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Live-Blog: Gary Johnson Does Reddit #AMA

by Jane Susskind, published

Today, two-term Governor Gary Johnson will participate in an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, on the forum Reddit. As a veteran participant, he knows the drill, and has already used the social platform as a way to connect with constituents. In his 2011 Reddit AMA, Gary Johnson answered questions on his party platform, his favorite snack food, and his athletic hobbies. Following Obama's lead, this AMA will surely focus on his presidential candidacy.

You can follow along on Reddit here, or stay tuned with IVN below.

Update: 1:00pm

And that's a wrap! The thread received over 13,000 views and 3,455 comments. Gary Johnson stayed on Reddit for around an hour.

Update: 12:58pm

On Ron Paul running as a Republican:

Kudos to Ron Paul. Trying to change the Republican party resulted in a lot of knots on my head. Changing to the Libertarian party, nothing had to be changed.

On dismantling the Department of Education and fair tax:

It costs the states money to take federal money. So, do away with the Department of Education, save the states money, and have 50 laboratories work on improved education. The Fair Tax issues everyone a $200 per month prebate check that allows all of us to pay the Fair Tax up to the point of the poverty level. This is their answer to the rightful criticism that a consumption tax is regressive.

On nuclear Iran:

I am the only candidate that does not want to bomb Iran. I believe that all of our military interventions have resulted in hundreds of millions of enemies to this country that would otherwise not exist, but for our military interventions.

On abortion:

I fully support a woman's right to choose. I believe that marriage equality is constitutionally guaranteed.

First thing you would do in office if elected:

Produce a balanced budget document.

On welfare:

As the Libertarian candidate, I am the only one talking about lowering welfare spending, and warfare spending in the same sentence. I'm looking to reform welfare that we would not spend more money than we take in to accomplish it.

Update: 12:53pm 

9% Congressional rating - well deserved.

Update: 12:52pm

Did you know that Gary Johnson has celiac disease?

"I have celiac disease, so I need food labeled. I think food should be labeled, and that would include GMOs in food."

Update: 12:51pm

Gary Johnson's response to getting more exposure: Blog, blog, blog!

Update: 12:48pm

If he loses this election?

"I plan to stay involved, but not running for Congress, or the Senate. I think both jobs are judged by how much bacon you bring home, and I refuse to be a part of that."

Update: 12:47pm

Johnson answers IVN's Michael's question!

Q: "As a Libertarian, I imagine that your policy proposals would not be popular with the members Congress. If you were president, how do you think the two-party dominated Congress would respond to your policy proposals? And how would you get Congress on board with your policies?"

A: "I'm kind of excited about the prospect of coming at Democrats hard from the left, and coming at Republicans hard from the right. Challenge them both to be good at what they are supposed to be good at."

Update: 12:45pm 

When asked if the last time he smoked marijuana, Gary Johnson candidly responded: "2008 I had used marijuana for the prior 3 years to deal with a serious paragliding accident."

Update: 12:42pm

Why politics?

The belief that politics really is a high calling, and the ability to do good by others is really important. I also understand doing good by others is big time debatable.

Update: 12:38pm 

Quantity vs. QualityUnlike Barak Obama, Gary Johnson is answering a large range of questions, with shorter responses. Obama answered 10 questions in depth during his 1 hour long AMA. Johnson has now answered over 20 questions.

On the EPA:

Government exists to protect us against individuals, groups, and corporations that would do us harm. Rules and regulations should exist to accommodate this. The EPA protects us against those that would pollute, and without them a lot more polluters would be allowed to pollute. [

On unsustainable factory farming system in the US:

I think education brings change. The more light we shine on these issues, the better they become. As a consumer, I am demanding these changes.

Update: 12:37pm

On abolishing the IRS:

Fair Tax, which is one federal consumption tax, and it would be administered by the states. Simple, simple, simple.

On military benefits:

No cuts to military benefits. Sounds like your son is truly in need, and I have to believe that devolving health care to the states would still provide a health care safety net to your son.

Update: 12:35pm

Q: Do you believe your stance on marijuana will cause older people or people generally not in favor of marijuana use dismiss you as just "that guy for pot legalization" instead of focusing on your other stances on issues?

A: Hopefully, this issue will be a litmus test as to whether or not I have a brain.

Update: 12:33pm

On a lighter note, Gary Johnson shares his hobbies:

I'm an extreme outdoor guy. Favorite books: Fountainhead and Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy. I am an avid movie guy. I watch all movies. If I found this to be stressful, I wouldn't be doing it.

Update: 12:31pm

On gay marriage:

I believe marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Leave it to the states and nothing changes.

On Afghanistan:

Withdraw immediately. Bring the troops home.

Update: 12:30pm

Quote of the day:

Update: 12:25pm 

The AMA thread has passed 10,000 views, with 10,127 users on the page as of now.

Update: 12:21pm

On Guantanamo Bay

"Torture and the practice of detainment without being charged are practices that need to stop, and are synonymous with Gitmo. Gitmo, as a facility, without these practices taking place, may be a facility that we continue to need in the future as a place to house enemy combatants off-shore."


"I would not have signed the NDAA."

On Student Debt

"I cry over your graduating from college with a home mortgage, and no home. I think the reason for high college costs is guaranteed government student loans. Long term, we need to populate another planet, because the Earth is going to encompass the sun. Long term, but short term, we have to balance the budget, or find ourselves with no programs whatsoever."

Update: 12:18pm

7,743 users are tuning in on Reddit for Johnson's AMA right now.

Update: 12:17pm

Meanwhile, on Twitter:

Would you want to see a debate between Green Party candidiate Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson?

Update: 12:14pm

When asked to give his "best pitch for a free economy being better than a semi-regulated one," he responded:

"I support the Fair Tax, which is eliminating corporate tax, income tax, and abolishing the IRS. I think adopting the Fair tax kicks crony-capatilism in the rear end. And, crony-capitalism is alive and well."

What do you think of his economic stance?

Update: 12:10pm

Out of the hundreds of questions coming in, Gary Johnson has already answered around five. Some include gun control and the ramifications of either Obama or Romney winning the election.

On gun control: 

"I fully support the second amendment. in 1995 I was able to sign concealed-carry legislation when it was cutting edge at that time. I believed this would lead to less overall gun violence."

On Mitt Romney:

"Wonderful, engaging human being, but I have to tell you that we can't balance the budget, and increase military spending and hold medicare in tact."

On both Romney and Obama:

"Either one of them is going to result in an increased police state, continued state of war, and continued unsustainable debt and spending."

Update: 12:02pm 

And he's on...

Update: 12:00pm

The description of his AMA can be found on Reddit, or you can read it below:

WHO AM I? I am Gov. Gary Johnnson, the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States, and the two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1994 - 2003. Here is proof that this is me: I've been referred to as the 'most fiscally conservative Governor' in the country, and vetoed so many bills that I earned the nickname "Governor Veto." I bring a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, and believe that decisions should be made based on cost-benefit analysis rather than strict ideology. I'm also an avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist. I have currently reached four of the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Mt. Everest. FOR MORE INFORMATION To learn more about me, please visit my website: You can also follow me on Twitter,FacebookGoogle+, and Tumblr.

Update: 11:45

Gary Johnson prepares for his Reddit AMA by asking his Twitter followers to submit questions:

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