Former GOP New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson reached out to gay Republican voters and “everybody in this country who comes under the broad brush stroke of being socially accepting and fiscally responsible” for support in his presidential bid. (Listen to the interview below)
On the ballot in 47 states (and in litigation to get on the ballot in Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania), Johnson was the only candidate vying for the Republican nomination who supported same-sex marriage. He dropped out of the GOP primary contest late last December, and sought and won the Libertarian Party nomination.
“A lot more attention has come to [my campaign],” he said, on my Sirius XM OutQ radio program on Wednesday. “[More attention to] the notion that I’m more liberal than Obama, that I’m more conservative than Romney. That I don’t want to bomb Iran. Want to get out of Afghanistan. I do believe marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Want to end the drug war. Like to repeal the Patriot Act. I would like to abolish the IRS. I’d like to eliminate income tax and corporate tax and replace it with one consumption tax.”
Political analysts point to polling that suggests Johnson could be a spoiler in the presidential race affecting both major party candidates, though some believe he’s a greater problem for Mitt Romney.
“It looks like we are going to be on the ballot in all 50 states,” he said. “We are involved in litigation in three states, but we’re thinking we have a good case. The Republican Party is trying to thwart us at every turn.”
Johnson chuckled over the fact that one of the leaders of the gay Republican group GOProud, Chris Barron, is publicly supporting his candidacy, though the group itself has endorsed Mitt Romney, who supports an amendment to ban marriage for gays and lesbians in the U.S Constitution.
“Does Mitt Romney really match up with GOProud?” he asked, laughing. “I don’t think so.”
“Yes, I hope that’s the case [that I get support from from gay conservatives],” he continued, when asked if he is seeking their support. “And I hope it isn’t just gay Republicans, but everybody in this country who comes under the broad brush stroke of being socially accepting and fiscally responsible.”
Johnson is also expecting to pull in Ron Paul supporters.
“Given the fact that I’m saying the same things as Ron Paul,” he said, “[ and] given my own prognosis back in December that Ron Paul would not be the nominee, who is going to be the spokesperson for the liberty and freedom movement, which is the fastest-growing movement in this country? Right now when it comes to Ron Paul supporters, are they going to vote for Mitt Romney? Are they going to vote for Barack Obama, when I’m an option? I don’t think so.”
Listen to the full interview: