Gary Johnson wins Libertarian Party presidential nomination
May 5th, 2012
07:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Gary Johnson wins Libertarian Party presidential nomination

(CNN) – Former GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson won and accepted the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party on Saturday, which his campaign said earns him a spot on November ballots in all 50 states.

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and business owner, won the nomination with more than 70% of the vote at the party convention in Las Vegas. He entered the Libertarian primary race after dropping his 2012 Republican bid in late December.

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He is best known for his support for the legalization of marijuana and the end of the so-called war on drugs. He supports same-sex marriage, an immediate end to the war in Afghanistan, and proposes slashing the federal budget by 43% to eliminate deficit spending.

“I think there’s a mathematical consequence to continue to print money to the tune of 43 cents to the dollar that we are spending,” he told CNN by phone after winning the nod.

“It’s a mutual sacrifice by all of us to prevent a catastrophe down the line,” he continued, saying the United States is within a decade of the fiscal collapse which hit Greece.

On the campaign trail, Johnson presents himself as an alternative to both major party candidates, especially on civil liberties issues. He has touted the hundreds of bills he vetoed as the New Mexico governor from 1995 to 2003, his successful re-election and balanced budgets enacted under his administration.

Johnson said that were he president at the time, he would have favored military action against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but would have withdrawn U.S. troops within two to six months.

“I would get out of Afghanistan tomorrow,” Johnson said Saturday. “I want to bring our troops home.”

He appeared at two GOP presidential debates in 2011 and may be best remembered for his answer to a question on the economy. Referring to Obama administration initiatives to fund public works projects, Johnson quipped that his “next door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”

Since his decision to pursue the Libertarian nomination, he has visited many state-level Libertarian conventions and held online town hall meetings with supporters.

Prior to his election as governor, Johnson started a handyman business while in college which grew to more than 1,000 employees. He has hiked Mount Everest and is an avid athlete.

In accepting the nomination, Johnson thanked his supporters and focused his sights on a day after the November election.

“Kate, my fiancé,” he said, “I'm in love, and it's going to be a White House wedding.”

Filed under: 2012 • Gary Johnson • Nevada
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Stopthemadness

    let's wait and see what everyone has to say about this guy. Bet both side bad mouth him. The dems for him want5ing to eliminate certain programs, and the repubs because he isn't conservative enough and isn't married.

    May 5, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Marlee

    This article tells me a lot, but where does he stand on abortion?

    May 5, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    Good for him. After Ron Paul sells out his base they'll have someone else to support with more principles.

    May 5, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    I will contest for POTUS too.

    May 5, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Press to Digitate

    Governor Johnson is twice as experienced as Governor Romney (two terms in NM, vs. only one in MA), with a stronger record on tax and spending restraint. His serious commitment to submit only a balanced budget, achieved exclusively through real, genuine, first-year spending cuts – instead of a decade (or more) out, through bookkeeping shenanigans as the President (and the Hill GOP) want to do, is exactly what's needed. Gov. Johnson would be half as expensive for the nation as would a second term for Pres. Obama.

    Twice as experienced as Romney; half as expensive as Obama; works for me....

    May 5, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Schwarzey

    I don't know about this dude.

    May 5, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  7. Are you kidding me?

    Really???? And we care...why?

    May 5, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. Someone else

    Really, though? He had been the nominee back when Santorum was still an even contender. How is this news? This is like when CNN made the formal announcement that Obama had sealed the Democratic nomination. NOT. NECESSARY.

    May 5, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. Wired

    Yay, split the conservative vote even further!

    May 5, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Stephen Skacall

    As former South Carolina Director of Catholics for Ron Paul, I am proud to say that if Ron Paul is not successful in securing the GOP nomination I will be voting for Governor Johnson to be our next President. We have to stop putting party ahead of ideas. It doesn't matter what party someone belongs to!!! It matters what their ideas are. Vote your heart, vote your mind. Stop using the "Anybody but Obama" mentality. Vote for the candidate who agrees most with you, not the one you think has the best chance of winning. That's why I'll proudly be voting for Governor Johnson.

    May 5, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    Now that Gary Johnson is the official Libertarian presidential nominee, and will be on the ballot in all 50 states, I do hope CNN will start including Gary Johnson in all of its presidential polls.

    May 5, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. Mike Bozarth

    Gary Johnson is a refreshing alternative to Big Government Romney and Bigger Government Obama. Thankfully I can choose to vote for Governor Johnson, because if I had to choose between Romney and Obama I would stay at home. My vote is not denying fiscally conservative Republicans anything because Romney is not. My vote is not denying civil libertarian Democrats because Obama is not.

    Gary Johnson is a sensible choice for the Libertarian Party and a real alternative to the lame promises of the left and right. I now hope the LP nominates Judge Jim Gray to run with Johnson so we can finally bring attention to the insane war on drugs.

    May 5, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. Smart Guy

    1st to call this guy a total punch line...

    May 5, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  14. John Galt

    Finally a candidate to vote for. Thank you LP.

    May 5, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. Tom

    Sign me up!!

    May 5, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  16. Al

    Go Gary Johnson!

    May 5, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  17. GOP = Greed Over People

    Well, the tea baggers now have someone other than Robme to vote for in November!

    May 5, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  18. oddjob2234

    Here is the man for the job, but where is the attention? I had to go searching the site, because this story didn't even merit reporting on the main page. This story is on the first page of the Huffington Post website. The Huff Post, but not CNN...

    CNN favors the War Party, with its Republican and Democratic wings, it seems.

    May 5, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  19. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    Ooops, there goes the stoner vote, Johnson now has a better chance of legalizing weed than Paul.

    May 5, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Bruno

    Johnson quipped that his “next door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”

    What a fwitty man,. but the joke is on him, as his neighbor's dogs will probaly get more votes than he does.

    May 5, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. gojags436

    Thank you for covering a third party candidate, CNN. I'm quite shocked you'd even mention Gov. Johnson, especially since you dropped him from your poll last year, after he tied Herman Cain & polled better than both Huntsman & Santorum.

    May 5, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. E

    Good luck hope you do better than Cong. Paul.

    May 5, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is nice to see that Gary Johnson is still at it. I don't think that he will get very far. It is so unfortunate that he doesn't have the name recognition that could help him win any state.

    May 5, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Libertarians are always the first to wet there pants when the light's go out !

    Who knows , maybe the Libertarian party should start small , Say Somalia !

    May 5, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  25. Church

    Now all we need is for Ron Paul to run as an Independent to make this race very interesting.

    May 6, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
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