By Carla Howell
(This article was originally published in the Dec. 2015 issue of LP News, page 5.)
Governor Gary Johnson
Newsmax TV, CBS, and Fox News are among the media outlets probing to see if 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee Gov. Gary Johnson or former governor Jesse Ventura will run for president on the Libertarian ticket.
New Mexico Political Report linked to a post from Johnson on his Tumblr page that hinted at his intention to run for president again, noting that he wrote nearly 2,000 words about his history running for office, the state of the current political parties, and what he believes the country might be ready for in a candidate.
Johnson told NMPR, “I hope to be the Libertarian nominee,” and that he hopes “to be able to announce.”
Johnson acknowledged to NMPR that the Libertarian nomination is not a guarantee for him and that it is “up for grabs.”
NMPR suggested that Johnson has not yet announced his candidacy because of campaign finance laws and noted that in 2012, he held off announcing his run so he could continue as honorary chair of Our America Initiative.
Sunshine State News also ran a feature story on Johnson.
Regarding his experience running as the nominee in 2012, Johnson told SSN, “I firmly believe that the majority of Americans are, in fact, ‘conservative’ when it comes to the size and cost of government, while being socially ‘liberal’ when it comes to individuals being free to make their own choices and control their own lives.
“Running as the candidate who could unapologetically advocate those principles was, well, liberating.”
Johnson laid out what he would offer voters in the areas of personal freedom, the risk of an economic collapse, and foreign policy. “Americans who are rightfully and deeply concerned that a feckless foreign policy is allowing the likes of ISIS to not only threaten our safety, but humiliate us, may be ready for a candidate who will put politics aside and engage in reality-based foreign and military policies that actually fulfill government’s most basic responsibility to keep us — and our freedoms — safe.
“Maybe, just maybe, America is ready. And maybe that’s why I would want to run for president.”
Jesse Ventura interview on CBS affiliate WCCO-TV
Jesse Ventura appeared on Fox News Radio’s “The Alan Colmes Show,” where he said he was open to running as a Libertarian and that he “voted last time for Governor Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.”
When asked if he would challenge Johnson for the nomination, Ventura told Colmes, “No, I would try to team up with him.”
He told Colmes he has not talked to Johnson about the idea directly, but that “Libertarians have contacted me, and have opened the door for me to come to the convention.”
When asked about his dislike of party labels, he said, “I’ll clear with [the Libertarian Party] that I’m only using their party to get ballot access. I won’t join the party because I want that to be my main running thing. If I run, I will run on this issue: I will challenge the American people to make history with me and elect the first president since George Washington, the father of our country, that doesn’t belong to a political party.”
Apparently, Ventura was not aware that the Libertarian Party bylaws state, “No candidate may be nominated for President or Vice-President … who is not a member of the Party.”
Ventura affirmed on the CBS affiliate WCCO-TV (Minneapolis) that he’s considering a run for the Libertarian nomination. He explained that he is a “true independent” and that he would “pull us completely out of the Middle East.”
On both the Colmes and WCCO-TV appearances, Ventura punctuated his lack of allegiance to any party by noting his willingness to run as Donald Trump’s running mate, if asked.
WCCO-TV reported that Ventura indicated that he will decide whether to run in March.
“Why get in now?” Ventura told WCCO-TV reporter Esme Murphy. “Wait for the pikers to be gone, wait until there is two left. Then you get the press, you will be the focus, then Jesse will steal the election in the last four months.”
Ventura told host Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV that he would run as a Libertarian because Republicans and Democrats are a “two-party dictatorship.”
“I want to destroy them,” he said, “and when I say destroy them, I want to destroy the current stranglehold these two parties have on our elected system, of turning it into a system based upon bribery. … [In the] private sector, you go to jail for that.”
He added that if he is tapped by the LP, he would love to run “because I’ll win.” On WCCO-TV, he clarified that he’d win if he is included in the presidential debates.