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One-on-One: Gov. Gary Johnson, Libertarian for President

by Matt Metzner, published
Credit: Minnesota Public Radio

Governor Gary Johnson

Governor Gary Johnson is making a big push to collect five percent of the national vote in today’s general election. If he does so, the Libertarian Party will secure millions of dollars in public campaign funding for 2016. Gary Johnson is the former Governor of New Mexico who won both of his gubernatorial elections by 9 percent or more. Gov. Johnson had the highest home-state favorability rating of any Republican presidential candidate when he was running under the GOP label.

IVN interviewed Gov. Gary Johnson and has released two previous portions of our conversation with the candidate. Gov. Johnson answered our questions on the big challenges facing the United States including the role of government, providing healthcare to Americans, and implementing new policy ideas. Previously, Gary Johnson gave independent voters insight into his personal journey on the campaign trail, how Americans receive his message, and his vision for the future of our country.

In our final set of questions, IVN sought to understand the goals the Libertarian candidate set out to accomplish and why he set them. Knowing that Gov. Johnson is not the only third party candidate appearing on many American’s ballots today we asked him if he thought the conception of other third party candidates can be detrimental to his success as a candidate. He stated:

“No, not really. If you look at the forty-year history of the Libertarian Party, the best a Libertarian candidate has ever done is 1% of the vote. The whole thing is up for grabs and that’s the opportunity that I have.”

Recognizing that he has set the goal of 5% of the national vote and the hesitance of many voters to break from party lines in a presidential election and are turned off by third party labels, we asked how he plans to overcome this obstacle in the future. Gov. Johnson responded:

“I think I’ve been a libertarian my entire life. Having run for governor of New Mexico as a Republican, the old reality is I’d never be elected as a Libertarian. But, I’m under the belief that it is possible these days. I cringe at the Republicans that are very anti-gay, very anti-women’s rights, and I’m not that Republican. There are a lot of Republicans just like me. And it’s embarrassing. Libertarians are socially accepting, not even socially tolerant, because tolerant implies that I don’t like what you’re doing. But libertarians are in a different category, they just don’t care and I’m in that category. I’m not judgmental about anybody’s lifestyle as long as that lifestyle doesn’t affect me personally.”

Finally, we asked Gov. Johnson whether Americans could count on seeing him again in 2016 as a presidential candidate.

“You know I think about the last thing that a person wants to hear right now is ‘let’s push forward with this election cycle.’ I think people are about ready to barf at the end of an election cycle. I’d like to remain a spokesperson for liberty, that’s my goal. I don’t want to cause anybody to barf.”

With those words we concluded our interview as Gov. Johnson left to participate in a third party presidential debate in Washington, DC. Gov. Gary Johnson will await race results tonight as he looks to gather 5 percent of the national vote.

The first two segments from our interview can be viewed by clicking below:

Part One – Who is Gary Johnson? Part Two – How would Gary Johnson solve the big issues facing America?

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