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Gary Johnson

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Dear Republican Party: Talk Economics, Not Social Issues

Posted: 08/19/11 11:15 AM ET

Will the Republican Party be able to capture the White House in 2012? I believe the answer to that question will be found in how we as a party present solutions to revitalizing this current sluggish U.S. economy. The country's economic situation is just not good. The growth that we were hoping to see has not occurred. Fresh ideas are demanded if we are to have a business climate that creates an atmosphere for fostering growth and job creation.

I have always viewed the Republican Party as the party of efficient management of the government's pocketbook. We are the dollars and cents team. We are the ones who make decisions based on costs and benefits. When I was Governor of New Mexico I took the role of steward of taxpayer funds very seriously. I cut waste and eliminated unnecessary jobs and programs. It was not easy, but we made New Mexico more efficient, and we created private sector jobs and growth. (National Review states that I had the best job creation record of all the GOP candidates running for president, June 20, 2011) This is the same kind of management style that we need in the White House today and I believe this is the type of leadership America wants and needs now.

The Republican Party should be leading the economic discussion with the presentation of new ideas and solutions for recovery. This country is looking for a new kind of leader, someone to provide new ideas and real solutions, someone who is willing to balance the budget immediately and is not afraid to make tough decisions. Over the next few weeks and months I will be presenting real solutions and ideas that we can implement to turn this country around and create jobs and build growth in America.

While some of us talk of solving economic problems, unfortunately, there exists a part of the Republican Party that wishes to sidestep this important discussion and instead turn the attention toward social issues and morality. By making such a choice, we are missing a golden opportunity to provide leadership for America. Social issues are not going to win the White House in 2012 for the Republican Party. When I see Republican presidential candidates discussing morality as if the government were some type of watchdog and moral compass for America -- then I see the American electorate being turned away from the Republican Party. America does not want government dictating actions in the bedroom, and they do not want government invading personal lives. We want a government that allows freedom and personal liberty for responsible adults. As long as we do not do harm to others, we should be allowed to live our lives in peace and free from government intervention.

I truly believe that the Republican Party is about efficient management of the government pocket-book, and that we are the party that can restore economic prosperity. However, if we continue to get sidetracked by the social conservative fringe of the party -- we will never get that chance.

Note: Governor Johnson will be addressing the National Press Club August 19, in Washington, DC, on the role of social issues in the Republican Party.