We here at Caffeinated thoughts were one of the first to start to highlight former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as a potential 2012 GOP Presidential candidate. In June of 2010 we announced his intention to ride RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa in 2010. We had a follow up report about additional visits to Iowa in August. Gov. Johnson intends to again ride across Iowa in RAGBRAI in 2011.
As the chair of the 501 c 4 Our America Initiative Johnson cannot comment on his intention to run, but an aid for Gov. Johnson has announced that Johnson will skip the traditional Presidential Exploratory Committee and formally announce and file to run for the GOP nomination sometime in April. His “Our American Initiative” has essentially served as an exploratory committee. In the last 15 months he has visited more than 30 states, and has spoken to over 500 groups.
He has broad appeal to many Americans. His record of fiscal responsibility while governor is attractive to fiscally conservative tea party members. He earned the nickname Gov. NO, when he vetoed over 750 bills, more than all the other governors combined while in office. He cut the number of state employees and cut taxes in New Mexico. He appeals to those who see our overseas empire and acting as policeman of the world as fiscally and morally irresponsible. Unlike many of the potential GOP candidates he wasn’t for intervention in Libya before he was against it. And he is for ending both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a position that he shares with the majority of the American people. Among the potential GOP candidates only he and Ron Paul are speaking out against the wars, and if either are nominated, it could result in some very interesting debates as Obama seeks to defend his foreign policy of interventionism and war over the past 4 years.