Former NM governor Gary Johnson courts Ron Paul’s libertarian baseSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Thu, 02/11/2010 - 07:48
“You say you want a revolution?” is the unofficial motto for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s new advocacy committee. The slogan, emblazoned across the top of the advocacy committee’s website, OurAmericaInitiative.com, brings to mind the largely online effort to elect Texas congressman Ron Paul president, an initiative that was also dubbed a “revolution.”
When Johnson, a Republican, spoke at the offices of the libertarian Reason magazine on Tuesday, there were more not-so-subtle hints that he intended to to try to capture Rep. Paul’s base. “I’m absolutely a Ron Paul fan,” Johnson told the audience, made up mostly of staffers at libertarian-leaning organizations in Washington. That evening he, along with Harvard economist and Johnson adviser Jeffrey Miron, unveiled a three-point economic plan that seemed aimed at the dreams of Tea Partiers. “Slash expenditures” “cut taxes,” and “shrink federal involvement in the economy” are the plan’s three main planks.
Until recent years, Johnson was an unlikely prospect for the 2012 race. His service as governor, from 1995 to 2003, was his first and only political office. He spent his years out of office focusing more on climbing Mount Everest and competing in triathlons than politics. While governor, he publicly advocated the decriminalization of marijuana, and in a 2001 interview with Reason, Johnson said there were “no politics in his future,” because he had “pulled the pin on my political career with my stance on drugs.”
But when The Daily Caller asked him what has changed since that interview, Johnson responded that “over time the [marijuana] issue has come to a tipping point,” citing a recent Gallup poll that found 44 percent of Americans support legalization.