Everyone’s third-favorite 2012 presidential candidate is back in the ring.
In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on Tuesday, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he would like to run for president in 2016. He ran against Mitt Romney and Barack Obama as a Libertarian in 2012.
“Let’s skip the pleasantries and ask the question everyone wants to know the answer to. Will you be running for president in 2016?” one Reddit user asked Johnson.
“I hope to be able to run in 2016,” Johnson replied.
When asked which party he would run under — Libertarian or Republican — he said, “I would love running as a Libertarian because I would have the least amount of explaining to do.”
This news may be scoffable to some — after all, Johnson earned just 1.2 million votes in 2012, or about 1 percent of the popular vote. But he ran the most successful third-party campaign since Ralph Nader in 2000, and we all know how that one turned out.
And while not much may have changed between 2012 and 2016, it’s hard to underestimate the seismic shift toward libertarianism that the Republican Party has undergone in the past few years. Yesterdays Republicans wouldn’t have dreamed of supporting state gay-marriage laws or medical marijuana. Now, the GOP’s big names are skirting those issues, but not openly opposing them, either.
It’s worth remembering that Johnson was at the forefront of both those issues. He’s long been a crusader for legalized marijuana, and he came out in favor of same-sex marriage (albeit not for its federal protection) long before President Obama did.
While social issues hardly decide a presidency, it goes to show that the morals we considered “presidential” yesterday, we may find repugnant tomorrow. And if the 2016 Republican nominee is as clueless about connecting with young voters as Mitt Romney was, a Johnson candidacy might start looking a lot more appealing.
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified on Friday the makes and models of 12 million cars and motorcycles that have been recalled because of defective air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata. The action includes 4.3 million Chryslers; 4.5 million Hondas; 1.6 million Toyotas; 731,000 Mazdas; 402,000 Nissans; 383,000 Subarus; 38,000 Mitsubishis; and 2,800 Ferraris. ... Analysts have said it could take years for all of the air bags to be replaced. Some have questioned whether Takata can survive the latest blow."
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says 41 Secret Service agents have been disciplined in the fallout of an investigation over the agency's leak of personnel files. The leaker, who has resigned, released records showing that Oversight and Government Reform Chair Jason Chaffetz—who was leading an investigation of Secret Service security lapses—had applied for a job at the agency years before. The punishments include reprimands and suspension without pay. "Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.
Mitt Romney spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about his decision to challenge Donald Trump. “Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack. They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” Still, "I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
"A bill to help Puerto Rico handle its $70 billion debt crisis is facing an uncertain future in the Senate. No Senate Democrats have endorsed a bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while some are actively fighting it. ... On the Republican side, senators say they’re hopeful to pass a bill but don’t know if they can support the current legislation — which is expected to win House approval given its backing from leaders in that chamber."