Screwing Over Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is not getting anything approaching a fair treatment from the media.  The national press has constantly ignored him throughout the campaign season so far.

Now I can hear the response from some of you already.  But, he is a second tier candidate!  Why should we care?

To those sorts of statements I ask, who has a heavy influence as to who is labeled as first and second tier candidate?  The media!  How can voters decide whether or not Gary Johnson is their preferred candidate if there is little mention of him in print, on the radio, or on T.V.?   Let me give you a recent personal example.  When I mentioned his name at a local Republican gathering over the weekend, many of the folks had no idea who Gary Johnson is.

But, he isn’t some novice who has never held political office before.  He was the Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003.  Now shouldn’t the former Governor of New Mexico be treated with at least the same respect offered to a former one-term Governor from Massachusetts?

But why should you or I care?  After all, my first choice is Ron Paul and not Gary Johnson.  Well, although Johnson is not my favored candidate, I still respect his efforts to promote liberty.  It is certainly true that he and I disagree on a number of fundamental issues such as life and immigration.  Nevertheless, we should never squelch political debate just because someone happens to offer an opinion that runs contrary to our own.

I’ve seen the media try to screw over candidates before.  To tie in my own political experience, back when I worked for Ron Paul in 2007/08, we faced many of the same problems that the Johnson campaign faces today.  Perhaps the worst offense happened during a 2008 New Hampshire debate where Ron Paul was not invited because (I kid you not) the organizers informed us that there was not enough room on the stage.  Strange that there was room for both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson even though they were polling beneath Paul.

What a waste of time.  Johnson isn’t polling well. 

To counter that sort of thinking I offer three suggestions.  Point number one: try actually including Gary Johnson’s name in the poll.  Listed candidates always do better than fill-in-the-blanks.  Point number two: give him a chance to articulate his position alongside the rest of the Republican field in the debates.  His time as Governor of New Mexico alone has earned him a right to share a piece of that stage.  Point number three: even if his poll numbers aren’t that high, it should be up to the American people to determine the Republican candidate, not pollsters and the press.

As this article indicates, I firmly believe that Gary Johnson ought to be given a fair shake.  That is why, when asked by the Johnson campaign, I agreed to collect signatures for them alongside my effort for Dr. Paul.

You may love Gary Johnson or you may not.  But that decision should rest with each voter and not the political pundits.  After all, if you never hear about him, how can you ever know for sure?

5 Replies to “Screwing Over Gary Johnson”

  1. Great blog, Josh, and as the Virginia director for Governor Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign, thanks for agreeing to collect signatures of him, not just for Congressman Paul, for whom like you I volunteered in 2008. Any other readers who want to help collect the 10,000 signatures required by December 22nd, to add the governor to Virginia’s March 6 primary, just email me at

    As for disagreements you mentioned over “life” and “immigration”, Mr. Johnson’s views aren’t actually that different from the good doctor’s. When the GOP frontrunners were outdoing each other during one debate on who would torture immigrants more at the border, Dr. Paul warned that any fence to keep folks out eventually would be used by Big Brother to keep us in. As Alabama’s short-sighted immigration over-reaction now has shown, farmers are scrambling to find workers willing to do the back-breaking work immigrants had been doing. They need more easily acquired visas to work. For the rest of us to find jobs, just cut government’s cost on hiring. If we’re afraid of terrorists crossing the border, stop the overseas interventions that anger foreigners enough to revolt. And if we’re tired of welfare for immigrants, cut welfare.

    And regarding the “life” issue, despite Governor Johnson’s opposition to government spending during a women’s pregnancy, he did as governor garner the highest “pro-life” rating, believe it or not. This stemmed from his banning of late-term abortions, cutting of taxpayer subsidies for the procedure, and opposition to it absent parental notification.

    Let’s face it, there’s a reason that Governor Johnson in a recent debate picked Congressman Paul when asked for his VP pick. They would make a good team, and that’s why Taft/Goldwater Republicans like you and me are supporting both.

    Thanks again, so much, for educating Virginia’s mountain voters about who may be the best choice. Known as Governor Veto while in New Mexico, Mr. Johnson would cut the most spending of all the candidates. To revive the jobs, he would replace the income tax with a sales tax, making Fortune 500s in one poll respond that they certainly would relocate to the U.S. if the government no longer would tax them.

    Fans or curious voters are welcome to check out his site:

    Our Virginia Facebook page for the campaign is here:

  2. I agree that Johnson deserves to be heard at the debates, and in the polls. I support him over Paul for several reasons: first, he has executive experience privately and publicly. Second, he is a social liberal, and from my experiences across America most of us lean that way. Third, he is practical and reasonable, and comes across as a regular guy, unlike Paul who comes across as kind of weird to the average person. Fourth, he has substantial approval ratings in his home state, even among Democrats.

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