Former two term New Mexican Republican Governor Gary Johnson who had been running for the Republican presidential nomination officially ended his campaign last week. He also announced he will be seeking the Libertarian nomination for president. In an email to supporters Johnson said:
This morning, I stepped before the microphones at a news conference in the New Mexico capitol and announced that I am seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as was the case in 2008.
It was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said since watching how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian – that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.
Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. Other candidates with no national name identification like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman were allowed to participate in the debates.
Incredibly candidates with no executive experience like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum were allowed to participate while I, a successful two-term governor with a solid record of job creation, was arbitrarily excluded by elitist media organizations in New York. My appeals to the Republican National Chairman for basic fairness were ignored.
When I announced that I was running for president, I promised you I would be a voice for bold ideas to bring government and its spending under control. I promised I would put my record as the ‘most fiscally conservative’ governor in the nation in front of the voters.
I’m a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.
His campaign never really got off the ground, likely due to his libertarian leanings combined with the fact that fellow libertarian Republican Ron Paul is better known and also running. In 2008 Gary Johnson endorsed Ron Paul for president. He has again publicly threw his support behind Ron Paul. Johnson said:
“The cause of individual liberty and freedom is bigger and more important than any candidate or campaign. I am hopeful that in urging my supporters in Iowa to vote for Ron Paul in the coming caucuses, a victory for the principles we share can be won.”
It is a bit odd for a current presidential nominee to endorse an opposing parties’ nominee, imagine for instance if in 2008 Hillary Clinton while still running endorsed John McCain for president. It would be very interesting to see what would happen if both were on the ballot in November, Paul as a Republican and Johnson as a Libertarian, but that is something that is so improbable it is best left to the imagination of a slumbering libertarian.
Johnson’s Iowa supporters won’t amount to a huge boost for Paul; in the few polls Johnson was included in he typically garnered 1-2%. He also never had a large Iowa organization built up, although I can attest that those who were part of Johnson’s Iowa team are passionate supporters and every vote helps, as most are predicting a very tight race on Tuesday. Johnson’s former New Hampshire team has also endorsed Ron Paul in the first in the nation primary state.