August 4, 2016

Gary Johnson and William Weld deliver their message to Republicans.

From yesterday's CNN town hall, the Libertarian Party's candidates for President and Vice President respond to a prompt from Anderson Cooper saying it must be "frustrating" that some high profile Republicans who say they can't vote for Trump are switching to Hillary without considering them:
JOHNSON: Well, two former Republican governors, that got re-elected in heavily Democrat states, I think that speaks volumes. I'm not really frustrated. I'm just understanding how difficult it is to cross over the line if you're an elected Republican or if you've been a former elected Republican....

WELD: Well, I think the message to Republicans is that we were two of the most fiscally responsible, i.e.; conservative governors in the United States when we served together, back in the 90s. Gary and I were good friends then, we're good friends now. But we were each rated the fiscally most conservative governor in the United States and that takes some doing. We are socially inclusive, tolerant, whatever word you want. In fact, we've been leaders on those issues.... We want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom. And I tell you the polling shows that a majority of Americans think that....
On how they might bring people together:
WELD: I think it might be refreshing to have a party that was not terribly partisan holding the White House. We would hire the best people from the Democratic Party that we could find, the smartest people from the Republican party that we could find, the best people in the Libertarian party. Our proposals out of the White House would not say take that you stupid "D" party, or you stupid "R" party. It would be, you know, here's what we think this is, maybe, kind of in the middle. Could we kind of come together around this, and the recipients of that information would not feel attacked, so they might be more likely to come to the table because they wouldn't feel like they were going to be made fools of.

JOHNSON: We're also proposing something unique, I believe, in that we're planning to do this as a partnership.
Note that Johnson said that right after Weld took the lead. Perhaps Weld is the dominant character here. Johnson proceeds to call Weld his "role model" when he became governor, and: "Really, I hold him up on a pedestal, so having him on the ticket is beyond my wildest dreams."

ADDED: In answer to a question from the audience, Johnson got to deliver their message to Democrats. How much did they have to offer someone who supported Bernie Sanders?
JOHNSON: Well, I think Bernie and I are similar on about 75 percent of what's out there. And, of course, that would be marriage equality, a woman's right to choose, legalizing marijuana, let's stop with the military interventions. The crony capitalism is alive and well, but when from an economic standpoint here's my hypothesis, and I might be wrong, if Bernie supporters are really looking for income equality, I don't think that is something that government can accomplish. Taking from Peter to rob Paul, that's a equation that Peter really loves. But, if Bernie supporters are looking for equal opportunity, I think that that is something that can be accomplished, and as governor of New Mexico, arguably having vetoed more legislation than all the other governors in the country combined -- I vetoed a whole lot of legislation that wasn't about equal opportunity. It was about giving a continued upper-hand to those that could pay for influence, and the ability to game the system, if you will. In politics you can definitely stand up against gaming the system. In politics you can definitely stand up for equal opportunity.

40 comments:

BDNYC said...

I'm a big fan of these guys, though I also noticed Johnson's deference to Weld. He's going to be eaten alive by Trump. I think Weld would do a much better job standing up to Trump (and Hillary). Johnson is too goofy and beta.

Lyle Smith said...

Anecdote: Got a txt today from a friend saying she will vote Libertarian instead of Hillary come November. Know hope!

mockturtle said...

Well, two former Republican governors, that got re-elected in heavily Democrat states, I think that speaks volumes.

It certainly does speak volumes.

dbp said...

I disagree with Johnson and Weld on lots of issues, but they have three things going for them:

1. They are not corrupt.
2. They are competant.
3. They pass as sane.

They will get my vote.

Rob said...

"Taking from Peter to rob Paul"--Gary needs to pass the joint next time.

traditionalguy said...

The return of peace in the valley. All Government decisions will be made by harmony and mutual respect. Who needs leaders when there are no more disputes allowed.

Friends of man in action. The Quakers redux.

Think of all the money saved on police and Army since no more fighting will be needed.And no guns either.

But I seem to recall that William Penn's Stewards of his huge land grant wanting to keep their wealth producing land sales to immigrants going chose to import a certain race of Real Dicks who loved fighting anybody, and sent them out west to the border near Pittsburgh where rogue Indians would not quit killing the Quakers' new civilized friendly settlers.

And soon the whole area from western Pennsylvania south to East Tennessee was fighting again...taking western Virginia, and across the western Carolinas, and into Florida, then across Tennessee , seizing Pensacola and Mobile, and then over to the Mississippi River at New Orleans,skipping across to seize Texas from Mexicans and then California and a chunk northern Mexico.

And those guys still are in action thinking and acting like the Trump The Terrible while the Pennsylvanians regret setting the American Race loose.

Rick said...

Gary Johnson and William Weld deliver their message to Republicans.

Reason has a piece up disputing this. Their analysis, which seems largely accurate to me, is that Johnson and Weld almost exclusively pitched themselves to Democrats rather than Republicans. Your first comment from Johnson ["two former Republican governors, that got re-elected in heavily Democrat states, I think that speaks volumes."] reveals his instincts.

Maybe this is a conscious strategy because they think Republicans skeptical of Trump will naturally gravitate to them. But I think it's subconscious and a result of both Johnson's and Weld's left-libertarian beliefs. Left-libertarians are repelled more by the right's anti-drug mantra and religiosity (moralism) than the left's authoritarianism. Their views would make them mainstream liberals before "liberals"/ Democrats migrated to the far left over the last several decades. It's worth noting their economics is barely even "let's not vastly increase spending when we haven't paid for the promises we've already made". And yet even this thin gruel of libertarian economics is enough to exclude them from the Democratic party and so called liberalism.

Tom said...

On Facebook, more and more of my friends, regardless of original party or leanings, are coming over to Johnson and Weld. It's odd for a libertarian to be mainstream but I think these guys are. That hurts them a bit with dogmatic libertarians but dogmatic libertarians arent electing anyone to anything.

I do worry a bit about Gary standing up to Trump but Kasich managed that okay but choosing not to fight. I think Gary's largest opportunities exist while Trump and Hillary are trying to figure out how far they can pee.

Ann Althouse said...

The Libertarians would never have nominated Weld. Johnson brought him in and had to fight for him. Johnson knows Weld is the better man, and he keeps revealing that to us. That's impressive of Johnson.

Ann Althouse said...

""Taking from Peter to rob Paul"--Gary needs to pass the joint next time."

Yeah, I noticed that.

But it's funny if you think about it -- might be what govt really IS doing.

Ann Althouse said...

"Reason has a piece up disputing this. Their analysis, which seems largely accurate to me, is that Johnson and Weld almost exclusively pitched themselves to Democrats rather than Republicans. Your first comment from Johnson ["two former Republican governors, that got re-elected in heavily Democrat states, I think that speaks volumes."] reveals his instincts."

They've got the fiscal conservatism which is about all that I want from the Republican side. It's enough for me to vote for Republicans some of the time.

If you have a Reason piece you want us to read, you should make a link.

I'm sure Reason would like them to promote the Libertarian cause generally, but this is an unusual year, and to me, these guys, solid ex-governors, are THE alternative to the epic weirdness of Trump and Clinton.

YoungHegelian said...

@Prof. Althouse,

to the epic weirdness of Trump and Clinton.

I want to thank you for including the "and Clinton" there. It doesn't baffle me that people throw up their hands in disgust & pick Trump, or pick Clinton, or Johnson, or Stein.

What baffles me are the people (& a lot of my liberal friends are like this) who just don't see what's the issue with Clinton! At all! Which always evokes my "what planet do you live on?" look.

D. said...

" are THE alternative to the epic weirdness of Trump and Clinton."

open borders uber alles

Rob McLean said...

Johnson and Weld almost exclusively pitched themselves to Democrats rather than Republicans.

Ironic, considering CNN aired this nonsense for the sole purpose of taking votes away from Trump.

dbp said...

This is Bizarro year: I philosophically (mostly) agree with the ideas of Libertarians, but they usually nominate a weirdo. So I vote for a Republican that I only partially agree with but who seems like a normal competent person.

This year both major parties nominated people who are weird and have ideas I mostly disagree with. This is not a hard decision and it doesn't even take into account the corruption and incompetence that Hillary and Trump display, to different but substantial degrees.

I admit, it might be a harder decision if I lived in a swing state.

Rick said...

If you have a Reason piece you want us to read, you should make a link.

I tried making a link on a previous thread and there seems to be a problem. While I am no HTML expert (a) I have been linking for years and (b) it looks like someone else tried also so the issue is beyond my understanding.

Big Mike said...

Weld really is impressive, but the guy at the top of the ticket is Gary Johnson.

Sebastian said...

"We would hire the best people" Hey, isn't that what Trump is promising too? I know the "best" GOPers. Who might be the "best" Dems, Bill?

Let's see your list of Supreme Court nominees, and we'll talk.

Rick said...

It's enough for me to vote for Republicans some of the time.

The headline is a "message to Republicans".

mccullough said...

Johnson actually did well in the private sector creating and building up a business. Weld is a lawyer

EMD said...

I tried making a link on a previous thread and there seems to be a problem. While I am no HTML expert (a) I have been linking for years and (b) it looks like someone else tried also so the issue is beyond my understanding


(a href="URL -- starts with http"> Text you want to be clickable (/a)

Replace the ( ) with < and >

Of course, Blogger could update their commenting tech, but why mess with such a great platform?

Joe said...

Johnson was not a fiscally conservative governor (he doubled the debut of New Mexico.)

(I like a lot of what Johnson says, but don't trust him at all.)

traditionalguy said...

I like that. The Epic of The Weird Trump.

Neither of theses two nice guys trying to finish last will get as many votes as Dennis Kosinich, but they will win the Miss Congeniality Award.

rcocean said...

There's only 1 way to stop Hillary from being President - and that's to support/vote for Trump.

Doing anything else is just hot air.

rcocean said...

Weld and Johnson were never libertarians. Weld supported Obama in 2008 and before that he was a very liberal Republican in two very liberal states. Not only that, he's elitist freak. He got elected Gov of Massachusetts and then decided he was "bored" with the job and tried to get Clinton to make him Ambassador to Mexico. Then he high-tailed it to New York and tried to get elected there.

JPS said...

Normally these days, Republicans talk a good conservative game, then don't deliver, and explain afterward why no one could have done better and the alternative would have done worse. Johnson and Weld are sort of the opposite: They want to make the case for themselves to Democrats, yet in office they delivered respectably conservative records.

And, rcocean, Weld's flakiness endeared him to me despite significant policy differences. We need more like him and fewer of those who grimly cling to their positions and plot the obvious next step in their accumulation of power. Also, you left out the part where he licked his wounds by making a bunch more money, and by writing for fun the little-read political novel Mackerel by Moonlight.

Unknown said...

Respectfully both weld and Johnson are both establishment republicans and the libertarian party is doing a terrible disservice by nominating them. Weld is know as a hugely social liberal and Johnson is following suit. Weld is anti second amendment. Johnson is pro liberal justices. They are both part of the crony capitalist class. I find this utterly confusing. They are against the American worker and the middle class. They literally have records which should make Bernie fans cringe. If you want to vote for establishment you have two options: Hillary and Gary Johnson. Trump is a breath of fresh air...almost wrote fresh hair right then

cubanbob said...

Can any sane person vote in this election while sober? I know it's a civic duty, I know what is at stake but I just can't see doing the deed while sober.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The Robbing Paul Act of 2016 is going to need an enforcement budget, you know.

mockturtle said...

The Robbing Paul Act of 2016 is going to need an enforcement budget, you know.

Another unfunded mandate.

rcommal said...

Althouse:

It's D. Trump versus H. Clinton.

Pick one of those two, or leave the top slot blank. Right?

--

Also, in order for you to be clear and honest or at least translucent & etc.: How about you state what you think earlier (this time, for a change) rather than later?

--

Sheesh,

lgv said...

Blogger Rob McLean said...
Johnson and Weld almost exclusively pitched themselves to Democrats rather than Republicans.

Ironic, considering CNN aired this nonsense for the sole purpose of taking votes away from Trump.


I agree. The reason is that they are so in the tank for Hillary, they can't fathom Democrats not voting for Hillary. They are so sure they can portray Trump as unworthy amongst independents, they don't realize the Libertarians can pull independent Hillary votes away. It doesn't make sense to them in their cocoon.

The election would be easier if it were Kaine vs. Pence.



Achilles said...

Watch as they get weld and Johnson on the stage and leave steinle off the stage. Every poll shows Johnson weld taking more from Hillary but they have a big blind spot there.

Shawn Levasseur said...

"Johnson was not a fiscally conservative governor (he doubled the debut of New Mexico.)"

People try to ding Johnson for his final budget miss a critical factor. But in reality he vetoed that budget, and was overridden by the solidly Democratic legislature.

mikee said...

I predict a libertarian vote by Althouse this year, because Hillary is much too corrupt for an academic lawyer to stomach, despite her XX chromosomes, and Trump is just too much.

Otherwise, why are all these innocent pixels being sacrificed for a non-electable spoiler Libertarian candidacy? It isn't because the party, the candidates or their babble has any value to the blog readers, that is certain.

Rick said...

mikee said...
I predict a libertarian vote by Althouse this year, because Hillary is much too corrupt for an academic lawyer to stomach,


Don't kid yourself. Hillary may be too corrupt for Althouse. But academia believes Althouse is a conservative because (a) she recognizes a limit exists on government spending and (b) she presents arguments rather than just assert everyone non-progressive is racist [even though she agrees with that sentiment]. She doesn't even agree with conservatives on how low spending should be. 85% of academic lawyers will vote for Hillary, and 13% will vote for Stein.

damikesc said...

People try to ding Johnson for his final budget miss a critical factor. But in reality he vetoed that budget, and was overridden by the solidly Democratic legislature.

Romney had the same issue with "Romneycare". Let me know if your defense of Johnson works any better than Romney's did.

PatHMV said...

I'd like to vote for Johnson & Weld for the reasons our host suggests and also as outlined by dbp above. But I'm not sure I can. That Johnson chose to emphasize how he is pro-choice concerns me. I can't think of a single judge who supports Roe v. Wade and its progeny and yet also supports a strong interpretation of the Bill of Rights (that is, supported the result in Citizens United, protects the individual 2nd amendment right, etc.). Kennedy, I suppose, but that's about it. I don't think I would like a court appointed by Johnson.

To emphasize pro choice also makes it impossible for a solid 20-30 percent of the electorate to vote for him. A very large segment of Republicans will simply never vote for a pro-choice candidate, no matter what. If Clinton wants to hurt Trump with Republican voters, she needs to find somebody (not from the Democrats) to start attacking him for being weak on pro-life issues over most of his public life.

Finally, the problem I see here is that he does not appear to be terribly representative of the Libertarian Party. That party is not the party of "let's appoint the best people and listen to them." That party is the party of "leave me the hell alone." And I think he's naive to think that he's going to find people who are leaders within the Democrat or Republican parties that will do what he claims he wants. They are ALL wedded to the power structure that is embedded in Washington. Initial job with the government in D.C. Leave office for decent pay in private sector. Return to government work at a significantly higher level. Leave government to work with or start your own "consulting" firm. Do some talking head work on the news networks. Return to government as a cabinet secretary or something similar. Wash, rinse, repeat.

He's got some good lines about crony capitalism, but his believe in "experts" from both parties to resolve that problem suggests to me that he doesn't fundamentally understand the problem.

I may wind up voting for him, because he's less insane than the candidates of the 2 major parties, but I won't be excited about it, and I doubt he and Weld have the ability to attract enough support to get elected, even without the structural challenges imposed in this country on 3rd party candidates.

Joe said...

"People try to ding Johnson for his final budget miss a critical factor."

I'm not referring to his final budget and I do recognize that New Mexico is one of those states where the legislature is far more tax-and-spend liberal than you would think. However, under his leadership the state budget increased about 7% EVERY year. The state debt increased at an even higher rate.

Yes, he vetoed the 2003 budget, but there were seven more.

(My gut feeling is that New Mexico is so sparsely populated, relatively speaking, that it can be easily dominated by the extreme liberals from the north part of the state [Taos and Santa Fe are deep Berkeley blue.])

Unknown said...

dbp said...
I disagree with Johnson and Weld on lots of issues, but they have three things going for them:

1. They are not corrupt.
2. They are competant.
3. They pass as sane.

They will get my vote.
8/4/16, 5:47 PM

Let's table two and three or agree to disagree or regard them as matters of opinion. Where do you get number one?

You really think that if you dug deep enough, that if Johnson or Weld was say the Republican nominee, that the Clintons wouldn't find something on them? You think they weren't ready to go to the mattresses with Bernie on things, like with his wife and the college, or to commie-bait him about honeymooning in Moscow?

You think that Dr. Jill Stein hasn't got something in a closet?

And BTW, people fling it about that Trump is corrupt, but I'm not aware that he's taking bribes! Which of your dollars does he have? The Clintons have taken everybody's money! I don't see how these can be equated.