling Presidential Candidate Switches Parties

Matthew Simmons/WireImage(SANTA FE, N.M.) -- Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson made little headway as a Republican candidate for president, so now he'll run as a Libertarian.

The two-party system, he says, is rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states.

If elected, Johnson vows to cut spending, support abortion rights, and legalize marijuana.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gary Johnson Invited to Participate in His First National GOP Debate

Comstock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign got a big break Tuesday.

Over the objections of the Florida Republican Party, the former New Mexico governor is invited to participate in Fox’s GOP presidential debate this Thursday, a source at Fox News confirmed.

Candidates needed one percent of the vote in at least five national polls in order to qualify.

The Johnson campaign had not been officially informed of the decision by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, but they hoped to get Johnson on stage with the rest of his contenders this week.

Up to now, the lesser-known candidate has gained little national recognition, though not for lack of appearances. In addition to stops in New Orleans and Iowa, Johnson is one of the most ardent pursuers of early-primary state New Hampshire.

His stumping often deviates from the traditional hand-shaking and baby-kissing.

On Oct. 5, the former New Mexico governor plans to start a six-day, 458-mile bike ride across the Granite State.

Johnson is arguably the fittest candidate in the race. Sure, Sarah Palin popped up in a half-marathon in Iowa this summer, but from taking a jog with employees at a running store in Manchester to cycling in a 51.6-mile road race in Lincoln, and now this race that will take him from the Lakes Region in the middle of the state to Nashua in the south, Johnson makes getting his name out there a sport.

It’s all part of what Johnson calls "The New Hampshire Path." In an open letter to Johnson supporters posted on the campaign’s website, senior adviser Ron Nielson acknowledges his candidate’s lack of recognition and finances. He writes that New Hampshire gives Johnson the opportunity to “create momentum.”

“Being the site of the first primary of 2012, New Hampshire is the center of attention for much of the nation’s media coverage of the campaign, and as Gary gains measurable support there, it will translate into broader support throughout the country.”

Campaigning in New Hampshire is not a new strategy, but focusing almost exclusively on the state sets Johnson apart in the 2012 Republican field.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gary Johnson: Republican Rivals the ‘Status Quo’

Matthew Simmons/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- You won’t see Gary Johnson on Monday night’s Republican debate stage in New Hampshire since his polling numbers weren’t high enough to meet CNN’s qualifications for participation.

But speaking to ABC News on Monday, Johnson said that Republican voters will be under-served by the fact that his voice will be excluded.

“You're not going to hear any candidate propose a balanced budget for the year 2013, which is what I would be proposing,” said Johnson, a former New Mexico governor. “We've got to cut $1.65 trillion worth of debt, so that's the difference between me and the rest of the candidates -- talking about Medicaid, Medicare, talking about the reform to Social Security, talking about cutting defense spending.”

“I don't think you are going to really hear that from Republicans tonight. I think you are going to hear the status quo,” Johnson continued. “I never thought that I would be left off-stage when I started this whole run for the presidency....What I say differs from everybody else up there on that stage.”

Johnson acknowledged that some of his libertarian positions are similar to those of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who has run for president before and has sufficient polling support to appear Monday night.

“I think that it's a good thing, perhaps, to have stereo speakers up there as opposed to just one person talking about this. I do think that this is the excitement that is spreading across the country, and this is where it's at. It’s balancing the federal budget. It’s bringing about a strong dollar as opposed to the collapse of our monetary system, which is what we're looking at.”

And Johnson filled ABC News in on his debate plans, while his rivals are debating in New Hampshire.

“I don't want to call it lame, but I think I have an obligation to answer all the questions that are being asked,” Johnson said.

“So we're going to do a webcast where I'm going to do just that. I guarantee you that my answers will be shorter, and I guarantee that my answers will be a lot different.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


No Fireworks at First Republican Primary Debate

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- With some of the biggest names and biggest personalities in the Republican primary taking a pass on attending, the first Republican primary debate of the 2012 campaign was a rather sedate and polite affair.

On stage at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina for the Fox News/South Carolina Republican party debate were five relatively unknown Republican candidates: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Despite the best efforts of the Fox moderators to try and create some sparks, the candidates stayed away from attacking each other -- or even those who weren’t on stage.

When Cain was asked why he, as a supporter of former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2008, was running against him now, Cain replied, “He didn’t win so I’m gonna try my time.”

When Pawlenty was asked whether he was worried about Mike Huckabee beating him in Iowa, he said, “I love the Huck.”

The hosts tried to get Santorum, a well-known social conservative, to tee off on former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s messy personal life, but Santorum didn’t take the bait.

“Just because you fall short doesn’t mean you can’t stand up and say this is the right way,” Santorum said.

It was Pawlenty, however, who had the most to gain -- or lose -- by his performance at the debate.  Despite his low standing in the polls, Pawlenty is seen as the candidate most able to position himself as the challenger to the current leader in GOP polls, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

In the end, Pawlenty played it safe.  He didn’t gain anything, but he didn’t lose anything either.

He kept his aim on President Obama’s policies on everything from health care to Libya to the economy.  He even used a question about his own liabilities in the primary, his support for cap and trade legislation as governor, as an opportunity to present himself as a straight shooter.

Calling it a mistake, as he’s done for a while now, Pawlenty said, “I just admit.  I don’t try to duck it, bob it, weave it, try to explain it away.  I’m just telling you I made a mistake.”

Still, he wasn’t the most charismatic candidate on stage.  Nor was he particularly aggressive.  When asked to comment on Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts, Pawlenty demurred, saying, “Governor Romney isn’t here to defend himself so I’m not going to pick on him. “

But for Pawlenty, who says he sees this race as a marathon and not a sprint, it’s all about staying on pace and conserving his energy for the many miles yet to come.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gary Johnson: 'From Obscurity to Prominence' in New Hampshire

Matthew Simmons/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Former Gov. Gary Johnson jumped into the 2012 presidential race this week, bringing his libertarian leanings -- and his much-noted support for legalizing marijuana -- into a still-fluid Republican field.

On ABC’s Top Line Friday, Johnson, R-N.M., told us that he’ll be concentrating his campaign on “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, in the hopes of vaulting into prominence.

“You can't deny that I am the underdog,” Johnson said from WMUR-TV studios in the Granite State.

New Hampshire, he said, is “a state where you got to go out and meet everybody. And you've got to cuss and discuss and debate the issues, which is a terrific environment. And I'm going to be engaged in that environment here, and possibly go from obscurity to a prominence when it comes to the issues of the day.”

As for policy matters, Johnson isn’t shy to discuss areas where he may break with GOP dogma.

“I support gay unions. I think the government ought to get out of the marriage business. And then for me as governor of New Mexico, everything was a cost-benefit analysis. There weren't any sacred cows -- everything was a cost-benefit analysis. What are we spending money on and what are we getting for the money that we're spending? So in that sense, the drug war is absolutely a failure.”

He also said Republicans should be more aggressive than they’ve been in cutting federal spending. They should take on entitlement programs, too; Medicare and Medicaid could be slashed by 43 percent and turned into grant programs for the states to distribute.

“I think we should balance the federal budget tomorrow,” Johnson said. “I'm optimistic. I think Americans are optimistic. We went to the moon, we can balance the federal budget. We can fix this…. We're not addressing the problems that we face, and that starts with Medicaid, Medicare, reforming Social Security and Defense. And I mean cutting those areas.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News


Gary Johnson Announces 2012 GOP Presidential Bid: ‘I’m A Fix-It Man’

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(CONCORD, N.H.) -- With many potential GOP candidates taking pains to keep themselves out of the presidential race -- at least for now -- here’s one who’s all in: former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Skipping the presidential exploratory phase, Johnson announced in New Hampshire on Thursday that was launching a long-shot White House bid because, as he put it, the country is “a mess.”

“Today’s mess didn’t just happen,” Johnson said. “We elected it -- one senator, member of Congress and president at a time. Our leaders in Washington, D.C., have ‘led’ America to record unemployment, a devalued currency, banking scandals, the mortgage crisis, drug crisis, economic crisis, loss of our nation’s industrial might -- and a long list of other reminders our nation is way off course.”

Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 and whose viewpoints (at least some of them) are unorthodox for a Republican, made the announcement on the steps of the New Hampshire State House in Concord.

The former governor may be best known for his support for legalizing marijuana. He also opposes continuing America’s military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I can’t think of a more conservative issue than marijuana,” Johnson said in an interview on MSNBC on Thursday. “Half of what we spend on law enforcement is drug related. What are we getting for that?”

Johnson said that what the country needs now is a “President Veto” -- “someone who will say ‘no’ to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington.” He added that none of the other potential 2012 Republican candidates fit the bill.

Johnson’s campaign team announced that the newly-minted presidential candidate will spend three days in New Hampshire meeting voters, visiting local businesses and he’ll fit in some hiking and skiing time in the Granite State’s scenic White Mountains too.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson Announces Run for Presidency

ABC News(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, announced Thursday that he will be putting in a bid for the 2012 presidential candidacy.

"America needs a 'president veto' right now –- someone who will say 'no' to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington.  That’s why I am here today to announce that I’m running for President of the United States.  And I don’t do so lightly," Johnson said in a statement.

The Republican, who served as New Mexico's governor from 1995-2003, said his previous experience can help him "fix" America.

"I have the qualifications, the ability and the know-how to do the job.  I also have a track record.  I’ll do what I say I’ll do," he said.

In talking about his competition, Johnson said, I look at the rest of the field running for president, and that song by The Who comes to mind.  Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.  You know the one.   We ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’  What’s the definition of insanity?  It is to keep doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome."

He added that he's "ready for a different America," and that "our current president will not lead us there," nor will "none of the professional Washington set."?

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio