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Johnson Says He’s Been Vetted by the Libertarian Party

Over at the New York Times blog, The Caucus, Gary Johnson has been interviewed and delivers some key messages on the future of his candidacy. He also states how he feels about his nomination chances.

Q. How confident are you that you will get the Libertarian Party nomination for president?

A. I should get the nomination. I’ve been to 11 state conventions where there has been a debate among presidential candidates followed by a straw poll. And the worst I’ve done is 75 percent of the vote. So I’ve been vetted by the Libertarian Party.

Q. Do you think running first for the Republican nomination helped give you name recognition?

A. Yes. No, I do. The message is unchanged. It’s always been about the message. I think what I’m saying is similar to Ron Paul‘s. For all of what’s said about Ron Paul, support for Ron Paul has doubled from 2008. I don’t think that’s been really well recognized. When his candidacy comes to an end — and I’m believing he’s not going to be the nominee — then where does this message go from there? Well, in the context of being a messenger, I think he and I are saying the same thing. It’s better that he sticks in this and continues to talk about this up until the convention. I think that’s beneficial.

Johnson’s visits to eleven state conventions in which there were straw polls does stand in stark contrast to Bob Barr, who entered the race just prior to the 2008 convention.


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Trent Hill


  1. Steven Wilson Steven Wilson May 2, 2012

    Is this the same LP that vetted Bob Barr, Wayne Root, and Mark Hinkle?

    Charles Manson would’ve made a wonderful camp counselor. End Quote. New York come in!

  2. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | May 2, 2012

    I’d say everyone felt they didn’t get the opportunity to vet Barr.

  3. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi May 2, 2012

    2 th, true. Given the haste with which things unfolded, Barr didn’t get to vett Barr. He’d not even thought through some major issues and his record on those issues.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp May 2, 2012

    Barr announced late, but it’s not like he hadn’t been around the LP for several years by then, and very much an object of its attention before that.

    Lack of vetting was not the problem with Barr.

  5. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi May 2, 2012

    4 tk, true. Point is I see no evidence that he’d thought through things like what his role in DOMA, for ex., implied for him being the LP’s standardbearer. He was a work in progress, undoing decades of wrong-minded thinking. He was not ripe to be the LP nominee, and hadn’t prepared himself for that role.

    It’s part of the reason he played the role far below his potential, IMO.

  6. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…it smells… like VICTORY !!!!! –
    Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore – (Air Calvary) Apocalypse Now (played by Robert Duvall)

    NYTimes, the RAG of the establishment on a sniffing trip to see whether Johnson stands a chance in hades. Not now, but we are coming you scumbag lackeys……

  7. Be Rational Be Rational May 2, 2012

    Johnson has been talking, but he hasn’t been listening.

    Apparently no one is taking him the message about the serious elements in his message that is not Libertarian and has been rejected by the LP membership.

    Yes, despite the stink, many sycophants will line up behind him, drooling and puckering.

    But, Gary Johnson and the LP membership will be disappointed again in the end.

    There’s still time for GJ to modify his positions on taxes – replace all taxes with a very low – less than 10% – limited consumption tax, capped and restricted as the only legal tax in the Constitution. No Fair tax and no prebate. And to support non-interventionism as the core of a foreign policy for peace.

    If he doesn’t wake up, he and his deluded band of followers will find they have captured the shell of the LP but not its heart and soul.

  8. Neal Reynolds Neal Reynolds May 3, 2012

    I remember watching the video of the Illinois presidential candidate debate a while back and just assuming afterwards that it was obvious to everyone that Lee Wrights is the best candidate. (This was probably back when Johnson was still trying to be a republican candidate as even though there were about a half dozen candidates I don’t think Johnson was one of them.)

    I’m very disappointed to find out that the LP is apparently going to pull another Barr.

  9. Carol Moore Carol Moore May 3, 2012

    Let’s just hope he hears and earful on REAL libertarian views and has a moment of enlightenment and GETS LIBERTARIANISM – preferably before the CSPAN televised debates.

  10. Andy Andy May 4, 2012

    “Thomas L. Knapp // May 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Barr announced late, but it’s not like he hadn’t been around the LP for several years by then, and very much an object of its attention before that.

    Lack of vetting was not the problem with Barr.”

    I disagree. Barr joined the LP in December of 2006. I don’t think that he was ever really “put on the hot seat” as far as being vetted goes. Bob Barr purposely avoided all debates where the questions weren’t known in advance.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp May 4, 2012

    Andy @10,

    There’s a difference between “we didn’t vet him” and “we ignored what we found out when we vetted him.”

    The latter, not the former, was the problem with Barr.

    It’s true that Barr only joined the LP two years before being nominated.

    So did Harry Browne.

    The differences between them — other, of course, than that Browne was a libertarian while Barr was a conservative — are:

    – Barr endorsed the LP’s candidate four years before he ran himself, while Browne opposed electoral politics right up to the moment he declared for president.

    – Barr served a partial term on the LNC before running for president, while Browne joined the LP and declared for president at the same time.

    – The LP had closely and carefully watched Barr for many years, as an opponent and during his transition from Congress through the ACLU and toward the LP (he was making the front page of LP News when he was still “the enemy”), while Browne was a minor investment celebrity whom a few libertarians admired, but was hardly a center of LP attention at any point prior to running.

    Yes, Barr tried to stay off the hot seat. That itself is a source of information from a vetting perspective. If someone doesn’t want to answer your questions, you can reasonably ascribe that reluctance to the probability that he knows you wouldn’t like the answers.

    The LP’s delegates were warned about Barr repeatedly and at length by the party’s own activists, and chose to ignore those warnings and hope for the best. That, not any lack of vetting, was the problem.

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