Johnson Commits to Sticking Around, Possibly Running Again in 4 Years; Ruwart Says He Is Libertarian

Gary Johnson reportedly said on the debate stage that he was going to be a member of the Libertarian Party for the rest of his life. He also said that, should he lose the race for the nomination (an unlikely prospect), he would run for the office again in 2016.

Additionally, in an interview with Reason, 2008 Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination Mary Ruwart had some positive things to say about Johnson’s libertarian pedigree.

“My initial impressions of Gary Johnson are much more favorable than they were of Bob Barr, who endorsed Newt Gingrich for president,” she said.

When asked if Johnson is a libertarian, Ruwart said she believed he is.

“I would definitely say he is in the libertarian quadrant,” she answered.

Her full statement wasn’t exactly an endorsement–she also said, “We aren’t gaining anything by having a famous person at the top of our ticket, in terms of votes.”

30 thoughts on “Johnson Commits to Sticking Around, Possibly Running Again in 4 Years; Ruwart Says He Is Libertarian

  1. ralph

    Well, aside from Gov. Johnson’s odd gaffe of calling Puerto Rico a territory (See http://www.libertarianinternational.org/?apps/blog/show/?10066866-hon-vito-marcoantonio-libertaria?n-father-of-civil-rights-act-union-healt?hcare-secession-model-puerto-rican-freed?om- on how Libertarians helped it become a free associeted state along with much more) , I thought the Lib Prez debate was gentlemanly, well-informed and very informative. If people have trouble deciding, that’s a problem we want to have! Comments?

  2. Thane Eichenauer

    “We aren’t gaining anything by having a famous person at the top of our ticket, in terms of votes.”

    It doesn’t hurt. Any campaign is a chance, an opportunity. It is up to LP supporters to do all they can to use a campaign as an opportunity to inspire an appreciation of freedom in another heart and mind.

  3. TANSTAAFLUSA

    It looked to me that Gov Johnson did very well at articulating libertarian ideals with a pragmatic twist. Lee Wrights was very very good, and polished, but for POTUS Gov Johnson is the man for the LP, hands down.

  4. Oranje Mike

    I thought Gary Johnson would win on the first ballot but after the debate last night I don’t think it will be the case. Actually, I could see Wrights taking the nomination or, at least, gaining the VP nomination.

  5. VTGADFLY

    Watched the debates last night. Came into it slightly favoring Gary Johnson but liking R L Wrights. Came out of it favoring R L Wrights, but liking Gary Johnson. Both would make great candidates for the LP for different reasons. However, if I was on the floor during the roll call, Mr. Wrights would get a first round vote from me. Gary needs to step up his game a little and I am sure he will. As for the VP nod. Same problem. Judge Gray looks good and its a toss up between the Judge and RLW. It will make an interesting convention today.

  6. Carol Moore

    He’s definitely getting more libertarian after hanging around with all of us the last four months.
    The real job will be KEEPING him as libertarian as he was last night since various statist special interests will of course now be trying to get him to be more statist. And POLITICIANS too often say what the floor wants to get the nomination and then go back to doing whatever the freak they want. Sort of like if I promised not to talk about secession during the nomination and got the nomination. Ha ha ha…. REVOKE YOUR ENDORSEMENT, MFs…

  7. Brian Holtz

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    Increased media exposure for the LP brand is even more important than increased number of votes. As of April 20:

    Google search:
    “Gary Johnson” libertarian: 667,000
    “Lee Wrights” libertarian: 39,600

    Google News archive search:
    “Gary Johnson” libertarian: 1030
    “Lee Wrights” libertarian: 34

    YouTube search:
    “Gary Johnson” libertarian: 717
    “Lee Wrights” libertarian: 66

    YouTube channel views:
    Gary Johnson: 247,629
    Lee Wrights: 6511

    Appearances on national TV shows as a libertarian:
    Gary Johnson: CNN, Colbert Report, Freedom Watch, etc.
    Lee Wrights: 0

    Johnson currently has about two orders of magnitude more media presence than Wrights. Post-nomination, he would probably get at least an order of magnitude more free media than Wrights would as nominee.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@9,

    “Increased media exposure for the LP brand is even more important than increased number of votes.”

    More important? Almost certainly.

    Better? Only if it advances the organization’s goals.

    The LP’s presidential nominee could get all kinds of free media by walking into a sorority house with a chainsaw and coming out soaked in blood, but that probably wouldn’t help much in terms of moving public policy in a libertarian direction.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    10 tk: sorority house with a chainsaw and coming out soaked in blood…

    me: You’ve heard the one about glass half full or empty to suggest optimism or pessimism. There’s a third choice: The glass is Knapp. That’s the absolute worst interpretation of a situation, where the glass is actually a wormhole direct to Hell. Touch and be sucked down into the firey flames for eternity. 😉

  10. Phil

    Weird that she considers him famous. Johnson seems like a nice guy but most people don’t know who the current governor of their own state is. I don’t consider him famous. If he is our nominee we are repeating 2008 but this time with a less bad republican reject.

  11. John Balzer

    LP’s here seem focused on keeping the core message before the American people. That is fine. Gary Johnson is focused on garnering the percentiles needed to bring the message to the forefront in the national debate. Gary Johnson serves the party well and the next few hours and days will be historic.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@10,

    Please stop taking my frequent use of reductio to mean that I’m assessing any particular situation as equivalent to that reductio’s bottom.

    All I was saying is that while the quantity of media exposure is important, the quality is as well.

    Vis a vis Johnson, I’d assess the glass as somewhat less than half full.

    He made it abundantly clear at last night’s debate — by bringing it up repeatedly absent solicitation to — that he intends to make the “Fair” Tax a campaign centerpiece.

    Since the “Fair” Tax is not libertarian in any significant respect, and is anti-libertarian in several significant respects, that’s a big “quality of publicity” negative.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    “Fame” is an interesting concept. I agree with Phil that GJ is not at this time “famous.” Santorum was not “famous” a year ago. Perot wasn’t especially “famous” in the 80s.

    The media is a gatekeeper. If someone is interesting and credible, they may allow them through the gates into large numbers of homes.

    A political party like the LP is auditioning for someone to play a role…national messenger for liberty. Part of the calculation is who has the best chance for the greatest reach?

  14. Brian Holtz

    All I was saying is that while the quantity of media exposure is important, the quality is as well.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious. I’ll forward your memo to the Johnson campaign advising them to avoid media coverage about blood-soaked chainsaws in sorority houses. We’ll see if your skillful use of reductio inspires them to raise their media game to Knappian competence levels.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    14 tk: All I was saying is that while the quantity of media exposure is important, the quality is as well.

    me: Yes, true. There are risks with GJ as candidate. My hope is that to the extent he advocates the FAIR tax, it will be heard by the multitude as “we need simplify the tax system.” Odds are high that that’s what they’ll hear, as wonkish deliberation only happens with few voters and the chattering class.

    The FAIR tax is a weak point for GJ from my perspective, but it’s no chainsaw. If he advocated, say, a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Tehran, THAT would be a chainsaw from my perspective….

  16. zapper

    Johnson has thumbed his nose at the LP with his continued support of the Fair tax and its prebate.

    It’s time for the LP to wake up and reject Johnson on that basis.

    Only one Libertarian choice remains:

    Lee Wrights
    Libertarian for President
    2012

  17. Dylan Hales

    I’ve made the mistake of working with FairTaxer’s before. Many of them mean well, but the Fair Tax misses the mark for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it doesn’t nothing about spending. When you consider the fact that it also makes everyone in the nation a federal welfare recipient, I can’t think of any reasonable reason why the standard bearer of the LP should support it. On a personal level I like Gov. Johnson, and he is far less sickening than Barr, but I won’t vote for him.

  18. Dylan Hales

    I won’t be voting.

    None of the candidates are suitable from where I sit.

    I get accused of being radical and maybe I am, but there are certain minimums I expect out of candidates if I am going to be bothered to cast a vote for them. Goode does not approach them. Johnson is a bit closer, but I don’t trust him to stick to a strict non-interventionist line and the fact that he not only supports the Fair Tax, but wants to make it a major part of his campaign, makes him someone I will not stand in line for.

  19. Trent Hill Post author

    Because he’s running for President with the support of like 12 people!

  20. Darryl W. Perry

    @Trent – it’s not like I listed the 103 other people listed as “independent” on Politics1.com or the America’s Party nominee…

  21. Jed Siple

    How does Duensing’s ballot access drive look? More or less states than ’08?

  22. Dylan Hales

    I am familiar with Jim Duensing. I will not vote for Jim Duensing.

    I had high hopes for the third party options coming into this election. I’m sure by the standards of what some people are looking for, the slate is pretty strong. By the standards of what I’m looking for it is pretty weak

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