Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interview: Johnson for America

Jumping in Pools is proud to present number 46 in our interview series. This time we're interviewing Johnson for America, a site promoting former New Mexico governor for the 2012 Presidential race.

1. What are Gary Johnson's strengths?

Gary has a lot of strengths, but I think his biggest would be his executive experience. As an amazingly successful entrepreneur and a popular two-term Governor, Gary Johnson will be one of the most experienced presidential candidates--or possibly even the single most experienced presidential candidate--in the running in 2012. What's also important is that Gary seems to be particularly attuned to the anti-tax, anti-spending, pro-personal liberty sentiments that are surging to the forefront of American politics in the form of movements like the Tea Parties. He has a solidly conservative record of reform that appeals to these kind of voters; he has shown that he can come from completely outside of politics, with no machine behind him, to win in regions where a Republican might not be expected to get votes; and he is also building a lot of bridges with the same grassroots activists that made Ron Paul the fundraising frontrunner by the start of the 2008 caucuses and primaries.
2. Any potential weaknesses?

Gary is fundamentally a conservative: he believes in limited government, fiscal discipline, personal responsibility, and a secure homeland. However, he boldly takes these beliefs into areas where many other conservatives have not yet extended them. For instance, Gary has the courage to point out the fiscal irresponsibility and unsustainability of our government's limitless commitment to nation building in the Middle East. He departs from the party line on the issue of the Drug Prohibition, pointing out how prohibition goes against the principle of individual responsibility for one's self, and more importantly, how prohibitions breed organized crime that threatens our national security. And while, at heart, he is a conservative when it comes to social issues, his limited government beliefs lead him to a position of strict federalism when it comes to things like abortion and gay marriage (i.e. he believes these issues are the reserved domain of the 50 states, not the federal government). He will have to take care to point out the consistency in his conservative philosophy, and not let other Republican candidates paint him as a "liberal".
3. Why Gary Johnson and not Sarah Palin?

I have nothing bad to say about Sarah Palin. She is a caring mother, who put family before politics by stepping down as Governor, and she was, like Gary Johnson, a successful business-owner and Governor. All I will focus on is why Gary Johnson ought to be President, not why any other candidate ought not to be President. Gary Johnson built a multi-million dollar company from scratch. He came from outside of politics to unseat an incumbent Democratic Governor in a state where Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats, 2 to 1. He was a well-liked Governor who vetoed more bills than all the other 49 Governors at that time combined, left the state government with 1200 fewer state employees (with no firings), balanced the budget, left the state with all time high bond ratings, and cut taxes on 14 occasions (and never raised taxes). This is the same kind of governing philosophy that makes Sarah Palin's fans interested in her, and if Gary should win the Republican presidential nomination, he will need the support of Sarah's followers. Furthermore, should Sarah Palin run and win the Republican presidential nomination, having an accomplished and charismatic runningmate like Gary Johnson might be a real boon for her.
4. Do you believe that Governor Johnson will run in 2012?

I have had the privilege to speak with Gary Johnson on multiple occasions, and one of the things that strikes you about him is his deep belief in and passion for the American dream. As someone who lived the American dream himself, I can't even begin to tell you how concerned Gary is with the runaway spending, the out-of-control government power, and the erosion of civil liberties that are threatening that dream. Gary is, I believe, the only one who is bold enough, principled enough, and electable enough to put this country back on the right track. I don't think someone as passionate about America as Gary Johnson will let this unique and historic opportunity for a candidate like himself to make real change in America pass him by.
5. Do you believe that the Governor could get the GOP nomination?

Definitely. Like I said, Gary came from outside of politics, with no political machine behind him, to beat a former Republican Governor in the Republican primaries, and to then unseat an incumbent Democratic Governor by a 10 point margin, in a state where Republican voters are vastly outnumbered. He couldn't have done that without having a strong ability to appeal to all different kinds of voters with all different kinds of beliefs and concerns. He has a sterling record to run on, and he is already catching on fast amongst the grassroots. I think a very realistic path to the nomination goes through New Hampshire, whose voters are famous for picking independent-minded antipoliticians like Gary.
6. What's the best part of running your site?

Most certainly, running gives me a fantastic vantage point from which to watch the building momentum for Gary. Website hits have skyrocketed, the website is climbing toward the top of search engine results, and campaign merchandise is flying out of the store. That's a significant sign, especially this far out from the next presidential election. I also appreciate being able to meet all the wonderful people--writers, bloggers, activists, etc.--through my website. There is a lot of momentum building for Gary Johnson 2012, and it is very exciting to watch it all unfold!

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Josiah Schmidt said...

According to, Gary Johnson was known for:

* Vetoing 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors combined).
* Reducing taxes $123 million annually.
* Cutting the rate of government growth in half.
* Eliminating the state’s budget deficit.
* Leaving the state government with 1200 fewer employees (without firing anyone).
* Leaving the state government with all-time high bond ratings.
* Enacting major welfare reform, which cut government welfare spending by 30%.
* Shifting state Medicaid to managed care.
* Bringing the New Mexico state government and the Navajo nation leadership together to finally resolve century-old disputes over water, gaming, and other issues.
* Privatizing half of the prisons in the state.
* Shooting down campaign finance legislation.
* Attracting many new private and parochial schools into the state.
* Repealing the Little Davis-Bacon Act, thereby allowing non-unionized labor the ability to be employed in construction of new schools and other public works.
* Overseeing the construction of 500 miles of new, four-lane highway (designed, financed, built, and guaranteed by the private sector).
* Running 100% positive campaigns, never mentioning his opponents once in print or ads.
* Coming from outside of politics with no political machine behind him to beat a former Republican Governor in the Republican primaries and then unseat an incumbent Democrat Governor in the general election by a 10 point victory margin, even at a time when Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2-1 in the state.

Anonymous said...

I will have to follow Johnson. I am waiting to see who else emerges for 2012 but Johnson seems to have the goods.