Gary Johnson falls over from “heart attack” at CPAC

The short video above shows 2012 (and possible 2016) Libertarian Presidential candidate (and former Republican Governor of New Mexico) Gary Johnson falling over from a “heart attack” as former Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle described the dangers of marijuana, including, she said, increased chances of heart attacks. Johnson and Buerkle were among the panelists discussing the issues of legalization, decriminalization and drug prohibition at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) near DC.

So far, I have found coverage of Johnson’s participation at CPAC at, The Hill, ABC News, MSNBC and the Colorado Springs Gazette.

32 thoughts on “Gary Johnson falls over from “heart attack” at CPAC

  1. paulie Post author

    For the media coverage. It’s good to go to a lot of different kinds of meetings. I don’t think CPAC is all that radical, LOL.

  2. Dave Terry

    Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr. Spock on ‘Star Trek,’ dies

    15 minutes ago

    FILE – In this Aug. 9, 2006 file photo, actor Leonard Nimoy poses for a pho…

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — In 1975, Leonard Nimoy published an autobiography with the defiant title, “I Am Not Spock.” Two decades later, he bowed to fate with “I Am Spock,” a revisionist sequel.

    But for Trekkies and even casual “Star Trek” viewers, Nimoy was always the coolly composed science officer with the pointed ears and an unwavering belief in logic.

    He played a variety of other stage and screen roles, wrote poetry and pursued photography, but Nimoy’s portrayal of Mr. Spock remained indelible and inescapable.

    It wasn’t just the trademark ears or the steeply arched eyebrows — which rose higher when Spock was confronted with disconcerting emotion — or the impressive divided-finger salute or the “Live long and prosper” catchphrase.

    It was how Nimoy staunchly turned what could have been a caricature into a dignified, inspiringly intellectual and even touching figure, a half-human, half-Vulcan who was a multicultural and multiethnic touchstone, well before it was hip.

    For Americans and others who witnessed 1969 U.S. moon landing, and for generations of geeks to come, Spock and “Star Trek” reinforced the power of science and space exploration.

    Nimoy died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home, with family at his side, said his son, Adam Nimoy. He was 83.

    The reaction was swift, on Earth and in space.

    “I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love,” said Shatner, whose often-emotional Captain Kirk was balanced by the composed Nimoy.

    “Live Long and Prosper, Mr. #Spock!” tweeted Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, aboard the International Space Station.

    George Takei, Mr. Sulu of “Star Trek,” called Nimoy a great man and friend.

    “We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to ‘Live Long and Prosper,’ and you indeed did, friend,” Takei said.

    In a 2009 interview with The Associated Press, Leonard Nimoy recalled how an early stage role left him “obsessed” with pursuing work that had a social impact.

    “I’ve fulfilled that dream, including ‘Star Trek,’ for that matter,” he said. “If that’s part of the legacy, then I’m very pleased with that. I would hope the work I chose to do had some reason for being done other than just simply being a job.”

    He said he hoped his work helped people understand their lives and the world.

    After “Star Trek” ended, the actor immediately joined the hit adventure series “Mission Impossible” as Paris, the mission team’s master of disguises.

    From 1976 to 1982, he hosted the syndicated TV series “In Search of … ,” which attempted to probe such mysteries as the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.

    He played Israeli leader Golda Meir’s husband opposite Ingrid Bergman in the TV drama “A Woman Called Golda” and Vincent van Gogh in “Vincent,” a one-man stage show on the troubled painter’s life. He continued to work well into his 70s, playing gazillionaire genius William Bell in the Fox series “Fringe.”

    He also directed several films, including the hit comedy “Three Men and a Baby” and appeared in such plays as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” ”Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” ”Fiddler on the Roof,” ”The King and I,” ”My Fair Lady” and “Equus.” He also published books of poems, children’s stories and his own photographs.

    But he could never really escape the role that took him overnight from bit-part actor to TV star. And in a 1995 interview, he sought to analyze the popularity of Spock, the green-blooded space traveler who aspired to live a life based on pure logic.

    People identified with Spock because they “recognize in themselves this wish that they could be logical and avoid the pain of anger and confrontation,” Nimoy concluded.

    “How many times have we come away from an argument wishing we had said and done something different?” he asked.

    In the years immediately after “Star Trek” left television, Nimoy tried to shun the role. But he eventually came to embrace it, lampooning himself on such TV shows as “Futurama,” ”Duckman” and “The Simpsons,” and in commercials.

    He became Spock after “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry was impressed by his work in guest appearances on the TV shows “The Lieutenant” and “Dr. Kildare.”

    The space adventure set in the 23rd century had an unimpressive debut on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, and it struggled during its three seasons to find an audience other than teenage boys. It seemed headed for oblivion after it was canceled in 1969, but its dedicated legion of fans, who called themselves Trekkies, kept its memory alive with conventions and fan clubs and constant demands that the cast be reassembled for a movie or another TV show.

    Trekkies were particularly fond of Spock, often greeting one another with the Vulcan salute and motto, “Live Long and Prosper,” both of which Nimoy was credited with bringing to the character. He pointed out, however, that the hand gesture was actually derived from one used by rabbis during Hebraic benedictions.

    When the cast was reassembled for “Star Trek — The Motion Picture,” in 1979, the film was a huge hit, and five sequels followed. Nimoy appeared in all of them and directed two. He also guest-starred as an older version of himself in some episodes of the spinoff TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

    In 2009, he was back in a new big-screen version of “Star Trek,” this time playing an older Spock who meets his younger self, played by Zachary Quinto. Critic Roger Ebert called the older Spock “the most human character in the film.”

    Among those seeing the film was President Barack Obama, whose even manner was often likened to Spock’s.

    “Everybody was saying I was Spock, so I figured I should check it out,” Obama said at the time.

    Upon the movie’s debut, Nimoy told the AP that in his late 70s he was probably closer than ever to being as comfortable with himself as the logical Spock.

    “I know where I’m going, and I know where I’ve been,” he said. He reprised the role in the 2013 sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

    Born in Boston to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Nimoy was raised in an Italian section of the city where he said he felt the sting of anti-Semitism growing up.

    At age 17, he was cast in a local production of Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing” as the son in a Jewish family.

    “This role, the young man surrounded by a hostile and repressive environment, so touched a responsive chord that I decided to make a career of acting,” he said later.

    He won a drama scholarship to Boston College but eventually dropped out, moved to California and took acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse.

    Soon he lost his “Boston dead-end” accent, hired an agent and began getting small TV and film roles.

    After service in the Army, Nimoy returned to Hollywood, working as taxi driver, vacuum cleaner salesman, movie theater usher and other jobs while looking for acting work.

    In 1954, he married Sandra Zober, a fellow Pasadena Playhouse student, and they had two children, Julie and Adam. They divorced, and in 1988 he married Susan Bay, a film production executive.

    Last year, Nimoy used Twitter to announce he had pulmonary disease. He linked it to smoking, a habit he said he quit 30 years before. In January, he tweeted: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had.”

    Besides his wife, son and daughter, Nimoy is survived by his stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck. Services will be private, Adam Nimoy said.

  3. David

    I think there are plenty of libertarians that go to CPAC. Remember those libertarians were taking over when they were voting for Ron Paul for president. The conservatives weren’t too happy with this take over as i understand it.

  4. Andy Craig

    Guy can move pretty quick and hit the floor pretty hard for somebody just a couple years away from Medicare eligibility. 😉

    It’s all about the earned media. CPAC isn’t about convincing anybody actually in attendance, all of whom already know exactly who they’re supporting for President. It’s about the presence of every national political media outlet and major political reporter in the country. Johnson’s been playing it as the opportunity it is, racking up the media coverage, interviews, articles, etc.

  5. Dave Terry

    Stimey 2/ 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm
    “If he’s a Libertarian then why was he attending this radical group’s meeting?”

    LOL! How do you define “radical group?

  6. paulie Post author

    From Charles D Frohman:

    Gov Johnson gets a lot of love from CPAC, whose especially younger attendees make sure libertarian-leaning Republicans usually win the annual straw poll (GJ came in 3rd in 2011, after winning the RLC poll earlier that year). This “heart attack” video now is on CNN and apparently has gone viral. The governor has stolen the show just as his shovel-ready jobs joke at the Fox FL debate in 2012 broke the google trend meter record. OAI is right that success in the Debate lawsuit will have an impact, since to experience the governor is to like him.

  7. paulie Post author

    During remarks at today’s 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, former NSA chief Gen. Michael Hayden had the audacity to claim he is a “libertarian,” prompting boos and jeers from the audience.

    Hayden was at the conference for a debate with Fox News senior judicial analyst and staunch libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano, moderated by FBN’s Lou Dobbs. After Napolitano implored the audience to be “outraged” by the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs, first unearthed in 2012 by whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Hayden stood up and said, “If NSA were even capable of doing what the judge has just outlined for you, we wouldn’t be having a debate here today. There would be nothing to argue about.”

    He continued: “Let’s talk about reality. Let’s talk about facts. The judge is an unrelenting libertarian.” That line drew large applause from an audience likely composed of many of the judge’s (and Sen. Rand Paul‘s) devoted fans. That fact would explain what happened next.

    “So am I,” Hayden claimed as the crowd booed. Several people shouted “No, you’re not!”

    “I’m an unrelenting libertarian,” Hayden insisted, “who’s also responsible for four decades of his life for another important part of [the Constitution], the part that says ‘provide for the common defense.’”

    Let this scribe settle the debate and definitively state for Hayden: No, you are not.

  8. Dave Terry

    Jill Pyeatt> “Republicans have a lot of really annoying people within their ranks.

    I have been a libertarian for so long I find Republicans refreshingly humorous. It’s like
    one dog sniffing the tail of another dog; one comes to expect it and when it happens
    one is not annoyed

  9. paulie Post author

    PHEW! For a second after reading the headline my heart sunk. Scared me for a second there.

    I was hoping the quotes around heart attack would preclude any actual heart attacks. Dave Nalle fell for it at first too, at least judging by FB chat.

  10. langa

    I have, in previous IPR threads, mocked the idea that Johnson was charismatic. If he does more clever, funny stuff like this, he just might prove me wrong.

  11. Mark Axinn

    Bravo Gary.

    Often humor is a terrific and highly effective way to make a point, especially when dealing with a moron.

    Actions like that show what a fast-thinking, intelligent, witty and creative man Governor Johnson is.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    That study doesn’t tell us too much. It sounds as if those who are on-track for a heart attack might have one triggered by smoking weed.

    That’s quite a bit different than saying everyone increases their chances of a heart attack by 20% from smoking weed.

  13. langa

    As for the “study” (which seems more like a newspaper article that makes vague references to unnamed studies, with no mention of methodology, sample size, peer review, etc.), it is often very misleading when someone says that “doing X makes Y five times more likely to happen”, without mentioning how likely Y is to happen absent X. For example, if the chance increases from one in a million to five in a million, that’s still an extraordinarily low risk.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp



    Pretty much like clockwork, we see studies that are touted by prohibition advocates as “proving” that cannabis “causes” this or that ill effect.

    Every time I’ve bothered to actually dig into any of the actual studies, it goes something like this:

    Prohibitionist: “This study proves that marijuana use among teenagers increases the teen suicide rate! We must stop the devil weed from killing our kids!”

    Actual study:

    – Sample data included teens who smoke marijuana, teens who do not smoke marijuana, teens who commit or attempt to commit suicide, teens who do not commit or attempt to commit suicide.

    – Statistically, a higher percentage of the teens who committed or attempted suicide smoked marijuana than the percentage of teens who did not commit or attempt to commit suicide.

    Which is an interesting correlation. And if that correlation was something like “90% of teens who smoke marijuana commit or attempt to commit suicide,” there’d be good reason to suspect causation.

    But in fact the correlation always turns out to be very small, and the more plausible explanation is “teens with emotional problems that tend toward being suicidal are more likely to use psychoactive substances than teens without emotional problems that tend toward being suicidal.” Duh. Unhappy people self-medicate — as anyone who’s ever listened to country music about why the singer is at the bar tonight and drinking heavily knows.

  15. paulie Post author

    The propaganda that gets pushed out as “science” by the prohibitionists and the degree to which it is further distorted is just embarrassing. But since there’s a ready market for that BS they have more straws to grasp at all the time.

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