Gov. Gary Johnson: “Sen. Paul and I have some differences, but… he is to be commended for waging the good fight.”

From Gary Johnson 2016:GaryJohnson  2012

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Rand Paul is the latest to find that there is no room for the Liberty Movement in today’s Republican nominating process. I’ve been there. With his departure from the presidential race, there is no voice remaining to challenge failed military interventions, mass surveillance of Americans by their government, or real cuts in the size and cost of government.

Sen. Paul and I have some differences on issues, but he was the one candidate on the Republican side who was not afraid to talk about civil liberties, the perils of endless war, and the principles of liberty. His departure leaves a great many voters, especially among America’s youth, without a home in the two ‘major’ parties. To them, I say, come be Libertarian with me.

Rand Paul is to be commended for waging the good fight, and I look forward to his continued work for small government and greater freedom in the U.S. Senate.

31 thoughts on “Gov. Gary Johnson: “Sen. Paul and I have some differences, but… he is to be commended for waging the good fight.”

  1. Mark

    Good news and bad news, Gary. I will likely migrate to the Libertarians but with Austin Peterson instead.
    Details if interested.

  2. Starchild

    Since 2008, the public has become more libertarian and more dissatisfied with the status quo. Yet Rand Paul ran a campaign that was less libertarian than the ones run by his father, Ron Paul, in 2008 and 2012.

    Unsurprisingly, he failed to attract the passionate, grassroots support that Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 bids for the White House generated, and now his campaign has met an early demise.

    Libertarian Party candidates and leaders, take note: Radicalism works.

  3. Joe Wendt

    Gary Johnson wants Rand Paul supporters to be “Libertarian” with him. Not be “Be Libertarian with the LP,” or “Be Libertarian with the Party of Principle.” Anybody But Gary in 2016!!

  4. George Phillies

    Starchild:

    Rand Paul was not a libertarian, not at all. He emphasized that he was a conservative. He was anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, in favor of prosecuting the war on drugs vigorously, a supporter of the racist states’ rights doctrine, and a warmonger whose letter to the Iranians pushed in the direction of increasing the likelihood of a war.

    George Phillies

  5. Andy

    “George Phillies
    February 3, 2016 at 23:15

    Starchild:

    Rand Paul was not a libertarian, not at all. He emphasized that he was a conservative.”

    Rand just recently referred to himself as being libertarian-ish on the Steven Colbert show.

    George does not get it, A majority of Republicans rejected Rand Paul because they thought that he was too libertarian. I talked to a lot of Republicans who specifically cited this as a reason for not supporting him.

  6. Andy

    George has been attacking the Pauls and misrepresenting both of their views for years.

    Rand Paul educates GOP candidates on marijuana CNN Debate #GOPDebate

  7. Andy Craig Post author

    “A majority of Republicans rejected Rand Paul because they thought that he was too libertarian.”

    This is true. It’s also true that a majority of libertarians rejected Rand Paul because they thought he was too anti-libertarian.

    His basic error was trying a new spin on a very old failed strategy: libertarian-conservative fusionism. Ron might have done better at that, but he didn’t really come close to winning with it either. There just aren’t enough conservatarian votes out there to win a GOP presidential primary. I think it’s also a decent point, that a substantial chunk of Ron’s 2008 and 2012 primary voters were more either anti-establishment or anti-war, than ideologically libertarian. Libertarians were the dominant faction in Ron’s coalition, but they weren’t all of his base. Rand also didn’t do a very good job keeping the non-libertarian blocs that had supported Ron.

  8. Andy Craig Post author

    Rand has variously played up the anti-drug-war or anti-legalization part of his position on marijuana over the past year, taking a more libertarian-ish tone as he tried to pivot back to regaining his base.

    But his underlying position has always been the same: he supports state-level prohibition, and isn’t pushing anything more than lighter sentences. Which really, on the actual policy, isn’t that different from any other Republican who’s said he’d not crack down on state-level legalization but doesn’t support it, and who acknowledges that mandatory minimums went too far (which is most of them in 2016.)

  9. Andy

    “Andy Craig Post author
    February 4, 2016 at 01:02

    ‘A majority of Republicans rejected Rand Paul because they thought that he was too libertarian.’

    This is true. It’s also true that a majority of libertarians rejected Rand Paul because they thought he was too anti-libertarian.”

    Yes, Rand made the mistake of trying to play both sides of the coin. He thought that he could keep his libertarian base and suck up to the Republican establishment at the same time. All this did was cause him to lose a lot of the libertarian base, and never be fully embraced by the mainstream Republican establishment.

    It really disappoints me to think of what Rand could have done had he not tried to kiss up to the Republican establishment so much and had he kept a more hardcore libertarian message. If he had done this, I bet he’d have been more successful, and that he’d still be in the race right now. His campaign for President had the potential to be a lot more than it was.

  10. Andy Craig Post author

    There’s that part, but I think even if his messaging strategy hadn’t been such a poorly-conceived disaster, it was a mistake for him to run in 2016 at all. If he had been doing better, having to run for re-election to the Senate still put a pretty hard deadline on when he’d have to drop out of the presidential primary. He could have hung around for another month, maybe, and that would have been pushing it. There’s no way he could drag it out for the long slog like Ron Paul could (and even Ron got spooked into worrying about his House re-election in 2008, though the worry proved largely unfounded).

    In 2020, he’ll have two years left on his Senate term, and might not even want a third term in 2022. If he wants to run again in 2020, and assuming there’s not a GOP incumbent.

  11. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “I think it’s also a decent point, that a substantial chunk of Ron’s 2008 and 2012 primary voters were more either anti-establishment or anti-war, then ideologically libertarian. Libertarians were the dominant faction in Ron’s coalition, but they weren’t all of his base.”

    Most of Ron Paul’s support did not come out of rank-and-file Republican ranks. Most of his support base broke down like this:

    1) Libertarians, many were current or former Libertarian Party members, some were small “l” libertarians.

    2) Independents.

    3) Non-voters (“Dr. Paul cured my apathy.” became a popular phrase during the Ron Paul r3VOLution.)

    4) Paleoconservatives, some of whom had a background with the Constitution Party.

    5) Anti-war and anti-police state people from the left, some had previously been Greens.

  12. Mark Herd for U.S. Senate 2016 (CA)

    Rand Paul wanted Snoden in prison. That hurt him a little. Also Phillies is correct, Rand is pro life and anti gay marriage. Johnson is a carpetbagger who left Libertarians to rot in New Mexico prisons he privatized while in office. He also accepted campaign contributions from the special interest prison group.
    Vote for a REAL Libertarian in 2016. Vote for Steve Kerbel. This post reflects my opinion only, not the Steve Kerbel campaign. https://youtu.be/BtAn7aiQXEw

  13. Smart Alex

    Johnson isn’t a carpetbagger at all. He’s been a registered Libertarian since before the 2012 election. Your buddy Kerbel might be a carpetbagger, though. Word has it that he showed up at a meeting, said, “Where do I sign up (as a Libertarian), and, oh, by the way, I’m running for President! ”

    Several other candidates have just recently joined the LP: John McAfee and Shawna Sterling, for example.

    “Carpetbagger” just isn’t the right word for Johnson at all.

  14. Smart Alex

    And how do you know there are “Libertarians” in the prisons of New Mexico? You keep talking about that on FB, and I don’t get why.

    From what I understand, Johnson privatized prison in NM because otherwise the prisoners would have been sent out of state. That would have been a hardship to the prisoner and their families, as far as having visits and support. He made a compassionate choice.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    RP2 tacked hard to the conservative side and away from his libertarian-ish side. He did that in a very crowded field with several candidates who are plausible presidents. My sense is the R field of 2016 is way more formidable than their 08 and 12 fields. And there were some rather gruesome terrorist events in this cycle, with ISIS becoming a concern on the national stage.

    This was not a good year for RP2 to run. It’s quite possible that if he ran much closer to RP1’s message, he still would not have done as well as Pops.

    If “radicalism” works, then RP1 would have been elected. If “radicalism” works, Dave Bergland would have been elected in 1984!

    OTOH, the candidate who advocates banning Muslims from the US — quite radical, I’d say — has certainly garnered the most interest in this cycle. Radicalism has been working for Trump!

  16. Hetro Harry and Concerned Chuck

    By the power of all that is holy, I declare Gary Johnson is an apostate from the holy church of GOD! Every word he speaks is from the devil and it fills me with complete disgust to read his total lies about the martyr Rand Paul, second lord of the Holy Austrian Empire Bank, First United. Rand Paul was MURDERED by the evil, vane, disgusting, inhuman monster “Doctor” Ben Carson, the Devil incarnate and ANTI-CHRIST sent to mislead humanity and destroy the world. Lord Commander Paul was the first victim to die by the hands of the evil demiurge Ben Carson, destroyer of worlds, but he is far from the first. Be warned! Only by the power of potato batteries will we ever be free of the evil designs of Ben Carson!

    Hetro Harry
    Sworn Enemy of Catholic Trotskyist and Don Lake

  17. ATBAFT

    Yes, it’s time to decide if the LP wants to nominate a virtual unknown who is best at convincing other LP members what the proper number of angels dancing on the head of a pin is, or nominate someone who may not fit 100% with every delegates own positions but whom can articulate to the broader voting community the general libertarian principles that would be put in place once a majority of Americans ever come to believe in said principles.

  18. Joe Wendt

    If Gary Johnson were capable of articulating “to the broader voting community the general libertarian principles that would be put in place once a majority of Americans ever come to believe in said principles,” than how come he was unable to capitalize on the Ron Paul mania in 2012? He sucks at articulating the message of Liberty. He lacks charisma and authenticity. He a politician who is willing to say anything to get your money. Just at his attempts to reach out to Trump voters, who are far from either being sane or libertarian. Anybody but Gary in 2016.

  19. ATBAFT

    “how come he was unable to capitalize on the Ron Paul mania in 2012? He sucks at articulating the message of Liberty. He lacks charisma and authenticity.”

    None of our presidential candidates has ever been able to capitalize on the 15-20% of the electorate
    (according to CATO) which happens to lean libertarian. I know from working in RP’s campaign in 2008 that a good bit of his support was an inch deep and when he dropped out, his supporters turned to McCain/Palin or stayed home. John Stossel is about the only well-known person I know of who can articulate libertarianism for the average intelligent voter. But I doubt he is interested in giving up his day job to run as the LP candidate.

  20. NewFederalist

    William Saturn… you are quite the journalist! Always asking the piercing questions! Potato batteries are the obvious solution.

  21. Mark Axinn

    Moving from potatos to politics…..

    Those of us who score 100/100 (or is 110/110? ) on the Nolan Chart can easily find fault with both Rand Paul and Gary Johnson. Rand was not as tough on th Fed as his pop; Gary’s foreign policy is not as pure as ours. Et cetera, et cetera.

    So what?

    Gary is right to commend Rand Paul for the libertarian views he held (notice no discussion of abortion or other areas where they might disagree0. How many other Senators fillibustered against the fucking NSA? Don’t we want to welcome the libertarian-leaning people in the Republican (and Democratic) Party to support us? Weren’t we the natural place for the RP Revolution people to end up in 2008?

    (Whether Barr/Root did a good job–they did not–of attracting RP supporters is another story.)

    I commend Gov. Johnson for reaching out with the big tent philosophy. I also recognize Joe’s criticism. Gary is a candidate running for President. He is not an insider Libertarian interested in building Party first. To the extent the two co-incide, so much the better.

  22. Andy

    Mark Axinn: “Gary is right to commend Rand Paul for the libertarian views he held (notice no discussion of abortion or other areas where they might disagree0.”

    I don’t think that they are that far apart on abortion, given that as Governor or New Mexico, Gary Johnson signed a bill banning late term abortions. He also favor parental notification if a minor wants to get an abortion, and he believes that abortion should be an issue left to the state, as per the 10th amendment.

    Just found an article about Johnson signing the late term abortion ban from back in 2000 when it happened:

    Johnson signs abortion bill
    Law bans partial-birth operation; first restriction on procedure since 1973

    http://amarillo.com/stories/2000/03/07/usn_signs.shtml

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