Bruce Cohen: Gary Johnson Announces Libertarian Presidential Bid

Bruce Cohen’s post-announcement coverage published on his blog and submitted to IPR:

Gary Johnson had his much anticipated Press Conference this morning at 10 AM Mountain Time in the Capitol Rotunda of New Mexico.

He formally ‘left’ the GOP yesterday, and has absolutely milked every drop of PR possible out of the process of changing parties.

Good for him.

Gary clearly brings a new standard of quiet and professional competence and confidence to both the Libertarian Party and the 2012 Presidential Race.

Gary has all of the positives you can say about any of the Candidates in the other two parties, with none of the negatives.

Gary has none of the racist skeletons in his closet that Ron Paul has and none of the Socialist/Big Government skeletons of Romney and Gingrich.

What he does have is a track record of successful Governorship of New Mexico. He spoke today of having vetoed more Bills than every other Governor combined in the other 49 states.

Gary clearly counts better than Obama, who has the USA with 57.

Gary is also clearly pro Israel. He clearly pointed out that his position on Israel is one of the three major points he differs with Congressman Paul on.

Governor Johnson said: “Israel is and has been an important Military Ally.”
‘It’s naive to think that Israel won’t address the Iranian problem.’

‘The US should not give Foreign Aid to Israel.’

‘I wholeheartedly support …continuing to be Israel’s Ally Militarily.’ (order of sentence halves reversed for clarity)

Gary wants to cut the Military Budget by 43%. He pointed out this only turns the budget clock back seven years. He also proposed that Military Alliances that cost money are not ‘Foreign Aid’.

Gary took many digs at Obama and Paul, not the least of which was when he stated: “It’s not the messenger, it’s the message – it’s the agenda”, challenging the cult of personality.

Governor Johnson came across as humble, thoughtful, humorous, relaxed and confident.

Early on, he threw a lot of red meat to the Libertarian crowd stating, “The LP is the Third Party!”  He further pointed out 61% of Americans are willing to vote Third Party.

Gary made the case for the Fair Tax, and while I personally disagree, his point that it was ‘the best of the worst’, and his explanations of how it would be an improvement over the current system are very persuasive and certainly could resonate with voters at least as much as the Herman Cain 9-9-9 plan.

Viewership of the live feed rose steadily throughout the Press Conference that began promptly on schedule. This is in direct contradiction to all LP events starting on ‘Libertarian Standard Time’.

I caught the feed when it was in the high 600s, ending up at over 1850 viewers.
He raised $8,675.31 raised from 103 donors at end of Conference. Total event fundraising traditionally will be much higher than the first final number.

The Chairman of the Libertarian Party and several other Libertarians, notably California LP Candidate and big Marijuana Legalization guy Steve Collet were in the Audience.

Gary wants to immediately withdraw from Afghanistan, is against Eminent Domain for the Keystone Pipeline, and for term limits and free markets.

The free market thing may be the fourth place where he and Ron Paul differ, since it seems that Gary is not against NAFTAesque treaties.

The audience was smallish, but enthusiastic, and kept the Governor on his toes with a wide variety of questions.

Governor Johnson for President Website:

Note: as of 45 minutes post Conference: $10,141.32 raised from 112 donors.

Copyright December 2011 – Bruce Cohen
All Rights Reserved
Reprint rights granted with credit given.

30 thoughts on “Bruce Cohen: Gary Johnson Announces Libertarian Presidential Bid

  1. Steven R Linnabary

    Ray Davis needs to get out of his Mom’s basement, away from the keyboard and get out and meet the constituents he wants to represent.

    I’m getting tired of his irrelevant spamming of BAN & IPR.


  2. paulie Post author

    Bruce, a lot of this is more of a personal editorial than a story about what Johnson said.

    I agree. Also, I already covered this story today and it does not concern any other alt parties besides LP. Holding this for a final decision by Trent, in the meantime it can only be viewed by IPR writers.

  3. paulie Post author

    After discussion with Bruce I am posting this under my byline while indicating him separately as the author.

    Bruce disputes that the article is editorial and also pointed out that it is a post-announcement article, unlike the article I published earlier during the course of the live broadcast.

  4. Kleptocracy And You

    Currently I have but two questions. How many 31 cents go into $200,000 ? I think Phillies reported elsewhere GJ’s campaign is $200,000 in debt according to official FEC records. That is $0.32, I apologize ! Geez who are the penny donaters-lol? I guess the old saying is true among GJ supporters (every penny COUNTS). Oh well I can tell now which way the WAR “troops” are moving …..

  5. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Johnson/Root 2012?

    I can’t vote for ANY ticket with Root on it.

    It’s too bad if it is Johnson/Root in 2012, because I could vote for Johnson otherwise.

  6. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Bruce Cohen, quoting Johnson:

    ‘The US should not give Foreign Aid to Israel.’

    ‘I wholeheartedly support …continuing to be Israel’s Ally Militarily.’ (order of sentence halves reversed for clarity)

    The meaning of this is unclear.

    If the U.S. was to cease funding Israel (i.e., subsidizing its military), what would a “military alliance” with Israel look like?

    Other than the fact that Israel is NOT a formal ally of the U.S. As others have pointed out, the U.S. and Israel have never signed any kind of formal alliance.

    So Johnson is wrong to say that we should “continue” our military alliance with Israel, because there is nothing to continue.

    He wants to cease funding Israel, but “continue” that which does not exist?

    Yes, I realize that just about every Congress person says that Israel is “our great ally” even though Israel is not even an ally. Weird.

  7. Jill Pyeatt

    If this isn’t an editorial, then what is? Posting it this way was a much better solution.

  8. Andy

    “Gary made the case for the Fair Tax”

    This issue alone is a good reason for the Libertarian Party to REJECT Gary Johnson as a candidate for President.

  9. Mario Conde

    Johnson/Root will happen in 2012. Root has gone on the record saying that he was involved in convincing Gary to switch to the LP. Root has interviewed Johnson on the radio in La Vegas. That’s how I go met Gary Johnson and liked very much his positions. Like him or not, Root has attracted a lot of media awarness and would be logical if Gary picks someone that is visible to the National media rather than some unknown Libertarian.

    I endorse a Johnson/Root ticket since its the most logical thing to do in 2012.

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    We should support Ireland. Great writers and great beer, plus some good whiskey. And those red haired women. I’ll tell you a story some time about a Libertarian presidential candidate from the past who has an eye for red haired women. Unbelievable!

  11. boorat

    It’s a shame that Johnson has apparently spent so much time having his head crammed with Zionist lies by the likes of Cohen and Root.

    He’s been so busy with the Israel agitprop he hasn’t had time to learn anything about SOPA or NDAA.

  12. George Phillies

    @10 What would a military alliance look like, if the American ally were not a defense welfare clients? For example, it would like the military alliance between the United States and France: NATO.

    Such things do exist. I am not saying it would be a good idea in this case.

  13. Joe

    I drove down from Park City Utah and was here for both the announcement in the state capitol building and the reception at the El Dorado hotel.

    While both Gary and his campaign manager looked, at times, exhausted (as was I — it was a long drive on two-lane roads) — the enthusiasm of the crowd and Gary’s ability to quickly, and with something close to libertarian purity, respond to a wide variety of questions, left me excited for the convention in May.

    I’d love to see Ron Paul, Jesse Ventura and others show up there and have a real debate (BTW – I’m also impressed with the google video debate performances of Lee Wrights, RJ Harris and others that I’ve seen online).

    It seems to me this kind of pre-convention energy, excitement and commitment could be a tipping point for the LP in this and future elections. At least I hope so.

    That said, it sure looks like nothing can stop the mindless expansion of the TSA, the explosion of debt, the decline of liberty on the planet, and what seems to me to be transnational corporate military domination.

    Frankly I find myself frightened for the future of my kids and grandkids and wonder if anything can reverse these trends. The idea that Ron Paul and Gary Johnson can take the risks involved in opposing those forces is true inspiration.

    That’s why I drove down here, and that’s what I felt in full measure yesterday.


  14. Bruce Cohen

    Fundraising Update:
    $19,973.68 raised from 202 donors
    Gary Johnson Campaign Opening Effort

  15. Common Tater

    “and with something close to libertarian purity,”

    I don’t think that Gary Johnson’s answers were close to libertarian purity. His support of the Fair Tax is certainly NOT libertarian at all.

  16. Joe

    Common @23 —

    I guess I was caught up in the left/right issues balance as I heard it. Libertarian on more than just economic issues.

    I’ll confess ignorance of the relative merits of Fair verses Flat verses National Sales verses various other forms of taxation. . . I’ve been uninterested in those as one who simply advocates zero-force.

    I remember several years ago when the LP had (as I remember) two platforms — one based on ideals/principles; and another articulated as transitional positions to get us from here to there.

    Would the Fair Tax not fit in that second category?

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joe @24,

    “I remember several years ago when the LP had (as I remember) two platforms — one based on ideals/principles; and another articulated as transitional positions to get us from here to there.

    Would the Fair Tax not fit in that second category?”

    Short answer: No, it wouldn’t.

    Longer answer:

    – “Fair” Tax advocates claim it is reveue-neutral. In other words, it will not reduce the amount of money that the government extracts from the economy in general or, on average, from your pocket.

    – “Fair” Tax advocates claim that (due to the “prebate”) it is just as “progressive” as the existing income tax. So to the extent that the income tax is redistributive, the “Fair” Tax is exactly as bad.

    – The “Fair” Tax “prebate” feature is falsely advertised as an “advance rebate” on taxes paid — but it isn’t. It is not conditioned on payment of the tax in any particular amount, or for that matter at all. It is just a government welfare program — one under which every man, woman and child in the US would get a check from Uncle Sugar every month. And as you can probably figure out for yourself, one consequence of government giving out checks is that doing so creates a powerful constituency for keeping those checks coming, and keeping the amount of the check growing.

    There are other down sides to the “Fair” Tax (among other things it would likely be the final stake through the heart to the US auto and homebuilding industries), but those three in particular make it very clear that the “Fair” Tax is not “transitional” toward freedom.

  18. Bill Blair


    I agree. I may joke about the LP and Johnson, but I actually would vote for GJ in 2012 if he gets nominated. I’m not a Libertarian or a party member, but I do like the guy a lot.

    But with Root? Noooooo way.

  19. Ayn R. Key

    I’ll grant every single criticism of Gary Johnson so far offered in this thread and say one good thing about him anyway – he’s still more libertarian than either member of our 2008 presidential ticket.

  20. paulie Post author

    I remember several years ago when the LP had (as I remember) two platforms — one based on ideals/principles; and another articulated as transitional positions to get us from here to there.

    Would the Fair Tax not fit in that second category?

    No, it would move us away from liberty. See among other things.

  21. Robert Capozzi

    29 A, if you have a list of litmus tests, please share.

    For ex., I seem to recall you are a Truther, or a Truther symp, yes? If so, can an LP prez candidate not be a Truther, or must s/he be rejected?

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