Gary Johnson sees the presidential light
June 23rd, 2011
06:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Gary Johnson sees the presidential light

Washington (CNN) – Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said Thursday his path to victory for the Republican presidential nomination is predicated on a strong showing in New Hampshire, the early primary state that can make or break a bid for the White House.

Johnson, who is polling in the low single digits in national polls, said he's not necessarily skipping Iowa, the first state to weigh in on the 2012 GOP nomination, but acknowledged his centrist views on social issues will not play very well in the Hawkeye State.

He said his brand of retail politics will be successful in New Hampshire and after his showing there the "light really goes bright."

"What you do with the bright light, that's success or failure," Johnson told CNN.

But fundraising for the former business owner, who is not independently wealthy, remains an obstacle.

"You'll look at it and think this is pathetic," Johnson said of his first quarter financial filing. "It's not bad but it's certainly not robust."

Known for his nearly 800 vetoes as governor, Johnson said he will take a similar stance as president of the United States, opposing all tax increases, eliminating the corporate income tax and advocating against government intervention in health care, housing foreclosures and foreign wars.

Though some have associated him with the Libertarian Party because of his limited-government principles and his more moderate stances on abortion and gay marriage, Johnson said he will not run as a Libertarian candidate in the next presidential election.

"The idea of getting elected actually appeals to me more," Johnston said.

The former two-term governor, who announced his run for president in April, would also expect to unite Republicans in the general election, even those that might oppose his more liberal social stances. Johnson is pro-choice and favors states' rights on gay marriage although he would be open to intervention by the federal government.

For now Johnson, an avid outdoorsman, is enjoying the rigors of a presidential campaign and maintains nobody is yet winning in the polls.

"I would not be doing this if I didn't think I could do it," Johnson said. "This is one of life's great adventures and I get to partake in it … It's exciting, it's blood boiling."

– Gary Johnson will appear Friday on CNN's "John King, USA" at 7 p.m. ET.


Filed under: 2012 • Content Partner • Gary Johnson • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    My first thought when I saw this headline was, "Who?"

    After reading the article, my second thought was, "This guy needs to start dealing with reality, because he's delusional."

    June 23, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Yawn! I swear there must be some other reason guys like this run because he has no chance. The only thing I can think of is to get his name out now and set himself up for 2016. Otherwise I have no idea.

    June 23, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. lynn

    Everybody and their dog is running. Who the heck is Gary Johnson, sounds like an actor on a sitcom.

    June 23, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    OMG!!!!!!!!! Another lunatic clown who wants to join the race for the most important job in the world!!!
    What the . . . . . . . "light really goes bright."??????? Yeah, it sure is "blood boiling" if you were living in the Middle Ages.
    Thanks cnn for the second LMAO moment of today, June 23, 2011. :) :)

    June 23, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    Only in his dreams...Gary Johnson will drop out after the NH primary.

    June 23, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. james

    Come on Gary-- run-- why not !!! - everyone and their dog are in. I`m looking for 15-20 in the mix before it`s all over. The Repubs actually have a chance because the general public has short memories and are angry enough not to realize it`s the obstructionist REPUBS that are blocking any meaningful legislation and killing every jobs legislation. --– Just a bunch of sheep. Sadly, we deserve what we have in DC.

    June 23, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  7. Bill in Florida

    ""The idea of getting elected actually appeals to me more," Johnston said."

    Yeah, like that's going to happen.

    June 23, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  8. Aaron

    Don't know anything about this guy, but if he's a Repub candidate, he's got to be close to an escapee from a mental institution judging by what they've offered up so far.

    June 23, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  9. Bill from GA

    If this keeps up, I'm gonna run.

    June 24, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    Did he ask his wife if she would be comfortable as first Lady?? That's a real problem for some, you know!

    June 24, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  11. Bill from GA

    WAIT A MINUTE!! He 'announced his run for president in April'. Am I the only one who missed that??

    June 24, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  12. Bill from GA

    Johnson ... favors states' rights on gay marriage although he would be open to intervention by the federal government.

    Sounds like Bachmann on that one. Or not. Can't really tell. Doesn't say much for leadership, though.

    June 24, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  13. Bill from GA

    "Gary Johnson will appear Friday on CNN's "John King, USA" "

    Ohhh, so that's why you are mentioning him now.

    I'll BE SURE to watch!!

    (You probably wouldn't have printed any of these anyway:)

    June 24, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  14. guest123

    He has a bigger problem than centrist views facing him in Iowa. His biggest problem is that whenever his name is mentioned in Iowa people invariably say, "Gary Johnson? Gary Johnson? Oh yeah, isn't he the guy who fixed your muffler that one time? Or was he the guy at the pizza shop you were telling me about – the one with all the naughy kids running all over the place?"

    June 24, 2011 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  15. Ursus

    Good article. One correction though. Johnson is independently wealthy. Maybe not Romney money, but enough to earn the "independently wealthy" title (Google it). He's probably the most honest candidate in the race (with the best governance record).

    Probably the best candidate with appeal on both sides of the aisle – America could do a lot worse

    June 24, 2011 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  16. Dave Aiello

    Nice to at least see some sympathy Gary Johnson coverage after snubbing him.

    June 24, 2011 05:54 am at 5:54 am |