- Jeremy Lanningham
- Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson.
He considers himself to be an outsider, thinks the
United States' system of electing the president is rigged and is known for making provocative comments—and he'll be on the ballot this fall in the race for the White House. His name isn't Trump. It's Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico and, now, the official presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.
Johnson won the Libertarian nod Sunday on the second ballot, clinching 55.8 percent of the delegate vote and pushing back his nearest contenders: Austin Petersen, former host of "Freedom Watch" on the Fox Business Network, and John McAfee, the man who developed the famous McAfee anti-virus software.
According to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, as many as 44 percent of Americans say they want a third-party candidate to run in the 2016 election.
This past weekend's Libertarian national convention in Orlando, Fla. was, true to form, colorful. CNN reports delegate stormed through the halls with signs and chants and, "at one point, a man did a striptease on stage until he sat before the audience—and live television—in nothing but his underwear." In a Saturday candidate debate at the convention, questions included, "Should it be a crime to sell heroin to a 5-year-old?" and "Should America have ever been involved in World War I or World War II?" To the latter question, Johnson said, 'I don't know."
Johnson sat down with Boise Weekly in 2012 to talk about his previous run for the White House. He said he had "always been in sync with Republicans" when it came to economics, but he pushed hard to gut the current tax system.
"I support a consumptive tax in lieu of federal income tax and corporate tax, and yes, that means abolishing the Internal Revenue Service," he said at the time.
When BW asked him if that meant an elimination of all payroll deductions, he added, "No more federal withholdings: no Social Security, Medicare or even unemployment. All of that would come out of the proceeds from the consumption tax."
As for now, Johnson said his first priority is to secure his place in the national spotlight by being invited to participate in national presidential debates later this year.