By now, you have probably heard the news.
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.
I had hoped to lay out a full libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. I think this election needs a libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee he will be the Republican nominee.
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. And I said that, unlike too many Republican politicians, I think Americans’ government should be smaller and less intrusive and let people make decisions for themselves.
My Agenda for America is clear:
- I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%.
- I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and jobs.
- I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve.
- I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.
- I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan.
- I support a woman's right to choose.
- I support marriage equality for gay Americans as required by the Constitution.
- I support legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.
- I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.
It is clear that the elite national media and the political “ruling class” don’t want this message heard. It frightens them. It frightens them because they know our message is one that actually reflects the true beliefs of millions of Americans – and they don’t want those millions of people to know there really is a candidate for president who represents them, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or Libertarians.
Sadly neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda to the American people.
They can’t handle the notion of a successful two-term governor, elected and reelected as a Republican in a Democrat state, who could veto 750 spending bills to shrink government -- while refusing to play the special interest game or impose a social agenda on people who prefer to make their own judgments about “values”.
In other words, there is no room in the national two-party club for a candidate who actually proved that governing as a libertarian works – and whose platform on every issue is clearly supported by a majority of the American people.
Sometimes the best answer is the simplest. 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.
Even before I announced my decision, polls are showing that I would today gain more votes than any Libertarian presidential candidate in history – and have a very real impact on the election nationwide. And that is before our campaign even begins.
If I earn the Libertarian nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I will not be held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries. And most important, we will offer a political “home” for millions of Americans who are not finding one in the current political establishment or its candidates.
I am excited. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking the system as it has never been shaken before. Just the speculation that I might run as a Libertarian has garnered more national media attention than I ever received as a Republican candidate whose voice they didn’t’ want to hear.
Depending on which poll you read, at least 40% of Republicans are not satisfied with the “field” of candidates the media has produced for them. At least 1 in 4 Democrats is having real second thoughts about Barack Obama. Do the math, and it confirms what I have seen for months on the campaign trail: The only political majority in America today is the one made up of voters who are looking for leadership they haven’t found yet. America is ready for a President who will restore common sense to our fiscal and foreign policies and get government out of the boardroom and the bedroom.
A credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.
In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.
Together, you and I are going to offer that majority a choice. They will see that Your support in the past few months has created this amazing opportunity. I may be the messenger, but this isn’t about me. It is about seizing a moment in history and bringing America back from the brink.
I want you to be with me as we launch this great endeavor. I ask for your continued support. I ask for your advice. And I am asking for your contribution today to provide the spark for the movement we are igniting.
You are one of my most generous supporters, and I must depend on you to be as generous as you can once again. Please send your contribution of $2,000, $1,000, $500, or $250. It will be used wisely to take our message to every corner of this great country, and to provide a voice that will otherwise never be heard in 2012. Go to: Gary Johnson 2012.com.
As a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination my campaign will be eligible for Federal Matching funds -- which means whatever you send will ultimately be matched. A $100 contribution is worth $200. A $250 contribution is worth $500. Please send your maximum contribution today.
Thank you for your support and your friendship. It means more to me than you will ever know.
P.S. For those who say my decision to run as the Libertarian Party candidate will only draw votes from the Republicans and re-elect President Obama let me predict that, as my full platform based on freedom becomes known, my candidacy will draw votes from both the Republicans and Democrats and many, many independents.