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Third Party Candidate Gary Johnson Speaks in North Carolina

by Craig D. Schlesinger, published
Photo: Gage Skidmore

NASHVILLE (IVN) -- Saturday morning in Huntersville, North Carolina, libertarian voters gathered for a "Liberty 5K Fun Run" fundraiser. Then during a packed lunch fundraiser at Fox and Hound in uptown Charlotte, Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Gary Johnson didn’t hesitate to distinguish himself from President Obama and Gov. Romney in an energetic campaign speech. North Carolina’s Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Howe was present throughout the day’s events.

Speaking to the attentive crowd, Johnson asserted that he will be the only candidate on the ballot that wants to end the wars and bring the troops home, reduce the US military footprint around the globe, employ a noninterventionist foreign policy, eliminate foreign aid, slash federal spending– including the big three: Medicare, Medicaid, and military/defense– and balance the federal budget in year one (entailing a $1.4T or 43% reduction), veto legislation when expenses exceed revenue, repeal the PATRIOT Act and NDAA, abolish the Department of Homeland Security, TSA, and the federal Department of Education, fight for marriage equality, and end the decades-long War on Drugs. Gov. Johnson’s economic plan should also appeal to Ron Paul supporters:

“I’m also the only candidate that’s advocating abolishing the IRS, the income tax and the corporate tax. I am advocating on the part of the Fair Tax […], which I think reboots the American economy. When it comes to American jobs, if the private sector doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs with a zero corporate tax rate environment, I don’t know what it’s going to take to create tens of millions of jobs in this country. I think manufacturing jobs will flock back to the United States. There is nothing in my resume to suggest that I am not going to doggedly pursue this agenda and that it won’t make a huge difference. If I’m in the national debates against Obama and Romney I think anything is possible.”

A resounding ovation followed his remarks, and the enthusiastic crowd proceeded to nearby Midtown Park for Gov. Johnson’s speech at the Conservatives Against Unconstitutional Wars rally. Complete with Goldwater-style conservative Republicans, libertarian Ron Paul supporters, and general antiwar protesters, Gov. Johnson delivered a passionate speech to a crowd of about two hundred. Johnson was visibly fired up with indignation at what he characterizes as politicians’ perpetual, cavalier practice of placing service men and women in harm’s way with little consideration of the unintended consequences:

Ron Paul supporters in attendance were very vocal of their support and determination to ensure Gov. Johnson gets a podium in the national debates. They also pledged their votes to him. “The message of liberty must carry on and be heard,” said one attendee, “Ron Paul supporters need to start contacting polling organizations now. Don’t wait until after Tampa. It only takes a few minutes, and I think we’re smart enough to multitask support for both Gary and Dr. Paul. But after Tampa we need to stay active and focus all of our efforts on supporting Gary Johnson.”

Johnson was quick to credit Paul’s accomplishments and underscore his own support of the Texas congressman:

“Ron Paul has made a huge contribution, bigger than anyone else regarding the liberty movement. I’ve seen Ron Paul supporters throughout the entire three years I’ve been doing this, and isn’t something new. It’s been, ‘Hey if it’s not Ron Paul it will to be you,’ and that’s always been terrific. And I’d just like to reiterate that Ron Paul asked me for my endorsement in 2008 and I readily gave it. When I dropped out of the Republican primary I asked everyone that was going to vote for me to vote for him.”

Following the rally, the Raintree Country Club hosted a cocktail hour and dinner fundraiser. Once again Gov. Johnson delivered his message to a full room of inspired, excited supporters and left feeling energized and encouraged:

“The events here in Charlotte were just terrific. We raised a lot of money and there were a whole lot of people here with a whole lot of enthusiasm. I just think this is a portend for what is going to happen going forward. I’m not the third choice. I’m the only choice.”

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