US News: “Sen. Rand Paul Backs Libertarian Senate Candidate”

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is endorsing the Gary Johnson’s Libertarian campaign for U.S. Senate in the state of New Mexico.

In a news release Tuesday, Paul shunned the Republican nominee and announced his support for Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico who ran for president as a Libertarian in 2012 and 2016.

Johnson and Paul share an enthusiasm for extremely limited government. Rand calls Johnson a true fiscal conservative and praises his leadership in opposing government overreach.

Johnson backers are pressuring Republican Mick Rich to drop out of the race against incumbent Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich of Albuquerque.

Rich is a commercial construction contractor and political newcomer. Tuesday is the final day for candidates in New Mexico to withdraw their names from the general election ballot.


48 thoughts on “US News: “Sen. Rand Paul Backs Libertarian Senate Candidate”

  1. Anthony Dlugos

    Dear Republicans in New Mexico,

    You really don’t want to throw your vote away on a guy who can’t win, do you?

  2. Andy

    If I was the Republican in this race, I’d run TV commercials of Gary Johnson making an ass out of himself on national television during his 2016 presidential campaign. Johnson provided a lot of material for this, such as “What’s Aleppo?,” sticking his tongue out at a reporter, stumbling when asked who his favorite world leader is, saying that Hillary Clinton is, “a wonderful public servant,” and etc…

    It is a shame that the Libertarian Party did not have a better candidate available for this race. This is why the party needs to be better prepared. You never know when opportunities like this are going to arise.

  3. Chuck Moulton

    Wow!! I’m very surprised that Rand is supporting a Libertarian over a Republican. Unlike his father, he seemed to always toe the party line in elections.

  4. Fred Stein

    my respect for Rand Paul has greatly increased. I guess Rand Paul won’t seek the Republican nomination for President anytime soon.

  5. Anthony Dlugos

    I would be interested in the off-the-record story as to what went into this endorsement.

    Given the demands for unquestioning loyalty from the current leader of his party, and said leader’s popularity in that parry, this was quite a risk.

    Then again, I saw a Newsweek article today that indicated Mike Pence thinks he is one day closer to the presidency every day, and he thanks god for that.

    Maybe the Titanic done hit the iceberg, and the smart passengers are scrambling to get off.

  6. NewFederalist

    Andy- Johnson sure ain’t perfect but he is mucho better than Hienrich Himmler or Martin Heinrich or whatever and Mich Rich is… well… you! A total unknown who would get 40% of the vote in a two way race! Lighten up! Half a libertarian is better than none!

  7. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I was gonna say “It’s about damn time Rand Paul did *something* libertarian” – but it’s Gary Johnson.

  8. Anthony Dlugos

    That’s the best part of this. The paleoconservatives are in full on meltdown mode because a Paul endorsed Governor Johnson.

    Their dream of a European-Christian, hard right, abortion Prohibitionist bullsh*t party is slipping away.

  9. Dave

    Good to hear. Surprising as well; I never felt Rand and Gary were all that close.

    Also, no other LP candidate in this race would be polling as well as Johnson. He’s really the party’s only shot here at winning the race, and I’d put that at only around 10%, given the likely Democratic lean of the year. But that’s still 10% better than anyone else.

    I suspect this race will end up like Colorado Gov. 2010. Strong third party candidate in Tancredo and a very weak Republican. I suspect like Tancredo Johnson will become the de facto choice for most republicans. Unfortunately though I have heard this was the last day for the republican to get out of the race, which means him staying in the race and sucking at least a few percent away from Johnson.

    But the good news is that of the polling of the race so far, the Democrat has never gotten over 48%. So if Gary can cannibalize the Republican down to a percent or two and attract almost all of his support, he could pull off a narrow win.

  10. Andy

    Rand sounds really good in this speech. I wonder if he is planning a presidential run for 2020, maybe on the Libertarian Party ticket.

    He’s not my first choice, and I’d like to see the LP break the cycle of running people heavily associated with the Republican Party on its presidential ticket, but having said this, if Rand Paul got the Libertarian Party nomination in 2020, I would probably support him.

    Rand Paul with say Andrew Napolitano or Tom Woods or Patrick Byrne big, or maybe Tom Massie or Justin Amash, for the LP’s 2020 presidential ticket, could be big.

    If Rand Paul decides to do it, I just hope he runs a better campaign than he ran for the Republican presidential nomination for 2016.

    Rand Paul’s Brilliant Speech on Libertarianism

  11. Anthony Dlugos


    It’s possible Ron’s endorsement of Sabrin had some influence here.

    What do you mean by “bet hedging, RC?

    If you are suggesting that RP2 is hedging his bets with regard to 2020, then I agree. Frankly, there is no other plausible reason for this endorsement.

    Look who he stuck out his neck to endorse: Johnson is surely still the putative leader of the LP. Moreover, he’s quite unlikely to run for president in 2020. Beyond RP2’s strong chances to win the 2020 LP nomination on his own, a Johnson endorsement would make it a virtual certainty.

    As I noted previously, while there will be 1,001 reasons for current office holders to not go renegade and run 3rd party in 2020, there is also no way those politicians with philosophical 3rd party tendencies did not see what Johnson (a retired ex-Republican and not the best public speaker) was able to accomplish in 2016, then look at the potential 2020 D and R candidates and NOT think, “I’m gonna keep my options open.”

    The LP can’t help protect RP2’s Senate seat. We don’t have the resources. An eye on the 2020 presidency is the only plausible explanation.

  12. robert capozzi


    Yep. And if DJT blows up, the GOP could fracture. RP2 might find the L.P. a suitable lifeboat.

  13. Anthony Dlugos

    Plus, in the realm of risky moves, this is on the low end.

    The seat in question was safely Democratic; it’s almost surely still safely Democratic. Thus, the GOP is not likely to raise a stink about it; better to let sleeping dogs lie.

    In return, RP2 gets a pretty important bargaining chip, were he to go LP in 2020.

  14. robert capozzi


    Yup. Setting aside the issues I disagree with RP2’s positions, he’s proving to be quite a good pol. He was too combative in the early R prez race in 16, but he’s getting smoother and more clever year after year.

  15. Anthony Dlugos


    Looking ahead, if he would decide to run as an L in 2020, he has GOT to separate himself from his father (in a political sense, of course), his father’s legacy, his father’s positions, his father’s followers. This is true in a marketing sense (you don’t want to market yourself as re-hashed paleo Paulism) , and in a tactical sense (its just not worth it to run 3rd party if all you are going to be is a disaffected republican).

    Not to mention that his father’s followers have gotten worse…MUCH worse…ever since Trump came on the scene and ginned up xenophobic immigration policy. There is way too much racist nastiness there to allow even an ambiguous connections to the paleo crowd. If he bolted the GOP and ran as a Libertarian, his first public statement should be an unequivocal defense of the benefits of immigration. along the Reagan lines in the Eighties. (I am assuming immigration will still be a hot button issue in 2019-2020; I believe a safe assumption).

  16. robert capozzi


    Yes, and yet he can also count on his Dad’s supporters to continue to write checks, at least to some extent.

    RP2’s cagey.

  17. Anthony Dlugos

    Speaking of paleos, get ready for them to come out of the woodwork and defend the republican in the Florida governor race.

    Democrat was endorsed by Bernie, Jane Fonda, and received backing from Soros. Republican is a Trump flunky of the first order, and at least as xenophobic.

    And its Florida, as nutty and electorally important (for 2020) as states come. This one is gonna get nasty.

  18. Shawn Levasseur

    I don’t think Rand did this with 2020 in mind.

    Rand risks little backlash from the GOP, as their candidate was unlikely to win, and if Gary does, it takes a seat away from the Dems.

  19. Anthony Dlugos

    well, then, why did he do it? Certainly not out of the goodness of his heart. He’s a politician.

    From the GOP perspective, Gary winning might be better than the Democrat only if looked at in a vacuum. There’s no way to tell what putting a Libertarian in the Senate might do to the political landscape going forward. That’s playing with potential danger for the GOP.

    If the GOP thinks they are safely going to hold onto the Senate, they might think it better that a Democrat wins the New Mexico seat. For proof, look no further than the fact that the GOP candidate did not drop out, and the GOP could have easily forced him to.

  20. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    August 29, 2018 at 12:26

    Looking ahead, if he would decide to run as an L in 2020, he has GOT to separate himself from his father (in a political sense, of course), his father’s legacy, his father’s positions, his father’s followers. This is true in a marketing sense (you don’t want to market yourself as re-hashed paleo Paulism) , and in a tactical sense (its just not worth it to run 3rd party if all you are going to be is a disaffected republican).”

    This was one of the big mistakes that Rand Paul made in his 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. He tried to play both sides of the fence, as in he thought he could keep all of the support that his father had, while at the same time trying to cozy up with and play nice with the Republican establishment in order to court their voter base. He ended up alienating a lot of people in both groups and his campaign fizzled out as a result. If Rand Paul had simply run a campaign like what his dad did in 2008 and in 2012, he would have been a lot more successful, and he even had the potential to surpass what his father accomplished in those campaigns. I still don’t think that he would have won, because the Republican Party is too corrupt an organization to allow that to happen, but he could have had a much bigger impact in the race than he had.

    “Not to mention that his father’s followers have gotten worse…MUCH worse…ever since Trump came on the scene and ginned up xenophobic immigration policy. There is way too much racist nastiness there to allow even an ambiguous connections to the paleo crowd. If he bolted the GOP and ran as a Libertarian, his first public statement should be an unequivocal defense of the benefits of immigration. along the Reagan lines in the Eighties. (I am assuming immigration will still be a hot button issue in 2019-2020; I believe a safe assumption).”

    You are acting like all of Ron Paul’s supporters think exactly alike and do the same things. This is completely untrue. Yes, some Ron Paul supporters did go on to support Donald Trump, some because they thought he was less evil than Hillary, and some even like Donald Trump. Other people who supported Ron Paul did not even vote. Some gave up on electoral politics because they think it is too corrupt, and others became non-voting anarchists. Some Ron Paul supports voted for Gary Johnson. Some Ron Paul supporters voted for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party. I doubt that any Ron Paul supporters voted for Hillary Clinton, but some did vote for Jill Stein or cast a write in vote for Bernie Sanders.

    I got heavily involved in the Ron Paul r3VOLution, and I can tell you that Ron Paul did attract a diverse crowd. His supporters included many big “L” Libertarians, many small “l” libertarians, some of whom were former Libertarian Party members who left the LP out of frustration, and some of whom had never been LP members, Constitution Party members, paleoconservatives, people who had been mainstream Republicans, but who Ron Paul “woke up” and inspired, people who had been independents or non-voters (“Dr. Paul cured my apathy” was an often repeated phrase during that time period), and he even brought in support from Democrats and Greens, many of whom were attracted to the campaign because of Ron Paul’s anti-war and anti-drug war message. Most of Ron Paul’s supporters did not come from mainstream Republican ranks.

    Also, people who supported Ron Paul have different views on immigration. Consider the fact that Adam Kokesh supported Ron Paul, and he thinks that the borders should be ripped open and there should unlimited, unrestricted immigration no matter what other conditions are in place. His presidential platform is to dismantle the federal government, which would send all issues back to the states, so under his platform, a state (which would turn into its own country) could restrict immigration, but he thinks that each individual state should open its borders as well. I disagree with Adam on this, but we both end up at the same ultimate conclusion, which is a private property anarcho-capitalist society, which has private property borders regulated by property owners, but I disagree with Adam that calling for ripping open borders without first privatizing everything and eliminating the state is a logical way to get there.

    Anyway, you are acting as though everyone who supported Ron Paul has the exact some position on immigration, which is not true, and you are also putting forth the false narrative that Ron Paul was “anti-immigrant,” when in reality, Ron Paul had a far more nuanced position, as do I, as do most people. Most people do not object to some immigration, they just don’t want immigrants who are hostile to their ideology and way of life, and they don’t want to be overwhelmed by too many immigrants. You make it sound as though there are only two positions, which are “close the borders, ban all immigration, and start mass deportations,” or, “rip the borders open, and call for unlimited, no questions asked immigration, regardless of what other policies or conditions are in place.” Reality is that there is a lot of room for other points of view in between those two extremes, and you should know this since you don’t hold either extremist view yourself.

  21. Andy

    Anthony Dlugos said: “his first public statement should be an unequivocal defense of the benefits of immigration. ”

    I have not heard anyone say that there are not any benefits to immigration. Yes, some immigration is beneficial, but on the flip side, some immigration is not beneficial. How is people coming into the country where you live and immediately sucking up a disproportionate share of welfare money beneficial to most of the existing population? How is having say a Muslim rape gang moving into your neighborhood (there are several example of this having happened in the United Kingdom) beneficial to most of the existing population? How is having people infected with Ebola or other communicable diseases beneficial to any of the existing population?

    Also, this issue should be about property rights. The existing American citizen taxpayers are the ones who pay for all of the public property and infrastructure in this country, and are therefore the rightful owners of it, and a multiple surveys indicate that a super-majority of Americans want to see immigration reduced. The most recent survey I read said that 81% of Americans want to see immigration reduced. Even out of Americans who support the welfare state, support for welfare handouts and other government services being doled out to foreigners is not supported by a lot of these people. If we lived in a private property anarcho-capitalist society this issue would be more clear, and that is that a super-majority of property owners want to see less foreigners on their property.

    There are currently something like 1.1-1.3 million legal immigrants to this country every year, and who knows how many illegal immigrants (or I’d say more accurately, invaders, or trespassers). Back during the “great waves” of immigration in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, when almost all of the immigrants were of European origin, and many were even from the same ethnic groups who founded this country (predominately English, Scottish, Irish, German, Dutch, and French is who founded this country), the peak years of immigration saw between 200,000-250,000 immigrants enter the country in a year. The numbers entering today are many times greater than that, and then consider that most of the immigrants coming in today are from cultures that are completely alien to the founding stock of this country. Then factor in that there is a welfare state today, which acts a magnet to attract non-productive people, while back in the 1800’s and early half of the 1900’s there was no welfare state, which meant that to make it back in those days, you had to be more of a rugged individualist than today, where an immigrant can just ride the welfare system. Another factor to look at is that that birth rates of the existing population of Americans was higher back during the “great waves” of immigration of the past. Today, most of the immigrant groups are having more children than is most of the existing population of Americans. This is a very dangerous situation which to conflict, and unless some radical changes are made to change the current demographic projections, the outcome of this conflict is not going to be good for the tradition population of Americans, nor is it going to be good for the prospects of liberty.

  22. Chuck Moulton

    Andy is never going to look at facts or other evidence that contradict his crazy pre-conceived biases. I don’t know why anyone bothers engaging with him on immigration — or any other issue.

    Maybe we should just rename this site “Independent Andy Report” since he monopolizes all threads with his garbage and drives people away. Then someone can start a replacement site that deletes Andy comments and we can get the level of activity and engagement we once had here.

  23. robert capozzi

    CM: Andy is never going to look at facts …

    Me: I disagree. Andy — like all NAPists I encounter — is afraid to get REALLY radical. When I attempt to check the NAPist premise, it’s clear to me that NAPism isn’t at all radical. Deflection is a sure sign of psychological and intellectual denial.

    I’m confident that if a NAPist opened his or her mind, s/he would see just how flawed NAPism is — at its foundations. Andy included.

    While I see your point that his obsession with immigration is distorting his cognitive functions, I — in a way — take the fact that he’s broken with the orthodox NAPist plumbline to be a hopeful sign. If he can break there, he can break at a deeper level.

  24. Paul

    Each post gets Andy wondering why he’s been snubbed before the same old xenophobic rant. I wonder if we’ll get to see Alex Jones videos cited as fact again. I’m not complaining, just observing.

  25. Andy

    August 29, 2018 at 18:00
    Each post gets Andy wondering why he’s been snubbed before the same old xenophobic rant.”

    I have looked up the facts. I have spent many, many hours researching these issues, and I have in fact posted links to back up the things I say here on numerous occasions.

    When I say that most of today’s immigration is of the negative variety , it is based on facts. Look at welfare usage statistics, and do not forget to include all of the welfare and other government services sucked up by the offspring of immigrants, which is frequently left out of the statistics. Look at the voting patterns of most of these people. Statistics indicate that a super-majority of them engage in ethnic block voting for bigger government. Look at crime statistics. It should be blatantly apparent that a lot of these people commit crimes at rates that are higher than that of most of the existing population.

    Saying that I’m just “xenophobic” and not basing arguments on facts is not intellectually honest.

  26. Andy

    Another excellent speech from Rand Paul.

    Rand Paul’s Brilliant Speech on US Government Wasting Your Money

  27. Paul



    Cherrypicked xenophobic talking points that were “researched” by listening to Alex Jones and watching racist YouTube celebrities does not a fact make.

    Here’s some intellectual honesty for you though: Trying to engage in meaningful dialogue about policy does not seem useful when the other person is unable to tell the difference between basic facts and crazy pretend used to justify bigotry, even if the other person does not feel any true hatred for the people they so wrongly demonize. It’s like trying to debate scientific realism with a small child, disease prevention with an anti-vaxxer, the Cambrian Period with a 6-days Creationist, or physics with a 9/11 truther. (Am I missing some?)

  28. DJ

    Paul: physics with a 9/11 truther

    Me: One of over 3000 engineers and architects- feel free to discuss the physics with them.

    “It is my professional opinion as an engineer with over 20 years of experience and a US Army officer combat engineer trained in explosives that the narrative put forth by the mainstream media is egregiously in error. The destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 was not as a result of aircraft impacts. The destruction and lives lost are the result of carefully placed demolitions. The truth needs to be disclosed to the public and those responsible for its destruction have a lot to answer for.”
    — Jason Rice, P.E., structural engineer with over 20 years of experience as the engineer of record for various civil, commercial, and institutional projects.

    The signatories: 3,021

    Architects (Degreed & Licensed – Active & Retired)

    A few for arguing about- be sure you attack them personally.

    Richard Gage

    AIA, Architect

    B Arch

    Lafayette CA, US

    Daniel Barnum


    BArch, Rice University

    Houston TX, US

    Paul Adams


    M Arch, Colorado University, Denver

    Denver CO, US

  29. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    August 30, 2018 at 09:29
    oh, dear god, another Troofer.”

    It has come out via declassified documents that it was the CIA that came up with using the term “conspiracy theorist” as a pejorative back in the 1960’s, at first to smear those who questioned the official government story about the JFK assassination, but later to smear anyone who questioned any official government stories.

    It would not surprise me if it turns out that the CIA is also behind the using the term “troofer” as a smear against people who question the official government story about 9/11 and similar events.

  30. dL

    Come on guys- argue the physics, but, be sure you attack personally.

    Dr. Phillies would be the only one qualified on this board to argue the physics. I have a BS in math and physics, but I’m not going to pretend to argue structural engineering. I would only note the conspiracy doesn’t pass the Occam razors’s sniff test. Obviously, the twin towers were not brought down by a controlled demolition. Bringing down Building 7 with a controlled demolition(as some sort of icing on the cake) would have an absurdly poor risk/reward ratio. Building 7 is not what launched the 9-11 security state or the Afghanistan war. There was very little upside to gain by taking it down, too. But the potential downside could be disastrous. 3000 civil engineers and architects signing some petition might sound like a lot. But there 500,000 such professionals in the US. So, 0.6% isn’t necessarily all that impressive. If it was a controlled demolition, you are taking a big chance that a lot more than 6 out of every 1000 engineers and architects would be questioning an event that was filmed/recorded in plain sight.

  31. Paul

    So, I’m both an engineer (albeit a different kind) and served in an Army combat engineer company.

    I guess at least 3000 of us are either crazy or stupid.

  32. Paul

    Oh, it looks like the vast majority of those 3k aren’t even civil engineers. Maybe 200? Lol.

  33. dL

    So, I’m both an engineer (albeit a different kind) and served in an Army combat engineer company.

    I stand corrected…There are 2. I guess you would be more along the lines of someone who would have a reasonable knowledge of how to pull it off

  34. Paul


    My ability to engineer software requires only a basic understanding of physics. And no disrespect to my sapper buddies, but they didn’t really analyze how things were blown up. That was a different group. Though combat engineers are unrivaled at quickly building bridges and blowing them up.

    We also played with C4. In hindsight, we weren’t always the safest.

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