Gary Johnson Says He Hasn’t Discounted Running as a Republican in the Future

On June 11th, Gary Johnson hosted an hour-long Google Hangout sponsored by his political advocacy committee, Our America Initiative. Typically, the former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate hosts one Hangout a month.

Yours truly got the opportunity to talk to Gary for a little under seven minutes. I asked him about endorsing David Earl Williams III, a Ron Paul Republican running for Congress in Illinois’s 9th district (who voted for Gary Johnson in the 2012 presidential election and who has attended one Libertarian Party of Chicago meetup so far) and about whether or not Gary plans on running for office in the future. Gary mentioned he hadn’t completely ruled out a Senate run in 2014 and also added that he hasn’t discounted running as a Republican in the future.

Here is the full hour-long Google Hangout:

28 thoughts on “Gary Johnson Says He Hasn’t Discounted Running as a Republican in the Future

  1. Oranje Mike

    The message is what is important not the party. So long as he does not change his tune to accommodate the GOP. Actually, with his support of the so called “Fair Tax” the GOP is probably a better home for him. He could really shine in their small liberty wing.

  2. NewFederalist

    According to a similar article over at BAN Johnson HAS ruled out a Senate run.

  3. Daddyfatsax

    I remember being at dinner with Gary at a fundraiser with 40 people or so, and he specifically said he is NOT going to run as anything but a Libertarian. This is a bit disturbing, as I like to take people at their word, and hold it against them when they break it. We’ll see, but I won’t support any candidate in the GOP or DEM party if there is a Libertarian to support. Like Wayne Allen Root said so plainly, “It has to be Romney”…which is why he is a republican and I am NOT.

  4. Sam Kress

    He did previously reassure us on more than one occasion that he is in the LP to stay. I guess that’s what we get for trusting a politician. I realize some of you never trusted him, of course.

  5. Dave

    Johnson would be odd to try a senate run now. Polling showed that had he gone for it in 2012?(I forget if the seat was up then or 2010) He’d have easily won the Republican primary and the general. Now though, I’m fairly sure he’s burned any bridge he had with the Republicans, and doubt he’d make it through a primary. Him running as a Libertarian could be interesting, but he’d almost certainly not win.

    Frankly, I’d prefer he run for president again as a Libertarian. He knows the GOP primary is a dead end for him. He could probably crack 1% against someone other than Obama.

  6. Sam Kress

    He is talking about running for Governor or President as a Republican, not Senate. He should know that will not fly in the Republican Party, but apparently doesn’t.

  7. Jared King

    The GOP wouldn’t have him. He may have not ruled out again running as a Republican, but they have.

    GJ, just run as a Libertarian, for ANYTHING. President, Senate, Congress, Mayor, Water Commisioner, whatever. But don’t even bother with the GOP.

  8. langa

    This reminds me of someone who sees their significant other openly flirting with other people and making no attempt to hide it, but instead of putting a stop to it, they just wring their hands and think to themselves, “Boy, maybe if I’m really nice to him/her, they won’t leave me!”

    Will the LP continue to be Johnson’s cuckold? Stay tuned to find out!

  9. paulie

    GRRRR.

    If he does that I will never support another party crossover politician ever again.

    Enough is enough.

    We do not need to be a temporary refuge for disgruntled Republicans, but a party separate and distinct from others. Yes we should welcome people crossing over, but to have them become our standard bearers right away and then go right back time after time is just unacceptable.

    I really thought Johnson would be different in this regard for a variety of reasons. Obviously I gave him too much credit.

  10. Steven Wilson

    All politicians are Vain glorious. Why should Johnson be any different?

    What future could he have in third party?

    Pathfinder maybe, but I can’t imagine him winning anything as a republican if we use the current RP as a measurement.

    If I were consulting him, I would pick a race where a Democrat had done well and started marketing his social stances on drugs and civil liberties. Then back door the possible conservatives in the voting area by speaking about his budgetary moves as Governor of New Mexico.

    Johnson had a great record while in New Mexico and it was not used enough. His staff nor the media talked about it enough to start a brand.

    I think voters would except a momentary lapse of reason kind of excuse for running as a third party Libertarian candidate.

    He does an interview explaining his anger and disgust about his treatment, gets X amount of sympathy, bingo…right back to office.

    Johnson needs the spotlight. The person who gets America back to top spot would be famous forever. That is a lot of vanity to feed.

  11. bruce a smith

    Paulie I am with you on this. But I am not sure we learn our lesson. Ron Paul. Bob Barr. Etc. Only time will tell with Johnson.

  12. Dave

    I for one am glad Ron Paul went back to being a Republican. Had he stayed with the LP, many would not have given him the time of day, myself included.

    The moment I woke up was in that 2008 debate. Until then I had been supporting McCain, but something about Paul’s message was really refreshing to hear. I read up a bit and discovered the fallacies in our policies, and broke free from the two party cycle. I’m pretty sure that would not have happened without his influence. So from a pure”liberty” standpoint, Ron had more success running as a Republican. Though I do wish he would have ran on the LP once he lost the nomination. Preferably in both elections.

    Barr of course was a grave mistake. Gravel would have been better. I don’t think he’s gone back to the dems, has he?

  13. langa

    Gravel was at least as bad as Barr. At the convention debate, he couldn’t even bring himself to say that he was against national health care!

  14. Dave

    Ugh. Well in that case, maybe Ruwart was the correct choice, heh heh.

    Anyway, I’d prefer Johnson to stay with the LP. I’d like to see another run from him, and he’s going nowhere in the GOP, at least with the bigger offices. . But If the choice somehow becomes having Johnson in congress as a Republican and having him lose but earn double digits in that race as an Libertarian, I can see why he’d be tempted.

  15. bruce a smith

    I like Ron Paul too. Gladly voted for him 1988, 2008 and 2012 no regrets with those votes. Truethat Ron has been more successful outside the LP in advancing the cause of liberty.

  16. Mike Kane

    This guy is a moron.

    He couldn’t even tell viewers what kind of tax status OAI has.

  17. Mike Kane

    If you wrote letters out as purported head of an organization, wouldn’t you read them top to bottom first?

  18. Andy

    “langa // Jun 14, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Gravel was at least as bad as Barr. At the convention debate, he couldn’t even bring himself to say that he was against national health care!”

    Yeah, while Gravel was good in some areas where Bob Barr was not, he had quite a few deviations from libertarianism himself. Not only was he in favor of national healthcare, he also supported the Social Security System. YUCK!

  19. Andy

    Dave said: “Gravel would have been better. I don’t think he’s gone back to the dems, has he?”

    I’m not sure if Gravel has gone back to the Democratic Party or not, but he abandoned the Libertarian Party not too long after the LP National Convention in 2008, so this should tell you how serious he was about the LP.

  20. Jill Pyeatt

    What is it about politicians who refuse to retire? I think both Barr and Gravel realized they weren’t useful anymore to their respective parties, so they tried us out. I didn’t think that was the case with Gary Johnson, but I’m afriad kit might be the case for Glen Beck (although I realize the latter two aren’t of retirement age.)

    Two politicians I desperately wish would retire are Diane Feinstein and John “McSenile” McCain. I doubt that I’ll get much argument for that here.

  21. Steven R Linnabary

    Barr of course was a grave mistake. Gravel would have been better. I don’t think he’s gone back to the dems, has he?

    No, but he HAS started talking a lot about UFO’s.

    SMH

  22. Mark Axinn

    It’s way too soon to write GJ off or to be pissed at him if he refiles as a Republican.

    He ran a terrific campaign with far better results than his predecessors, but as he has not been in the LP for a long time like many of us, he was gravely disappointed at his 1% return.

    Let’s see what transpires. Regardless of what he does next, I am grateful for his service to our Party in 2012.

  23. Andy

    Mark Axin said: “He ran a terrific campaign with far better results than his predecessors,”

    The Gary Johnson campaign did not have better electoral results than the Ed Clark campaign of 1980 in terms of what percent of the vote was achieved, and percent of the vote is actually more important than number of votes (note that the population has increased a lot since 1980).

  24. Mark Axinn

    Andy–

    Clark’s figures were a direct response to Koch’s ability to spend with abandon on that campaign.

    I would argue that Johnson did a better job, abeit not sufficient, of putting us on the political map in 2012 than the Clark/Koch ticket did in 1980.

  25. paulie

    What future could he have in third party?

    Quite a future, actually. Takes a bit of vision though. None in the Republican Party, they will not forgive his LP run.

    But I am not sure we learn our lesson. Ron Paul. Bob Barr. Etc. Only time will tell with Johnson.

    Exactly.

    I for one am glad Ron Paul went back to being a Republican. Had he stayed with the LP, many would not have given him the time of day, myself included.

    Ron Paul’s social views are more compatible with GOP than Gary Johnson’s. He will be at home in neither party if he keeps going back and forth.

    Gravel would have been better. I don’t think he’s gone back to the dems, has he?

    Well, he hasn’t stayed in the LP.

    Ugh. Well in that case, maybe Ruwart was the correct choice, heh heh.

    Yes, better than the others that year, except for Kubby.

    Anyway, I’d prefer Johnson to stay with the LP.

    Likewise, but only if he ditches this going back to the Republicans talk once and for all and makes clear he will not do that in a public way. Otherwise, meh.

    I’d like to see another run from him, and he’s going nowhere in the GOP, at least with the bigger offices.

    Yeah, he does not mesh with them. John Mills (friends with Mary J. Ruwart) commented on LP Testing Page’s link.
    John wrote: “I have never understood why libertarians think they are going to seize control of the Republican Party. Frankly, it’s way more likely they could gain attention in the Democratic Party. I think it’s their boundless gullibility. Democrats have at least the advantage of honesty. They will tell you to your face: “Hey, I’m going to take your money and give it to my friends.” The Republicans do that, but lie about it. Honest Republicans will tell you they have no interest in smaller government. Rather they see the role of government as making the world safe for big business, and restraining social change. The conservative philosophy is real. It is deeply and sincerely held by the vast bulk of Republicans. It is fundamentally at odds with libertarianism. Libertarians just don’t seem interested in acknowledging that fact. If it were possible to supplant the conservatives and gain control of the Republican Party, the conservatives will leave and quit supporting it. They are not going to just acknowledge the superiority of libertarian policy over conservative policy. And, when the conservatives leave, the party will be incapable of winning elections and all the effort will have been made for naught. A far more likely strategy for success is to abandon the R party (as many of the Paul supporters finally did in 2012) and to simply do the hard work of building an alternative. That’s likely to be a more successful strategy for a number of reasons outlined here: http://www.policymic.com/articles/20024/libertarians-are-the-only-hope-for-american-business-and-republicans-to-be-competitive-again

    [/Mills]

    . But If the choice somehow becomes having Johnson in congress as a Republican and having him lose but earn double digits in that race as an Libertarian, I can see why he’d be tempted.

    I’d rather see him get good results as a Libertarian than be elected as a Republican. Also, he said he is not interested in Congress and I don’t think he would win as a Republican either.

    No, but he HAS started talking a lot about UFO’s.

    Cool! About time someone did 🙂

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