Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race

Email from Wayne Root:

Gary Johnson is a friend of mine. We’re fans of each other’s politics. We’ve spoken often over the past few years. He is a constant guest on my radio shows. I was honored to speak back to back with Gary at the Conservative Leadership Conference held in Nevada this past July. I was the opening speaker at FreedomFest, where Gary also spoke this summer.

On all of his many radio appearances with me, I’ve yet to find an issue we disagree on. Gary and I never fail to both comment on “our mutual admiration society.” On most every issue we are compatible Libertarian-conservatives who believe in smaller government, dramatically reduced spending, reduced entitlements, lower taxes, and a pro business attitude.

I’d welcome Gary’s addition to the LP in any capacity. He’d make a wonderful Libertarian officeholder, leader or Presidential/Vice Presidential candidate. His record as the 2-term Governor of New Mexico is among the most fiscally conservative in the nation. I applaud literally everything Gary did as Governor, from his tax cuts, to his spending cuts, to his leading the nation in vetoes. If we had 535 Gary Johnson’s in Congress, this country would not be in economic crisis right now.

I’ve personally encouraged Gary in numerous private conversations- including most recently at the Conservative Leadership Conference- to join the LP and consider running for our Presidential ticket. He’d be one heck of an addition. I look forward to continuing my discussions with Gary in the near future.

Wayne Allyn Root
Former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee


Gary Johnson’s possible interest in switching from the Republican race, where he is polling in the very low single digits and being excluded from most debates (even though candidates who are polling even lower than him are being included), has been been published by IPR here and here.

In IPR comments, we have been told that some Johnson staffers have officially denied those rumors, but I have not been able to find those denials. I have sent an email to the Johnson campaign to see if they would say anything for the record (I understand that they can’t confirm the rumors if they are true, but I am looking to see if I can get a denial that I can publish if they are not).

Lee Wrights has a more negative reaction to the possibility of Johnson seeking the LP nomination here, and I have emailed the other candidates currently running for the LP presidential nomination for their reactions.

-Paulie

47 thoughts on “Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race

  1. An LP Observation

    Agreed it was well written. Dah, no wonder Mr. Wrights is not happy– Mr. Johnson would be serious competition.

    Predicition: Gary Johnson would win LP nomination in the FIRST ROUND by a huge landslide ! I assume he knows this by now.
    He probably would beat Wayne Root in a head to head matchup.

  2. Here's a brilliant idea

    Johnson for President
    Root for Vice-President again.
    Then, turn Wayne loose this time with media. With management from Gary Johnson, if that is possible– LOL.

    I will get my checkbook out and start writing, if that happens.

  3. Sane LP Member

    GEJ and WAR. “Run guys run”

    Yes, get out the checkbooks.

    Something to get excited about. Especially for independent voters.

  4. Wayne Root

    @8
    Thanks Jill.

    One thing you have to know by now about me- I welcome everyone to the LP. I want a
    B-I-G tent.

    And I welcome all competitors…especially credible ones with national name recognition…to the LP Presidential contest. That is great for the LP.

    And Gary Johnson is- more importantly- a GREAT guy!

    Wayne

  5. Andy

    Andy: “Predicition: Gary Johnson would win LP nomination in the FIRST ROUND by a huge landslide ! I assume he knows this by now.”

    I’m really not convinced that Gary Johnson is really what the Libertarian Party needs. He is not in favor of pardoning non-violent drug offenders or for pardoning anyone who has been convicted of any victimless crimes. He favors the Fair Tax plan as promoted by Neal Boortz and John Linder, which makes him LESS libertarian than the national committee of the Constitution Party or that issue. It’s not really clear if he supports a non-interventionist foreign policy. I’m not saying that he’s bad on all issues. He’s certainly more libertarian than the majority of mainstream politicians. I’m just not so sure that he’s the best person to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President.

    I’ve noticed that there are a surprising number of Libertarians who are enamored with anyone who has a political title next to their name. One would think that Libertarians of all people wouldn’t care about political titles, but I think that some Libertarians have been following politics for so long that that they have become political groupies and they act like politicians are rock stars or movie stars or star athletes. This thinking is what lead to Bob Barr winning the nomination in 2008 and I think that that campaign turned out to be a big disappointment for a lot of reasons. If Gary Johnson decides to seek the LP’s Presidential nomination that it doesn’t turn to be a repeat of the Barr campaign.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    a 11: I’ve noticed that there are a surprising number of Libertarians who are enamored with anyone who has a political title next to their name.

    me: Why is that “surprising”? Ls — like everyone — understand that having a resume matters in politics, like in everything else.

    If “mainstream” pols question the duopoly, that seems to be a useful thing. Politics is the art of the possible, and former elected officials are more likely to see what is possible, what will sell, and what should be tabled for another day.

    Staking out “radical” stances to feel good might make for ego gratification, but how does it make for progress?

  7. Jeremy C. Young

    Root says that he has “yet to find an issue” he disagrees with Johnson on. Does that mean Root supports due process at Gitmo, an end to the drug war, and substantially open borders? If so, I’m going to have to take another look at his candidacy.

  8. Sane LP Member

    @ # 11. Last I heard, libertarians are human beings. Maybe they are tired of losing after 40 years. Besides, a Johnson candidacy could help inspire state organizations. And there is always a chance it could help a state actually retain ballot access.

  9. paulie Post author

    If Johnson does seek the LP nomination, will Root NOT seek the nomination? If Johnson doesn’t, will Root?

    Wayne can of course speak for himself, but my prediction is that if Johnson goes LP Wayne will not run.

    If Wayne does run against Johnson, I predict Johnson would win easily.

    I believe Wayne understands this and if he runs against Gary Johnson it would most likely be with the real goal being the VP spot again.

    That being said, I would be interested to see Wayne answer to see if I am right.

  10. paulie Post author

    Predicition: Gary Johnson would win LP nomination in the FIRST ROUND by a huge landslide ! I assume he knows this by now.
    He probably would beat Wayne Root in a head to head matchup.

    I think you are correct.

  11. paulie Post author

    Johnson for President
    Root for Vice-President again.

    I can see that possibly happening. Of course, whether Johnson would actually do it would remain to be seen.

    Another interesting possibility may be Johnson-Gravel, if both would agree to it. That would bring balance with one coming from the Republicans and one from the Democrats, a former Governor and a former Senator. One big minus, though, is that they both support the Boortz-Linder trojan horse tax plan that is misleadingly promoted as a “fair” tax.

  12. paulie Post author

    Does that mean Root supports due process at Gitmo, an end to the drug war, and substantially open borders?

    Root has said many times now he supports ending the drug war.

    His answer on immigration on a recent discussion/debate we had here at IPR included

    I am a huge fan of LEGAL immigration. We should be making legal immigration easier and more open. Period. We should dramatically raise legal immigration for foreigners with specialized skills (like high tech companies so desperately want and need), farm workers, and foreign students.

    Students is a great area for changing the rules. If you come to America and get a college degree, I want to encourage you to stay. It’s insane to make college educated young adults leave. We should welcome them with open arms.

    And any need for business should be recogized and filled. If workers (low or high income) can be shown to be needed, dramatically raise quotas for immigration.

    In general, the process must be strwamlined.

    Also my plan is to let in millions of new immigrants by allowing INSTANT CITIZENSHIP for anyone in world who brings $250,000 to either buy a home, or open a business within 6 months of arrival. With my plan we turn immigration into an economic boom. We turn immigrants who are educated, successful, ambitious and family-oriented into the new founation for economic rebound.

    We welcome millions of new immigrants with talent, skills, education and assets. They bring their talents and assets to USA. Great! They will end the foreclosure crisis by buying homes. They will end the banking crisis by bringing money. They will end the jobs crisis by opening businesses. They will end the Social Security crisis by paying into the system for many years to come.

    That is not an open borders position in the LP, but I bet it would be characterized as an “open borders” stance if he was running for the Republican nomination.

    I don’t immediately recall what all Wayne has said about Gitmo. Hopefully he will be back here to answer.

  13. Jeremy C. Young

    I didn’t realize Root was against the drug war. Good for him. Me too.

    How does his position on immigration compare with Johnson’s?

    Also, Gravel will not be the LP nominee for anything. He has declared himself to be a Truther; that, sadly, is the end of anyone taking him seriously. (Even though I still think he is a great American patriot.)

  14. paulie Post author

    From the above:

    Q: What is your view of the immigration issue?

    A: Hispanics who immigrate care about their families like other Americans care about their families. They’re living in poverty in Mexico and can come to the US and do a lot better.

    Q: By–according to some–taking away jobs.

    A: They work the lowest-paying jobs. And they are taking jobs that other Americans don’t necessarily want. They’re hardworking people who are taking jobs that others don’t want. That’s the reality.

    Q: Would you open the borders and make it easier to immigrate legally?

    A: My vision of the border with Mexico is that a truck from the United States going into Mexico and a truck coming from Mexico into the United States will pass each other at the border going 60 miles an hour. Yes, we should have open borders.

    Q: Many Americans fear the flood of immigrants that would follow.

    A: They would become taxpayers. They’re just pursuing dreams—the same dreams we all have. They work hard. What’s wrong with that?
    Source: David Sheff interview in Playboy Magazine May 2, 2011

    So, Johnson sounds more radical open borders, like me. Wayne’s position is more moderate, but I still think he would be called an open borders guy in a Republican context.

    Most of them are busy trying to outdo each other on how hard they would crack down on immigrants, rather than talking about making legal immigration much easier, which would be a big step in the right direction.

  15. paulie Post author

    OnTheIssues.org scores Johnson at 70/70 on their expanded Nolan Quiz/chart; that is in the libertarian quintile, but near the bottom of it (close to centrist) and right down the middle on the left-right scale. That is about exactly where I thought he would be.

    They score Ron Paul at 70 social, 80 economic – just very slightly to the right of Johnson and very slightly more libertarian.

    The other Republicans all score right-conservative, except for Huntsman, who scores in the centrist quintile.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    @26,

    That’s one version of Johnson’s immigration position.

    There are other versions which are dissimilar — both at Our America Initiative and his campaign site.

    At those places, he supports deportations, imposition of a health care “individual mandate” on immigrants, universal conscription of employers as unpaid ICE agents (“e-verify”), etc.

    So in one place he sounds pretty libertarian. In another, he sounds less libertarian than … well, than Barack Obama.

    Which set of positions, if either, represents the real Gary Johnson? Any time you have to ask that question about a politician, it’s a bad sign.

  17. Daniel Wiener

    While instant gratification is nice, in politics there is often no substitute for patience. Paulie, you need to face the fact that Gary Johnson is not going to comment on his possible LP Presidential candidacy no matter how often you ping him about it. It would instantly end his campaign for the Republican nomination if he let it be known that he was considering a switch to the LP. And even if he isn’t considering a switch, he has no reason to foreclose that option at this time. So you’re just going to have to wait until he decides that his Republican quest is futile and he drops out (assuming that’s the case).

    As far as Lee Wrights or any other candidate for the LP Presidential nomination is concerned, is it really a surprise if they have negative reactions to Johnson’s possible entry? After all, there appears to be near-universal agreement that Johnson would become the instant frontrunner if he threw his hat in the ring. The already-announced candidates have invested a lot of time and effort into their races, and are unlikely to appreciate having all that go to waste. So it’s a little difficult for them to adopt a dispassionate viewpoint regarding Gary Johnson.

    Conversely, Wayne Root’s continuing attempts to recruit Gary Johnson suggest that Wayne himself is not planning to run for the LP Presidential nomination in 2012. It’s not conclusive evidence, of course, and nothing would prevent him from changing his mind. But if Wayne really wanted the 2012 nomination, it probably would not be the cleverest political move for him to try recruiting a strong rival.

    Then again, this could all be part of Wayne’s machiavellian plan to get the nomination, but his plan is so deep and subtle that the rest of us can’t comprehend how that ploy would work. Or maybe it’s Johnson’s cunning plan to use Wayne Root as a stalking horse. Or maybe it’s my insidious plan to so confuse the issue that nobody can figure out what anybody’s plan is.

    Whatever happens, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Wayne Root’s continuing attempts to recruit Gary Johnson suggest that Wayne himself is not planning to run for the LP Presidential nomination in 2012.”

    Not necessarily.

    They could just as easily suggest that he knows it’s very unlikely that Johnson will run LP, and that making nice noises about Johnson is therefore an easy way to ingratiate himself with those who wish Johnson would run LP and are going to be disappointed when he doesn’t.

    That seems the more likely case, given that Root has been running for two years now. When you’re rolling down the highway behind the wheel of a car with your foot on the gas, you’re driving, no matter how loudly you repeatedly scream “I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to drive yet!” out the window.

  19. paulie Post author

    Paulie, you need to face the fact that Gary Johnson is not going to comment on his possible LP Presidential candidacy no matter how often you ping him about it.

    I have only pinged the campaign once, earlier this evening.

    My exact message was

    Would anyone from the campaign like to officially deny for the record rumors that Gary Johnson is planning on switching to the Libertarian Party race? If the rumors are true, I understand you can’t confirm them and I understand why. However, if the rumors are not true, we can publish a denial. I have been told that some of your campaign staffers have publicly denied the rumors on facebook, but I haven’t been able to track it down.

    Thanks,

    Paulie
    IndependentPoliticalReport.com
    415-690-6352

    The reason I asked is because Chuck Moulton said

    This entry did not mention the multiple people within the Johnson campaign who responded to the earlier LewRockwell.com/IPR piece claiming it was incorrect.

    and

    Sorry, can’t find the link.

    There was a thread on Facebook in some Gary Johnson page/group where someone posted a link to this IPR story. A bunch of people commented including several people who work for Johnson. For one Johnson’s social media director (I forget his name) was adamant that the story was false and Johnson has no intention of ever running with another party.

    …and that is where is stands at present.

    As far as Lee Wrights or any other candidate for the LP Presidential nomination is concerned, is it really a surprise if they have negative reactions to Johnson’s possible entry? After all, there appears to be near-universal agreement that Johnson would become the instant frontrunner if he threw his hat in the ring. The already-announced candidates have invested a lot of time and effort into their races, and are unlikely to appreciate having all that go to waste. So it’s a little difficult for them to adopt a dispassionate viewpoint regarding Gary Johnson.

    This is true. Nevertheless, I have asked them and will publish their responses if they provide them.

    Some may provide an answer more like Wayne’s, as in “I welcome the competition” and some may be more along the lines of Lee Wrights; we’ll see if any of them answer when and if they do so.

  20. Andy

    Jeremy said: “Also, Gravel will not be the LP nominee for anything. He has declared himself to be a Truther; that, sadly, is the end of anyone taking him seriously. (Even though I still think he is a great American patriot.)”

    Being a 9/11 Truther should be regarded as positive for any candidate. It shows that they don’t fall for government propaganda easily.

    The legitimate reasons for the Libertarian Party to not nominate Gravel as a candidate were his stances on Social Security and health care.

    The Libertarian Party has already had 9/11 Truther candidates, such a 2004 Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik and 2000 Vice Presidential candidate Art Olivier.

    The 9/11 Truth Movement is many times larger than the Libertarian Party. 9/11 Truthers are ripe picking for the Libertarian Party because they are already skeptical of government and are anti-war and pro-civil liberties. The Libertarian Party should reach out to 9/11 Truthers, not push them away.

    Look at Jesse Ventura. He’s a former Mayor and a former Governor and he’s also a 9/11 Truther. He’s got a big following and I’d be willing to bet money that if he ran for President that he could get millions of votes.

  21. Andy

    “2000 Vice Presidential candidate Art Olivier.”

    Just in case anyone points this out, I know that Art Olivier ran for Vice President in an election that was held before 9/11/01. My point in bringing him up was to point out that he did a fine job as the LP’s Vice Presidential candidate in 2000 and he also happens to be a person who sees through the government propaganda about 9/11 and is not afraid to talk about it.

  22. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Weiner @ 29: Then again, this could all be part of Wayne’s machiavellian plan to get the nomination, but his plan is so deep and subtle that the rest of us can’t comprehend how that ploy would work.

    Knapp @ 30: They could just as easily suggest that [Root] knows it’s very unlikely that Johnson will run LP, and that making nice noises about Johnson is therefore an easy way to ingratiate himself with those who wish Johnson would run LP

    Past history indicates that @ 30 is the likely explanation.

    Recall that in fall 2008, after securing the LP VP nomination, Root offered to step down and give his nomination to Ron Paul.

    It was a meaningless gesture, because the various states’ election laws made it impossible to replace Root’s name with Paul at that late date.

    It was a PR move on Root’s (and Barr’s) part.

    Suggesting that this latest statement is also a PR move.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    27 p, thanks, that’s where I’d put them intuitively as well.

    Another thought on viability: Notice how Gingrich gets invited to all the debates. Former Speaker, that’s it, left in 1999. Yet, still, he’s considered formidable. Mostly because he’s STILL perceived as a player. He gets on the talk shows and does the wonk circuit.

    This despite all his personal drama.

    GJ hasn’t done much high-profile stuff since he left the Governorship, at least that I can see.

    To get and keep a high profile takes a lot of work and energy.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    As for this idea that Root actually doesn’t want GJ to come over to the LP, I doubt it. He has to know that the LP needs a lot more people, including actual pols, if it’s to go anywhere.

    Sometimes, people do/say the “right” thing because it’s “right” and they benefit in the process.

    Sometimes, people do/say the “right” thing because it’s “right,” regardless of their personal preferences, calculations, machinations.

    I’ve done both, but the latter always feels best.

  25. Pingback: Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  26. NewFederalist

    Hasn’t Wayne Root always said that his plan to win the presidency is focussed on the 2016 election?

  27. eric sundwall

    Very little incentive for Johnson to convert. Better to fight for the mantle from Rand in 2016. Obama wins btw . . .

    Hard to see the Passion of the Credible Moderate get 15% for the Debate Commission. But let the dreamers dream I guess. May the best case for Liberty be the delegates motto.

    Obama takes NY is my prediction. I’ll grab sigs for any LP nominee . . . it was quite amusing to see the voter reaction to Barr/Root in 2008.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@36,

    “As for this idea that Root actually doesn’t want GJ to come over to the LP, I doubt it.”

    I just re-scanned the comments on this thread, and yours seems to be the first one that detectibly expresses “this idea.”

    Why bring an idea that you “doubt,” and that no one else has endorsed, into a discussion?

  29. JT

    Paulie: “OnTheIssues.org scores Johnson at 70/70 on their expanded Nolan Quiz/chart; that is in the libertarian quintile, but near the bottom of it (close to centrist) and right down the middle on the left-right scale. That is about exactly where I thought he would be.

    They score Ron Paul at 70 social, 80 economic – just very slightly to the right of Johnson and very slightly more libertarian.”

    I thought it was odd that RP would be scored at only 80 economically, so I checked it out. That quiz has problems.

    For example, one of the statements is “Make Income Tax Flatter And Lower.” That quiz assumes a hard-core libertarian would “strongly support” that. But RP is considered equal to a hard-core liberal and a hard-core authoritarian on that one because he doesn’t support that–he wants to repeal the income tax entirely.

    Another statement is “Continue Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, Others.” That quiz has RP as “strongly support”?! That’s so obviously false that I can’t fathom how that mistake could be made.

    Yet another statement is “Support and Expand Free Trade.” That quiz has RP as “opposed,” presumably because he doesn’t support so-called “free trade agreements.” Yet he favors removing all legal barriers to trade, thus making it truly free and expanding it.

    As far as GJ, I have similar concerns. As to the statement “Require Companies To Hire More Women/Minorities,” that quiz has him at “support.” Is this true? I’ve never heard him say that the government should dictate hiring decisions to privately owned companies. The income tax question is misleading for him too.

    Eric: “Obama takes NY is my prediction.”

    You’re really going out on a limb there, Eric. Here’s my prediction: the Republican nominee takes Texas.

  30. paulie Post author

    Better to fight for the mantle from Rand in 2016.

    Rand has his first Senate reelection in 2016. He’ll probably need to wait for at least 2020 for a presidential run. Johnson’s best shot would be 2016, if he waits it out.

    Hard to see the Passion of the Credible Moderate get 15% for the Debate Commission.

    With enough money and media, it could easily happen.

  31. Robert Capozzi

    40 tk, OK, I’d also say that the idea that this was a solely “free shot” for Root to ingratiate himself is also doubtful. It’s possible it was a consideration.

    ‘Course, I don’t read minds! 😉

  32. Robert Capozzi

    …more….

    My larger point is these sorts of calculations are dysfunctional. Look for the win/win/win in all things…it’s always there, often hiding in plain sight.

  33. eric sundwall

    @42 “With enough money and media, it could easily happen.”

    from 39 – “Hard to see . . . ”

    @41 . . . um yeah. But I could imagine Texas flipping before NY.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@43,

    I don’t read minds either. I’m not claiming to know what Root “really thinks.” I’m just observing that his response to the prospect of Johnson entering the LP nomination race is tactically beneficial to his own prospects, whether he “really means it” or not.

  35. paulie Post author

    “Hard to see . . . ”

    Why?

    It’s not hard for me to see.

    Bloomberg has billions, Patraeus has war general cachet.

    There’s more gridlock coming between Obama and Congress between now and the election.

    They will run on the idea that the Democrats and Republicans are both too extreme and they’ll promise to break the gridlock. New media will eat it up.

    72% in polls have said they would consider voting for an alternative party or independent. Existing ones are ideologically extreme and broke. AE will be middle of the road and have as much or money money than the other two.

    Perot led in the polls before dropping out the first time he ran. He never led after dropping back in, but he showed it’s possible.

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