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Republican Establishment Pushes Gary Johnson to Third Party Run -- And Their Demise

The Republican Establishment doesn’t like Gary Johnson. That’s no secret. And, while GOP presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul complain about a lack of airtime in the debates, Johnson is excluded outright. In fact, the pattern of exclusion has been so obvious -- and, intentional -- that political writer Dave Weigel dubbed it the  “Gary Johnson Rule.” 

It’s not that Johnson lacks the credentials for office. As a two-term governor and business owner, he has more executive experience than many of the other candidates. He also has a record on cutting spending that rivals even Paul’s reputation for being a fiscal hawk -- Johnson vetoed 750 bills during his time in office. He also left New Mexico with a balanced budget, and the highest approval rating from constituents than any other 2012 GOP presidential candidate. 

People like Johnson. The Republican Establishment does not. Perhaps they don’t like his Goldwater-like platform, or maybe they just don’t like people from New Mexcio. Whatever the reason, Johnson has been pushed to the side and ignored. 

In October, after being excluded from a series of debates (he has been allowed to participate in just two), Johnson petitioned the Republican National Committee (RNC) for assistance. Last week, the RNC contacted Johnson, saying they “have to have some minimum criteria in order for candidates to participate in these debates...otherwise, the debates would be utter chaos and unhelpful to Republican voters as we select [their] nominee” -- essentially admitting either they lack the creativity to host 10 candidates on stage, or the RNC thinks Republican voters are too stupid to have a few more choices on stage.

Unfortunately for the GOP, it appears the neglect is pushing Johnson towards a possible third-party bid with the Libertarian Party.

The Daily Caller reports that Johnson has considered such an option. “One thing I would make clear is that, if I did decide [to seek the Libertarian nomination], that’s nothing that’s pre-ordained,” Johnson said. “That’s something that I would have to go out and work for. And I would do just that, I would go out and work for that.”

Political strategist Roger Stone told the Daily Caller that a third-party run such as Johnson’s could be disastrous for Republicans in 2012, especially if they nominate a candidate unappealing to the party’s conservative base. “The Libertarian Party, for example, is on the ballot in all 50 states, and should the Republicans nominate, say, Romney, then a candidate running on a tea party fiscal platform would…pose a great danger,” Stone said.

But, could anybody blame Johnson? All he wanted was a fair chance to earn the support of Republican voters, and the Republican Establishment stood in his way at every turn. Should he seek other alternatives to get his message out, the consequences would be squarely on the shoulders of those that pushed him in that direction. 

Johnson's conservative economic views, and liberal views on social issues, give him mass appeal, even across party lines. This could be particularly devastating against a milquetoast Republican in the general. Johnson may not pick up the support of values voters, but his track record on spending, and limited government take on the role of government, could attract many grassroots activists and Tea Partiers disgusted with the GOP’s continuous failure to get serious about eliminating debt. 

There is only so much that conservatives can take, and already Republicans seem to have forgotten the lessons of 2010. 

Maybe Johnson is the wake-up call the Republican Establishment needs to shake things up. While Barry Goldwater failed to win the general election in 1964, his candidacy gave birth to today’s conservative movement. Johnson may be in the same position to force the hand of the Republican Establishment, which has largely been given a free pass to run roughshod over the limited government principles that once defined the party. 

The only hope for the GOP at this point is to either nominate a conservative candidate who will appease the increasingly incensed (and, justifiably so) grassroots, or convince Johnson to ignore the insults of the past few months and go away quietly. Whatever the GOP (and Johnson) decides to do, it was the Republican Establishment that tied their own noose. What’s left now is whether they’ll swing from it. 

Editor's Note: Andrew Davis is a volunteer for the Gary Johnson 2012 presidential campaign, and is the former Director of Communications for the national Libertarian Party. He also served as the Deputy Press Secretary for the Bob Barr 2008 presidential campaign. 

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Almost the exact same thing happened to Ron Paul in 2007/8

Almost the exact same thing happened to Ron Paul in 2007/8.  He was excluded from debates even though he had tremendous grass roots support even back then.  Paul was doing well enough in national polls to be invited but the Faux Newz networks and other GOP parrots would not let him on stage if they could stop him. 

Gary Johnson is facing the same type of discrimination from Faux Newz type GOP establishment folks.  They don't like him because he shares nearly identical views to Ron Paul.  If the GOP establisment elite allowed Gary Johnson onto the stage after the first debate there would be problems for them.  That would be two people on stage supporting each other's viewpoints and it would bolster both of them as the outsiders to the rest of the crap on the stage. 

Personally I hope Gary Johnson reaches out to Ron Paul, steps aside in the GOP nomination process and fully endorses Ron Paul.  A 3rd party run is a waste of time, money, manpower and resources.  Then when Paul wins the GOP nomination - Gary would be the BEST choice for runningmate.  

That is the kind of ticket I would hope for.

Paul/Johnson 2012!!!! 


I like Gary Johnson, but it's difficult for me to understand why he would want to run third party. In fact, it's unbelievable to me that any Libertarian would not throw his support behind Ron Paul. Ron Paul, if you remember, ran on the Libertarian ticket in 1988 and just found himself excluded from debates and spent all his money just getting on the ballots in the states. But it's absolutely beyond my comprehension why every single Libertarian (or libertarian) would not be lining up behind Paul, Gary Johnson included. His principles have been firm and consistent throughout decades, and his realization that he needed to carry those principles into the Republican party is why he's even in it. But the Republican party platform, if you look at it, is basically a libertarian one anyway, it's just that there are no politicians of integrity within the party who live up to those principles once elected. Paul would be the exception to that rule, and Johnson would be a fine ally.

Maybe Ron Paul feels that he has passed his prime already

Phenson, you may recall that following the 2008 elections and prior to the 2010 elections, when conservatives were trying to induce Ron Paul to run again in 2012, Dr. Paul stated that it was his intent not to run for re-election to the House, and he also realized that in 2012, at the age of 77 (born Aug 1935), he may be getting a bit too old to run for President.  He mentioned that by the time his first term would be over in 2016, he would be 81 years old.  You may also recall during the GOP race for 2008 that Dr. Paul stated that, aside from receiving the GOP nomination, his primary concern was simply to have a platform to present the true constitutionally conservative message to the American people in order to make them aware of how much we, as a Republic and a People, have been shackled by an ever-growing Big Government since the Constitution was created, and he has certainly succeeding in meeting that goal.

Personally, I have been a big fan of Dr. Paul's for about 25 years now, and was thrilled in 2008 when he ran for President as a Republican, but as much as I appreciate both the man and his constitutional governing philosophy, I have to agree that it is quite possible Dr. Paul just feels that his prime is behind him, and he is no longer physically able to maintain the tempo and pressures associated with doing a proper job as President.  Perhaps the only reason Dr. Paul decided to run again at 77 years old is because he once again felt that his country needed him once again, and, being the patriot that he is, he answered the call.

As a physician, Dr. Paul knows better than most candidates what sort of physical and mental condition he is in, and what his prognosis is for continued good health, so he may be aware of something that has not been publicized that he feels could be a limiting factor preventing him from running for re-election in 2016, so perhaps he is glad to have his son, Senator Rand Paul, and Gary Johnson both available to "carry the torch of freedom" beyond 2016, or even beyond 2012 assuming he is not selected as the Republican candidate. 

Throw support to Paul?

I'm glad he's not throwing his support to Paul at this time and it makes good sense to me.   We have TWO libertarian candidates running and that gives twice as much credibility to our cause.   The Neocons have had much more difficulty in branding us as kooks this time with two legitimate candidates running.     Johnson will not be bound by  a promise of no third party run like Paul (although Paul has not directly stated that he won't but that he is reluctant to do so.)   Johnson may save me from having to write in a name when the Pillsbury Dough Boy runs as a "Republican".

The Coverup of Obama's BC is Being Orchestrated by Bush Sr

We have so much corruption in DC that neither one of these parties can be "Cleaned Up" by electing Constitutionalists working within their party structure.  We must get Third Party independents in office quickly.  The Vatican Bank accounts were part of the Bush Sr'.'s Cover-up and blackmail of Obama.  Bush Sr. has Obama's REAL Birth Certificate that he obtained with the help of Tony Blair and some convenient bribe money.  This is perhaps the biggest scandal in American history, and it's about to be revealed. ..

There appears to be some money shuffling going on with Vatican Bank Accounts and now this IRS Form has been filed about the transfer of Obama's "unreported" ill-begotten billions into RBC bank accounts all over Canada in 2009 and RBS bank accounts in several European countries in 2010 recently and noone has said anything in the MSM.  This money has been shifted around through many banks and is related to the Vatican Bank accounts of the Obamas and  many of DC's elite that may have been paid off to cover for the Obama Cover-up.  In the IRS report, it is stated that George H. W. Bush paid Obama 1.5 billion himself.  Was this hush money to keep Obama from ratting out his ill-begotten billions laundered all over the place???  Bush Sr. also has a copy of Obama's real Kenyan BC he obtained through Blair and others with payoffs I'm sure.  Bush Sr. is blackmailing Obama with this. 


"...The Obamas on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, were hand delivered the document below by high level government officials.   It contains an IRS Report regarding the misappropriated funds.   We want all readers to specifically note that per investigation and the document below, a large amount of funds were transferred to the Royal Bank of Canada into an account of Michelle Obama.   In addition to the information the White Hats have previously reported and this document, we can further confirm that since November 9th, The Obamas have already illegally moved funds again out of these accounts.  


We anticipate that Geithner will simply bury this legally filed report in a drawer.  What will Obama and Michelle say when the account history of these funds is distributed to the White House staff, Congress, world leaders, our global readers and delivered into other legal authorities?  The filing of this report alone to the IRS, if properly addressed, should sink him..."



Have we all gone insane?!?

Hmm... funny thing here is unlike Ross Perot, GJ wouldn't just pull votes from the right! He would pull mass votes from the left too.... He would pull the democratic voters who elected Obama hoping for a change, yet still not seeing it. In fact a Libertarian run could be better as many of those democrats are too stubborn to ever vote GOP. If its insane to vote for something other than way too much spending (democrats), or way to much spending but pretending that your for less government (Reps), then check me in to the insane asylum! Seriously, you would be insane re-electing Obama, or electing any of these typical GOP candidates (IE all of them other than GJ or RP). Isn't that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?   

The New Mexico View

It is interesting to me, for all I hear in opinions, and all I know of what works, that we will stay in with the devil we know.  If a candidate does not have the flag of Republican or Democrat fluttering in the background then they are not worthy of our votes.  Yet both these grand old political groups have led us to the very brink.  The US is in debt some 15 TRILLION dollars.  That is enough money to move the entire Earth to a better neighborhood.  There should be a knight with a fish that smacks anyone in DC that so much as asks for a free goverment toothpick.  How much more EPIC FAIL is there?  Through out history there has never existed anything as broke as our government is right now.  Yet we want to keep on trying to crank up the GOP, which is doing its best imitation of the old Democratic Party.  The Democrats (in New Mexico they are the Banana Republic of ultra corruption) have gone past communist and are settling in at a point of hoplessly insane.  We need someone different, we need someone who can budget and cut waist.  We need someone who is young, strong, knows what is important and has good values and character.  Someone with a track record of doing what he says he will do.  I really like Ron Paul.  That is until he puts on the crazy hat and starts talking about cutting the CIA.  It was Bill Clinton's cutting the CIA and building of communication barriers that led us to 9/11.  Gary Johnson is like Ron Paul with out the grumpy old white guy thing that never ever sells to the public (sorry Bob Dole, John McCain).  It was time for a change in the last election.  We had a choice of change (the road to socialism) or the status quo.  The road to socialism has been horrific in its destruction.  So now what?  Back down the old status quo, contine on the socialist path or real change for the better?  VOTE JOHNSON!

would people vote for johnson

would people vote for johnson as a libertarian even if ron Paul gets the republican nomination?  i can see johnson in ron pauls cabinet when ron wins obv.  

Why I do not support Gary Johnson in office

I like the guy he has a great platform.He is dead wrong on immigration.That makes me wonder at how he ran a successful construction business in the south without illegal immigrants.I used to mow lawns.Had my own business when I was 25.I loved the exercise.I have worked in restaurants and I liked that.I built docks and did all sorts of construction jobs that are now held by illegal aliens.How can the young people of America learn any skills without holding jobs?I guess they can become proffessional video game players or do drugs and work in road gangs until released.Great plan Gary.At least Ron Paul knows that illegal immigrants are just that,illegal.

Johnson's for the people, NOT the establishment

The RNC underestimates the peoples' pure disdain for this overgrown government that is taking our liberties. It doesn't matter whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. If you're corrupt, you stink, and we the people, smell it. We will stand up and fight this ludicrous 'war on the people' that the government calls a 'war on drugs.' We're not all highly educated, but we're not stupid either. My vote will be for Johnson, whether he is Republican or Libertarian. If the RNC doesn’t clean this mess up now, I will NEVER return to the party.

Gary Johnson for President???

Have we all gone crazy??  the current president is a disaster to this country and a third party candidate would sink the possibility of replacing him.  Please Gary Johnson, do not think of running this time.  Wait for the next time around and become a legitimate Republican candidate.  You know very well that you cannot make the White House this time so please, please, support whichever of the Repubs who will be chosen this time.  We need to defeat Obama!!!

Lesser of two evils?


If Obama wins, so be it.  Gary Johnson, or another like him, is what we need to break the cycle of more spending and less liberty.  Mitt and Newt are less "evil" than Barack but they are still evil.  We have yet to see a GOP front runner that will cut overall spending.  The best we have on offer is the promise of slower increases.  A slower increase won't fly, less evil won't fly.  If you keep voting for the same kind of guy you will keep getting the same kind of results.  You will send the message loud and clear to the GOP that you are so scared of the other guy you will vote for whatever crap they foist off on you.  I will never again vote for evil out of fear, no matter what his party affiliations.  Period!  We have to have the guts to stand up and vote for what we believe in.  If this country is to fail then I at least go down fighting for the kind of a president that is worthy of the title.

What makes him less "legitimate"?

Did you miss the point of the article? What makes him less "legitimate" than the other guys? He has more executive experience than anybody except for Mitt (who was also a governor), and better conservative credentials than everybody (Paul is the only one that comes close). The only thing that makes him less legitimate is the fact that the media, in collaboration with the RNC and other GOP sponsoring groups, has kept him out of all but two of the debates. And, if they hadn't, then this wouldn't even be an issue. 

Besides, there is no point "defeating" Obama if we're just trading a Liberal Democrat dictator for a Liberal Republican Dictator. 

Gary Johnson ... 3rd Party

I would welcome Gary Johnson's candidacy as a Libertarian Party candidate ... it would be great for both the party and Johnson.  I'd vote for Johnson, even if the decision risks reelecting Obama.  Republicans and Democrats are both parties dominated by corrupt slimeballs.  Perhaps Ron Paul should run with Johnson as Libertarians.  Romney sucks.  Gingrich is compromised.  Cain is vaporizing.  Bachman is insignificant.  Santorum is a certified loser.  Gary Johnson has some decent ideas and probably isn't corrupt.SGFPM


I would say Gingrich is another John McCain.  I also rather risk Obama election and vote third party. Perhaps Gary Johnson is the answer. And if enough Democrats can be removed from the Senate, they can impeach Obama and Biden!

Gary Johnson

Are the American people savy enouth to get Johnson elected or would it be like the Ross Perot run where people wanted to vote for him but were afraid to split the vote?  I say let's get behind the right person and forget the right party. Does the person hold our values and principals? Can we pull together and get the person elected?  Are we strong enough to stand up for what we believe is right or do we continue to be whipped in line by the party retoric?  Are we willing to put in the time and work to go against party lines and get it done?  If not it will continue to be corrupt politics as usual.


There is one way the Republicans can win.

Consider the scenario that Gary Johnson (or another strong candidate) runs as the Libertarian Party nominee. While these may not have any support in the Republican base, they can gather enough support to prevent Republicans from winning the general election. Even without Ron Paul running third party, enough of his supporters have promised to write him in that it might doom the Republicans.

I sincerely hope that if pigs fly and the Republican establishment realizes what a national treasure they have in Ron Paul, that the Libertarian and Constitution parties would recognize the historic opportunity and announce that instead of running a candidate themselves, they will support the Republican nominee.

It is possible

I like Gary most the time, and if Dr Paul is not the Nom then between him running 3rd party and all of Pauls following writing in Paul, not voting at all or Voting for Gary or even Obama to spite the traitors in the GOP royalty the GOP nom simply can not win. They will get what they deserve turning their backs on a true Goldwater conservative like Paul.