On Saturday April 24, Libertarian National Committee Chair candidates Ernest Hancock and Wayne Root debated at the LP state convention in Kansas. Each said he was scared by the prospect of the other being Chair:
Hancock said: “I’m afraid of Wayne getting exactly what he promises. He will be the face of the LP if he gets LNC Chair. Everything he says will be seen as the Libertarian Party philosophy. To all the millions that will hear it, that will be it. I, as LNC Chair — it won’t be about me. It will be us, all over. And you want to know how it happens? The R3VOLution. You think that was an accident?”
Root later responded: “You talk about the face of the LP and what I’m going to do when I get to Washington — it isn’t going to make us the party that believes in 9/11 Truth. Can you imagine what would happen to the LP the next day if Ernie’s elected chairman, and the radical idea that the government and George Bush asked those planes to go into the World Trade Center and kill 3,000 Americans? Are we out of our minds? Is that what you want the LP to be about?”
Hancock told the audience: “I will not back off from this 9/11 investigation. Will he?” Root responded: “Abso-freaking-lutely. I’d run away from it like a train on the tracks. If you want to destroy this Party, name a national chairman who believes that 9/11 was an inside job by the government.” Hancock rebutted by saying “if we’re not out there telling the Truth on things like 9/11” then the LP is “not relevant”.
Ernest Hancock has posted videos of the debates. Here are links and highlights:
- Root: Tea Parties are a unique opportunity for the LP.
- Hancock: I am nothing like the Tea Parties. Fox News misrepresents them.
- Hancock: The LP was founded for challenging the cult of the omnipotent state, not for winning elections.
- Root: A poll of Tea Partiers reported their preferred party is LP.
- Hancock: Libertarianism is already sweeping the country. Get in front of the parade.
- Root: What’s sweeping the country is moderate libertarianism — John Stossel, Glenn Beck.
- Root: Must expand LP beyond white male already-libertarians.
- Hancock: Tea Parties are “controlled opposition” and a “psy op”. We suck in Tea Partiers by giving them Obama Deception DVDs. Beck has already endorsed Mitt Romney for 2012. [IPR fact-check: Beck merely forecast Romney as the only announced Republican who could win in 2012. Beck had called Romney a "socialist” only a day earlier.]
- Root: Ron Paul appeals to all the demographics I want us to pursue. Mark Rutherford and I “are the adult candidates” who will make the LP relevant again.
- Hancock: parents at my kids’ Christian school were eventually won over by my consistent radicalism.
- Hancock: Candidate training by LPUS? No, just stay out of the way and hold up good examples.
- Root: I reach millions on talk radio. My radio guests have included Ron Paul four times, John Stossel, Glenn Beck.
- Hancock: I’ve interviewed Stossel, G. Gordon Liddy, Sam Donaldson, Tony Snow. I’m afraid that Root will be seen by millions as the face of the LP.
- Root: I will campaign for our local LP candidates, and raise money for them.
- Root: I started out as a Goldwater/Reagan conservative, and I can help America make that transition too.
- Hancock: My goal is for the LP to not need to exist. “It won’t happen all at once, but it will happen overnight.” Get out of the LPUS HQ lease.
- Root: The LP needs to work hard and plan patiently, like my plan to get my home-schooled daughter accepted into Harvard and Stanford.
- Hancock: I recognized the New World Order in my 20s, before I knew the term. I’ve been trying to expose the Truth ever since.
- Hancock: I’m not in this to be national Chair. I’m in this to set a standard for libertarianism. A lot of people know what’s expected of me. That’s where a lot of my financial support comes from. It’s from hardcore no-compromise wealthy libertarians that are begging to give money to the Party if it will actually represent libertarianism.
- Hancock: Is the LNC going to say Ernie can’t go out and be libertarian? Ernie can’t go and keep doing what he’s doing? Is that written somewhere?
- Root: I’m scared of naming a Chair that advocates 9/11 Truth. I will target small business owners as donors.
- Hancock: Jesse Ventura talks about 9/11. I don’t need to know whether a conspiracy theory is true. I just need to know: can they? If so, then what’s the moral hurdle for them not to? I will not back off from 9/11. Will he?
- Root: Abso-freaking-lutely. Ventura killed his presidential chances with one gaffe, saying religion is the opiate of the masses. Then he grew a ponytail and went surfing in Mexico.
- Root: Sara Palin is not a libertarian. I basically agree with Ron Paul, but he’s too strident on a few issues.
- Hancock: I need the Libertarian Party to be libertarian. If we’re not out there telling the Truth on things like 9/11, the drug war, foreign policy, then we are not relevant. We need to be clear on what libertarianism is.
- Root: We’re not relevant, but Tea Parties are. I emphasize the libertarian issues that resonate: end the IRS, follow the Constitution, no universal healthcare adding to $100T in unfunded liabilities, pensions for government employees — that’s our single best issue.
- Hancock: I’m not afraid to advocate a libertarian society. We should care less what the media think.
- Hancock: We have a totally different perspective on what the LP should be. Moderation has been the problem.
Hancock and Root debated again the same day at the LP Indiana state convention, in a four-way debate that included John Jay Myers and James Oaksun standing in for George Phillies. A subsequent IPR article will cover that debate.