Dec 30 2011

Gary Johnson Party Switching Statement, plus reactions at LP.org and Wall Street Journal

Source: Independent Political Report

Text of former NM Governor Gary Johnson’s announcement that he is switching from the Republican presidential nomination race to the Libertarian one:

December 28, 2011, Santa Fe, NM – At a morning news conference in the Rotunda of the New Mexico State Capitol, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today announced that he is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

Governor Johnson’s announcement statement:

“Today I am announcing that I will seek the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as they were in 2008, and will offer a principled alternative to the Republican and the Democrat.

“This was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said after examining how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian — that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on the issues that govern our personal behavior.

“Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. I had hoped to lay out a real libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. The process was not fair and open.

“This election is about issues larger than party or personal ambition.The future of our country is at stake. “

I believe this election needs a true libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee that he will be the Republican nominee.

“My Agenda for America, a libertarian agenda, is clear. It is not at an agenda you will hear from any other candidate or party.

– I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%. – I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and job creation.

– I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve. – I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.

– I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan where our national interest is not clear. -I want to cut the over-regulation of our families, our businesses and our lives.

– I support a woman’s right to choose.

– I support marriage equality for gay Americans, as required by the Constitution.

– I support the legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.

– I demand a government free of special interest influence, crony capitalism and corruption.

– I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.

“I am confident this agenda will resonate with the American people because it actually reflects the true beliefs of a clear majority of Americans.

“Sadly, neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda to the American people. The Republicans talk about cutting spending and taxes but insist on government regulating our personal lives. The Democrats support more liberal social policies but they will tax and spend and borrow us into bankruptcy. America needs a third way.

“I know first-hand that my governing philosophy works because of my experience as a successful two-term governor, elected and reelected as a Republican in a Democrat state. I know how to create jobs because I have created jobs. My record on job creation is superior to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney or any other candidate. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.

“If I earn the Libertarian Party nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I will not be held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries. And most important, we will offer a political “home” for millions of Americans who are not finding one in the current political establishment or its candidates.

“I am excited by this challenge. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking up the system as it has never been shaken up before. The tired old two-party system has failed America.

“America is ready for a President who will restore common sense to our fiscal and foreign policies and get government out of the boardroom and the bedroom. I believe the American people will see that a credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, economic growth, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.

“In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is another choice, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America. Together I am convinced we can make history and restore America to greatness.”

Press release on the occasion from the national Libertarian Party HQ:

Libertarians Welcome Governor Gary Johnson to Party, Presidential Race

Today at 10:00 am MST, Governor Gary Johnson is expected to announce his candidacy and to join the Libertarian Party with Mark Hinkle, Chair at a press conference at the State Capitol in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The event will be live streamed at the Gary Johnson for President web site.

The Libertarian Party welcomes Governor Gary Johnson to the race for the Libertarian nomination for president. Governor Johnson has an outstanding record for vetoing legislation as former governor of New Mexico. He vetoed more bills than all other governors in the country combined, stopping the expansion of Big Government.

Governor Johnson has also proposed a substantial reduction in federal spending. Libertarians look forward to learning the specifics and the time frame of that reduction. Governor Johnson appeals to fiscal conservatives -rank-and-file Republicans, libertarians, independents and even many Democrats – who see most Republican candidates as agents of Big Government and high taxes.

Governor Johnson also appeals to non-interventionists of all political stripes who are disappointed with President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan and his involvement in Libya.

Free market advocates understand that third parties provide essential competition for the entrenched two parties. Without the Libertarian Party, Republicans typically nominate a Big Government, high tax candidate such as Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich — which results in guaranteed further expansion of Big Government.

The Libertarian Party will be on the ballot in nearly all, if not all, 50 states – including Virginia. At least 99% of the population of voters in the United States will have the opportunity to vote Libertarian.

The party’s nominating convention will be held in Las Vegas May 4th and 5th.

Regarding the charge that the Libertarian Party could “spoil” the election for the Republican nominee, Carla Howell, Executive Director said, “You can make that case only if Ron Paul is the Republican nominee. If any other remaining contender in the GOP primary were to win, then the Republicans will offer a choice for more Big Government and higher taxes. You can’t spoil tainted meat.”

“All of the Republican Party presidential candidates ” except for Ron Paul ” have a track record of voting for higher levels of government spending. Many have raised taxes, supported bailouts, and/or voted to expand Big Government.

Mitt Romney went one better in Massachusetts when he championed ObamaCare Part I,”said Howell.

“Should one of the non-Paul candidates prevail, then the Libertarian Party will be our only means to restore fiscal sanity, to create a friendly business environment and to create desperately-needed new jobs,” said Howell.

Wall Street Journal via LP Executive Director Carla Howell’s blog at LP.org:

More Roads Lead to Possible Third-Party Bid

“The prospects for a significant third-party presidential bid in 2012 are gathering steam, potentially complicating things for the eventual Republican nominee.

“The Libertarian Party could have a candidate with some name recognition, with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson expected to announce Wednesday he will leave the GOP and seek the Libertarian nominatio…

“Both Republican and Democratic pollsters have suggested that an electorate buffeted by the prolonged economic downturn and angry with both parties could be open to the appeal of a third-party candidate, much as Ross Perot caught the imagination of voters in the 1990s…

“Carla Howell, executive director of the Libertarian Party, said Mr. Johnson would compete with about half a dozen other candidates at the nominating convention. While the party issued a statement welcoming Mr. Johnson, Ms. Howell said Mr. Paul is a ‘good friend’ of the party.

“Ms. Howell brushed off the prospect of a Libertarian candidate siphoning votes from the GOP nominee. ‘You can make the case (only if Ron Paul is not the nominee) that there’s no such thing as spoiling tainted meat,’ she said, referring to candidates of both major parties.

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