There has been a great deal of speculation going back a couple of months that Republican Presidential candidate Gary Johnson will drop out of the nomination contest and instead, enter the contest for the Libertarian Party one. Now it is widely reported that the move is on, with the possibility of an announcement within the next couple of days.
He is currently in Florida to meet with LP people and according to one of his advisers Roger Stone, he is happy with the results. Johnson, who has been excluded from most debates, partly blames his poor standing in the race on GOP officials who did nothing to help ensure that he had a shot at being invited to the televised debates. Here is an interview he did with Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald:
Johnson says he believes most Republicans are not socially conservative, it is only the activists that are. “I didn’t win over social conservatives running as governor of New Mexico in the primary. I didn’t get their votes, there were others to choose from.While the LP has a number of candidates listed at this stage, the entry of a candidate of the stature of Johnson would change the whole outlook for the party should he gain the nomination.
“But when it came time for the general election, those social conservative Republicans then deferred to their second-most important issue, which was dollars and cents. And I excelled in the dollars and cents area.
“New Mexico is a state that is 2-1 Democrat,” Johnson, who was governor in Santa Fe for eight years from 1995-2002, pointed out. “I won election and I won reelection by a bigger margin.” …
He said the ban on drugs is responsible for the violence that has engulfed the Mexican border area. “We need to get rid of prohibition like we needed to get rid of prohibition of alcohol, to move disputes from the streets and machine guns to the courts.
… “Newt Gingrich, in 1997, proposed the death penalty for possession of marijuana in excess of 2oz. with intent to distribute from outside of the country. Newt Gingrich has smoked marijuana. Gosh, to me this is hypocritical. “When it comes to Newt Gingrich, we have a real fundamental difference when it comes to marijuana and other drugs, and that fundamental difference is, you know what? Maybe it’s a bad choice, but should you be subject to the death penalty because of your bad choice? I don’t think so.”
He also took issue with the other leader in the Republican race. “I don’t know where Mitt Romney stands on the issues. I’m in the contest and I really don’t know where he stands. “This process should be about explaining what your positions are, what the problems are and, of course, what your resume is.
If, as is almost certain that he switches, about the only saving grace for the Republican Party is that while he has the potential to rip votes off them with his fiscal conservative record, he will probably strip the Democrats of socially liberal voters who are disgusted with the disappointing results of the Obama tenure. The GOP has brought this down on its own head.