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Gary Johnson: Libertarian Candidate for President

Ryan Loyd
Texas Public Radio

Sweeping the country, former Governor of New Mexico and Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson stumped in San Antonio as the November general election nears.

Wasting no time to speak on the issues, he said why he thinks he is the clearest choice for the nation's next Commander in Chief.

“I think people are really hungry to vote for someone as opposed to the lesser of two evils. One of the issues I have right now is, why throw away my vote? I don’t think it’s throwing away your vote – voting for the person that you most believe in. I think throwing away your vote is voting for somebody that you don’t really believe in.”

Gary Johnson wants you to believe in him.

Although he started his run for the White House as a Republican, he said he’s in it to win the race as a Libertarian, and doesn’t intend on splitting votes to help his mainstream rivals, President Obama and Mitt Romney.

He said he’s always felt in tune with the Libertarian Party, taking the best from Republicans and Democrats to form his own platform.

“I think the majority of Americans are Libertarian, they just don’t know it; fiscally responsible and socially accepting.”

Governor of New Mexico

An entrepreneur his whole life, he went from businessman to governor of New Mexico in 1995. His tenure was controversial for vetoing hundreds of bills during his eight years in office.

“It made a difference when it came to laws that if passed - in my opinion - were just going to add time and money for you and I to have to comply with those laws, wasn’t going to make us any safer, wasn’t going to make us any healthier. It was just going to add time and money so why do it?”

Because of that, he said he was welcomed back for a second term by an even larger margin than his first run.

"I will point out the state’s two to one Democrat. I should have been ridden out on a rail.”

Stance on key issues

Still, even more controversial are his views on the war on drugs, believing that marijuana should be legalized. He doesn’t support the Patriot Act to gather intelligence on suspected terrorists, but does fully support gay rights.

“I’m the only candidate talking about marriage equality from the standpoint of it being a constitutionally guaranteed right on par with Civil Rights of the 60s. I’m going to argue that I have the resume to suggest that I can do the job, and I might actually do a really good job at the job.”

He’s also taking his own direction on immigration.

“Let’s make it as easy as possible for someone that wants to come into this country and work to get a work visa. Not a green card, not citizenship, but a work visa that would entail a background check and a social security card so that applicable taxes get paid.”

Taxes and fiscal responsibility

That’s if taxes, under his plan, are still around. Johnson says he wants to enact one federal consumption tax called the Fair Tax. He says it would eliminate income tax, tax withholdings from payroll checks, and get rid of the Internal Revenue Service.

“I think that really reboots the American economy. That’s the answer to American jobs. I think manufacturing jobs will flock back to the United States given a zero corporate tax rate environment. Imagine life without having to deal with the IRS. These are big differences from these other two guys.”

A different choice

Johnson is rugged and plain, the type of candidate who doesn’t seem like he’s used to frills. He doesn’t come with bodyguards or a crowd of cameras documenting his every move. He said he feels like the everyman who puts issues over politics to do right by others.

Johnson said he will be on the ballot in all 50 states once he finishes submitting the signatures required in a process called ballot access. He’s running to become a voice for freedom and liberty that he said is burgeoning.

“People that vote their conscience, that’s how you change things. Vote for the person that you most agree with.”

He’s chosen former superior court judge and federal prosecutor Jim Gray as his running mate.