I feel like it’s been a long time coming for Gary Johnson, who is essentially throwing in the towel in NH, as well as abandoning the Republican Party. Although this may seem to be a somber moment for the Johnson campaign, there is still a silver lining:
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is moving closer to making a big change in his underdog race for the White House.
Johnson told Eyewitness News 4 in a phone interview from New Hampshire that he is almost certainly going to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and run for the Libertarian Party’s nomination instead.
Johnson is fed up with the national Republican Party because they have offered him no help whatsoever is getting included in debates, and no help whatsoever with pollsters who don’t even mention his name in their polling.
He continues his grassroots campaign for smaller government, less spending, debt reduction, legal marijuana and gay marriage.
“From what I see and hear on the ground, I think a lot more people embrace this message than not, and the Republicans certainly aren’t even letting me be heard,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said leaders of the Libertarian Party have made overtures and he thinks he has a fair chance of winning the nomination.
“The message wouldn’t be changing at all,” Johnson said. “It’s just a message that hasn’t gotten heard. Really, I feel pretty put off by the process and by Republicans not standing for me…just being in the polls to determine whether or not I should be in the debates or not.”
Regardless of whatever letter-in-parentheses follows Johnson’s name going forward, he can count on my support. In fact, he might have a greater impact on the national debate as a third party candidate. Let’s hope so.
Click here for Spatial Orientation’s complete Gary Johnson coverage.
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Foster’s Daily Democrat reports:
The Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC’s Republican presidential debate is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10 at One Liberty Lane.
“Our members were disgusted with the debates being broadcast by the major networks,” said Jerry DeLemus, Chairman of the GSPLPAC. “And so we set out to design a forum that would provide the viewer with a true look at the candidates.”
The event has had several venue changes and was originally booked at the Exeter High School. Due to some scheduling conflicts, it will now be held at the One Liberty Lane venue. The debate is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m. Participating candidates will sit down with moderator Paul Westcott of WGIR to discuss their views on issues facing the presidency of the United States. Candidates will pair off to engage in conversation, which will be prompted by the moderator.
“Our intention is to provide a meaningful dialogue that is civil and dignified, allowing each candidate to display his or her most positive attributes,” DeLemus said.
Diane Bitter, the group’s vice chairwoman, has said Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer have confirmed they will be attending the debate. The debate is intended to allow audience members to submit questions via cell phone and give feedback throughout the debate. There is limited seating and will be provided by invitation. Only those with tickets will be admitted. However, viewers can watch the forum live on www.granitegrok.com and listen in on WGIR 610 am.
“The 2012 election may, indeed, be the most significant election of our lifetime,” DeLemus said. “And it is imperative that the voters know the person they are voting for. The perspective provided by this unique forum on Nov. 10 may be the one that shows us the candidates’ true merits.”
For more information, visit www.GSPLPAC.com or call Vice Chair Diane Bitter at (603) 964-4161.
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Let’s hand it to the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Dartmouth University: They have figured out a debate invite schematic that goes beyond polls to squeeze Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer out of tomorrow’s debate. The rules:
1) Received measurable popular support in a range of national polls.
3) Is a legally qualified candidate for the Republican nomination for president.
Johnson has done both, and Roemer has at least done the second. Good so far.
2) Campaign reported at least half a million dollars raised in its FEC filing through the 2011 second quarter reporting period.
Neither Johnson nor Roemer has done that. They’re out, no matter what else they do. Theoretically, sure, they could pass this fundraising marker for a future debate. How else to keep them barred?
4) Participated in at least three nationally televised Republican presidential debates during the 2012 election cycle.
Brilliant! The proof that Johnson and Roemer shouldn’t share a stage with other Republicans is that they haven’t been invited to other debates. In Johnson’s case, he’s participated in two debates — he just misses the cut! Newt Gingrich, who has willed his campaign from “joke” to “interesting joke” simply on the strength of free media debate appearances, is calling for Johnson to be included. That won’t matter for tomorrow, but maybe it’s a break in this bizarre 2012 sideshow.
Apparently, Johnson’s appearance in last month’s Fox News-Google debate sounded an alarm in the ears of those setting future debate criteria. And the message was received: keep shifting the parameters to keep Gary Johnson out. It’s not exactly subtle.
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Three Republican members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives have endorsed former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for the Republican presidential nomination, Johnson’s campaign announced today. The Representatives endorsing Johnson are Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Northwood), Rep. Brian Seaworth (R-Pembroke) and Rep. Bruce MacMahon (R-Brentwood).
“Governor Gary Johnson served the people of New Mexico admirably throughout his two four-year terms in office. He is a strong fiscal conservative who shares New Hampshire’s respect for personal liberty, and I am honored to endorse his candidacy,” said Rep. Tasker of his endorsement.
“As voters in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, we have an opportunity to change the course of American politics by supporting Gary Johnson for president,” said Rep. Seaworth elaborating on his support. “Governor Johnson’s commonsense business approach to government proved to be very popular and successful in New Mexico, and his ‘issues first, politics last’ attitude would bring welcome change to Washington, DC.”
Rep. MacMahon wrote in the Brentwood Citizen Forum of his support saying in part, “Governor Johnson has proven himself to be a principled advocate for limited government, fiscal responsibility, constitutional ideals, and respect for individual liberties. He has the proven executive experience that we need in a president who will make the tough decisions required to bring this country back from the brink of fiscal ruin and restore the People’s faith in their federal government.”
These endorsements come as Governor Johnson on Wednesday begins his “Ride for Freedom” – a 458-mile bike ride across New Hampshire, taking place Oct 5-11.
Outside of New Hampshire and his home state of New Mexico, Gary Johnson is relatively unknown. The establishment press has essentially ignored this successful and popular former two-term Republican Governor since he announced his candidacy for President in April. Perhaps this will change for the better in the aftermath of his breakout performance in the Fox News-Google debate. Regardless, it speaks volumes that the most fiscally conservative governor in the country is the only Republican presidential candidate with a positive favorability rating in his or her home state – and Johnson’s home state happens to favor Democrats by a 2-1 margin.
An entrepreneur with no prior experience in politics, Johnson promised to bring the citizens of New Mexico “a common sense, business approach to state government. Issues first, politics last. Everything will be a cost benefit analysis: What are we spending our money on and what are we getting for the money we’re spending.” During his administration, Johnson’s approach to good government led him to veto 750 bills, more than the other forty-nine governors combined, with only two overrides.
When asked about his tenure in the Governor’s chair, he maintains, “People appreciate good stewardship of tax dollars.” Moreover, Johnson is not a social conservative, and is quick to point out that he is, arguably, “the only Republican presidential candidate not running on a social agenda. I think in general, the world vilifies Republicans based on their social conservative agenda, and yet there is no representative of Republicans that don’t hold that belief on stage.”
Gary Johnson’s platform greatly differentiates himself from the status quo. “I am promising to submit a balanced budget in the year 2013. That means cutting 43% of what we’re currently spending.” Johnson arrives at 43% since we’re borrowing forty-three cents out of every federal dollar spent. His jobs plan involves eliminating the entire federal tax code in favor of the Fair Tax, a one-time 23% federal tax on consumption rather than income, stating, “The Fair Tax is exactly what it implies. It’s fair, and it’s simple.”
This proposal would also eliminate the corporate income tax and business-to-business tax in an effort to reestablish the United States as the world’s premier environment for commerce. Johnson asserts this bold move will create a new jobs boom virtually overnight, prompting the rhetorical question, “Why would you start up, grow, nurture business anywhere in the world, other than the United States, given a business environment that would have zero taxes?”
Embracing spending cuts, Johnson is not afraid to tackle the third rail of GOP politics: military spending. “Can we provide a strong national defense for this country, and cut military spending by 43%? Yes, we can. The operative word being ‘defense,’ as opposed to ‘offense’ [or] ‘nation building.’” Johnson opposed the Iraq war and Libya intervention from the start. Initially, he believed Afghanistan was justified because we were attacked, but after six months, “we effectively rooted out Al-Qaeda.” Johnson also advocates ending our foreign entanglements “tomorrow.” For all the problems we might encounter in the face of immediate withdrawals, Johnson argues we’ll be faced with those same problems if we stay for another five, ten, or twenty years.
Johnson doesn’t shy away from the Medicare/Medicaid debate either. As Governor of New Mexico, he reformed Medicaid from a fee-for-service model to managed care, saving money and developing an improved health care delivery system. “I think the federal government should block grant the states a fixed amount of money, 43% less than what we’re currently spending, do away with all the strings and the mandates, and leave the delivery of health care to the poor and those over 65, to the states.” If the federal government removed the strings and the mandates, Johnson believes he could have realized 43% in savings. “I think the same could be said of Medicare. If we don’t do this, the notion that all of it goes away is just what’s going to play out: there won’t be any health care for the poor or those over 65, if we don’t address a mutual sacrifice right now by all of us.”
Even amidst the current financial crisis, Johnson remains an eternal optimist, saying with a smile, “We put a man on the moon. We can balance the federal budget!” He firmly believes the competitive spirit of America is the answer, with more federalism at the forefront of Jonson’s solutions. The states represent “fifty laboratories of innovation, fifty laboratories of best practices,” and essentially, fifty laboratories of democracy.
Utilizing education as an example, Johnson asserts, “We’re going to dramatically improve education in this country, because we’re really competitive, and if we’ve got fifty states competing for best practices when it comes to education, it’s my belief we’ll actually see some best practices that will get emulated by the other states. I think you’ll also see some spectacular failure, which will get avoided. But the notion of ‘Washington knows best,’ the notion of ‘Top-down knows best,’ that doesn’t work.”
Good government comes easy to Gary Johnson. His dedication to fiscal responsibility and a live free, hands-off approach to social issues make him a popular figure across the political spectrum – especially amongst those familiar with his resume. Johnson believes his anti-establishment grass-roots campaign is gaining traction in New Hampshire, where he is putting “all [his] chips on the table.” Like so many political underdogs before him, Governor Johnson is betting on New Hampshire to catapult him from obscurity to national prominence.