While Johnson was originally a supporter of American military action in Afghanistan, he now believes that we should leave Afghanistan immediately, especially since the death of Osama Bin Laden. He is against the idea that America should involve itself with the nation-building process of another country, citing the massive strain it places on our own economy.
“Well, initially, Afghanistan was totally warranted. We were attacked. We attacked back. That's what our military is for. We should remain vigilant to the terrorist threat. But after being in Afghanistan for six months I think we effectively wiped out al Qaeda. And here it is, we are there 10 years later. We're building roads, schools, bridges, highways and hospitals and borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that.”
27 May, 2011: Johnson on Fox News Hannity.
I would get out. I would get out of Afghanistan immediately. I think that initially, that it was totally warranted. We were attacked, we attacked back. But I think that having been in Afghanistan for six months, we wiped out Al Qaida. And that was 11 years ago. I’m thinking we should extricate ourselves from the conflicts we’re currently engaged in. I was opposed to Iraq also before we went in. When Obama announced the very highly publicized, “Hey, I’m going to take a look at Afghanistan for the next four weeks,” or whatever it was, I thought, “Man, we’re out of Afghanistan,” and he ended up doubling down.
February 23, 2011: Johnson in an interview with Tom Jackson, Sandusky Register
“We got Osama bin Laden. Let’s get out of Afghanistan.”
May 5, 2011: Johnson speaking at a tea party rally in Greenville, South Carolina
“Get out tomorrow… We should have gotten out of Afghanistan 11 years ago. Eleven years ago! Romney is saying we should stay in Afghanistan until the mission is accomplished. What does that mean?”
April 4, 2012: Gary Johnson, the anti-war 2012 candidate, Politico
Johnson, who has been quoted as saying that the country is ‘essentially bankrupt’ and is ‘on the verge of a financial collapse’, believes that the out of control national debt can only be contained by adopting stringent fiscal policies and getting our troops back home from their expensive excursions in Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflict zones around the world.
Massive budget cuts, one of the hallmarks of his governorship of New Mexico, will once again feature strongly in his economic plan, with military spending being the primary target.
If elected, Johnson intends to present a balanced budget to Congress on his first year in office.
“My first promise as president of the United States is submitting a balanced budget to Congress.
That would include a 43%, that would entail 43% reduction in military spending. What’s a 43% reduction in military spending? That’s nuclear warheads from 2,300 to 500 hundred. That’s reducing military footprint on the planet, that’s us being in foreign countries, that’s the conflicts that we’re currently involved in, extricating ourselves from that conflict, that’s research and development, that’s intelligence, that’s the military that are in uniform and that’s the civilian support staff that goes along with that.
Believing that the biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we are bankrupt and if we don’t balance the budget, we’re gonna find ourselves with nothing.”April 1, 2012: Johnson speaking at the Libertarian Party of Ohio State Convention
“I think we should balance the federal budget tomorrow. I think we’re on the verge of a financial collapse in this country. I based that on the fact that we have $14 trillion dollars in debt, that we absolutely cannot repay if we’re racking up $1.6 trillion dollars in new debt this year and years to come.
So, I would advocate balancing the federal budget tomorrow. I'm optimistic. I think Americans are optimistic. We went to the moon, we can balance the federal budget. We can fix this. If we don’t do it, we’re gonna be left with nothing. So all this budget debate here a couple of weeks ago, was about less than one penny of the 43 cents that we need to cut from federal spending. And it turns out with the budget analysis, that it turned out to be less than one one hundredth of a penny. So we’re not addressing the problems that we faced, and that starts with Medicaid, Medicare, reforming social security and defense. And I mean cutting those areas."
April 22, 2011: Johnson on ABC News’ Topline
Johnson’s personal business success, coupled with his libertarian outlook, has given him a definite interpretation on the relationship between businesses and governments. Aside from the often quoted libertarian mantra of entrepreneurship and small government, Johnson also opines that governments should be run as a business, with clear evaluation of the cost and benefits of every decision, instead of the grand voters and special interests inducing gestures that the country has grown accustomed to.
He is also a believer in the economic benefits of immigrant workforce, dismissing the notion that it would take away jobs from the average Americans.
In a recent interview, Johnson has stated his desire to start loosening the country’s child labor laws, which, while continuing to protect minors, will also prevent the curtailing of the spirit of entrepreneurship among our youths.
Scott Keyes: Do you think it’s overreach or do you think it’s fair game to say, for instance, Mike Lee said that child labor laws are probably unconstitutional?
Gary Johnson: Back to unconstitutional. I think there are a lot of kids today, let’s say 13 year-olds, 10 year-olds, that have better knowledge of computers than a 70 year-old. And because of our child labor laws, you can’t pay one of those 10 year-olds, 13 year-olds for a few dollars an hour to help out the 70 year-old with their computer, their computer problems, which might exist if we didn’t have child labor laws.
Scott Keyes: So it might be better to rein in some of those child labor laws, if I’m hearing you correctly?
Gary Johnson: Well, by rein in, the unintended consequence of child labor laws is that we don’t have the entrepreneurial sense with our kids that perhaps existed when I was a 13 year-old, pitching papers and mowing lawns. If there weren’t any child labor laws and you could pay, I use the example of the kid fixing your computer for a couple dollars an hour, is that taking advantage of a child or is that giving a child a real motivation and an understanding of earning money and providing a good or a service? And then on the other side of that, besides child labor laws, there’s the whole notion of you retire and you can’t go back to work for the 75 year-old or the 80 year-old who still has contributions to make.
Scott Keyes: And bills to pay, certainly.
Gary Johnson: And bills to pay. But if all these labor laws were loosened up, you’d have that phenomenon that exists, in a good way.
Johnson used to firmly believe in the merits capital punishment, even for minors. However, he had a change of heart about a decade ago, chiefly after realizing that the bureaucracy was capable of making mistakes that could cost the life of an innocent.
“If you have committed murder, I happen to believe that you should pay for that with your own life.”
December 9, 2000, The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM) “I have no plans to render a stay on his execution… Terry Clark committed the crimes that he has been convicted of. I happen to think that's just punishment for him… I will sleep soundly, in regards to Terry Clark. I happen to support the death penalty for individuals who commit these types of crimes.”
August 28, 2001: Johnson, responding to the Associated Press.
Note: Terry Clark who was convicted of kidnapping and raping six-year-old Donita Welch and nine-year-old Dena Lynn Gore. Clark also murdered Gore. Clark was executed by lethal injection on November 6, 2001. Scott Holleran: You state that “no criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.” On what moral grounds should our government be precluded from using torture to protect our nation from foreign enemies that seek to destroy the United States through subversive terrorist activity?
Gary Johnson: I just think that there’s no end to that. Let’s say we know there’s a bomb ticking, so we have to torture this guy - that’s the argument for the death penalty - but the law that gets written also is public policy which allows us to put someone who’s innocent to death. The basis of our country is that we protect the innocent. Are we going to torture people to prevent nuclear briefcase bombs? It amounts to the ends justify the means.
Scott Holleran: You oppose the death penalty. Why?
Gary Johnson: As governor of New Mexico, I was a bit naïve and I did not think the government made mistakes with regard to the death penalty. I came to realize that they do. I don’t want to put one innocent person to death to punish 99 who are guilty.
August 21, 2011: Interview with Gary Johnson by Scott Holleran
The continued trade imbalance between the two countries is a matter that concerns Johnson as it contributes to the burgeoning budget deficit. However, he acknowledges that it is a complex situation, as the very same trade balance allows the Chinese to purchase US currencies and monetary instruments that for all intents and purpose, is keeping the US economy solvent.
True to his libertarian leanings, Johnson is a firm proponent of the individual rights and civil liberties of the citizens. Considering the fact that the first eight amendments of the Constitution deals with the issue directly, he wants the recent encroachment of government agencies into the lives of private citizens to be reeled back. He has spoken several times of his support in allowing the expiration of the Patriot Act at the end of May 2011 following a final 90-day extension given by the Congress in February.
On the equally explosive subject of gay rights, Johnson offers a qualified backing on the issue, supporting civil unions for gay couples but stopping short of marriage.
Johnson is supportive of activities that promote friendship between the United States and Cuba.
Bret Baier: Governor Johnson, here in Florida, charter flights from Fort Lauderdale to Havana, Cuba, have resumed. Is there a problem with that? And what are your thoughts on U.S.-Cuba policy?
Gary Johnson: I think the biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we're bankrupt, so I am promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013, and included in that is a 43 percent reduction in military spending. I think it's crazy that we have foreign aid to company, to countries when we're borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that.
Military alliances, military alliances are really key to other countries taking up the slack. With regard to flights to Cuba? You know, I'm, I'm in favor, I think, of the whole notion that trade promotes friendship, as opposed to not. So I would be inclined to looking at establishing or supporting those kinds of flights.
September 22, 2011: Fox News-Google Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, Florida
Johnson contends that the government undisciplined and indiscriminate spending across all sectors of the economy, especially with the various coffer-bleeding overseas military undertakings, will cripple and eventually bankrupt the country.
The fact that the government is financing up to 40% of its expenditure by borrowing or printing fiat money is irresponsible, and unless massive levels of spending cuts are initiated immediately, in the region of trillions of dollars, the specter of an economic meltdown in the near future is a very real possibility.
Apart from military spending, Johnson has identified Social Security and Obamacare as the other major issues that need to be addressed in any serious effort at reducing the national deficit. Transparency and accountability must also be practiced and observed at all levels of the government, and this includes the popular libertarian target, the Federal Reserve.
Johnson’s reputation as one of the most economically successful Republican governor of the last couple of decades accords his opinions and arguments on the subject with a certain degree of weight. He believes that the American economy is inherently mismanaged and teetering on the brink of a major collapse, and can only be stabilized by implementing a three pronged approach involving spending cuts, tax cuts and minimizing federal interference in the national economy.
# 1 Cut Spending
This recession has forced families and businesses across America to make hard choices and limit their expenditures. We must now expect our elected officials to make the tough calls that will keep our government on a sustainable path moving forward. We must restrain spending across the board:
• Revise the terms of entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which threaten to bankrupt the nation's future.
• Eliminate the costly and ineffective military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan; limit defense spending to actions that truly protect the United States.
• Stop spending on the fiscal stimulus, transportation, energy, housing, and all other special interests. The U.S. must restrain spending across the board.
# 2 Cut Taxes
The U.S. tax system imposes an enormous toll on productivity through high marginal rates, absurd complexity, loopholes for the well-connected, and incentives for wasteful decisions. A better, fairer system will be:
• Abolish the Internal Revenue Service.
• Enact the Fair Tax to tax expenditures, rather than income, with a 'prebate' to make spending on basic necessities tax free.
• With the Fair Tax, eliminate business taxes, withholding and other levies that penalize productivity, while creating millions of jobs.
• Suggested Reading: www.FairTax.org
# 3 Reduce Federal Involvement in the Economy
Much federal intervention is a payout to special interests or counterproductive meddling that stifles competition, innovation, and growth.
• Reject auto and banking bailouts, state bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, card check, and the mountain of regulation that protects special interests rather than benefiting consumers or the economy.
• Restrict Federal Reserve policy to maintaining price stability, not bailing out financial firms or propping up the housing sector.
• Eliminate government support of Fannie and Freddie.
• Reduce or eliminate federal involvement in education; let states expand successful reforms such as vouchers and charter schools.
• Legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, rather than wasting money on an expensive and futile prohibition.
• Eliminate needless barriers to free trade and make it easier for would-be legal immigrants to apply for work visas.
Source: Campaign Website, garyjohnson2012.com/issues/economy-and-taxes Bill Hemmer: If you were to be the nominee, what’s your plan for the economy?
Gary Johnson: Well, balance the budget first and foremost. So Gary Johnson would submit a balanced budget for the year 2013. I would eliminate the federal corporate income tax, reestablished this country as the only place to grow business, nurture business. And then regarding our own taxes, eliminate the income tax, eliminate the IRS, replace it with a consumption based fair tax, which by all reckoning from a free market economist, would actually be just that.
Hemmer: You’re cutting across the board when it comes to taxes, just about every area. Now when you were Governor of New Mexico, did you cut taxes?
Johnson: You know, cut taxes but not as significantly as I think they should have been cut. What I did provide in New Mexico was certainty, and that’s another component when it comes to the federal government, to provide certainty to business.
Right now we’re not building coal-fired electrical generation facilities because of the uncertainty regarding cap and trade, environmentally. How much is it gonna actually cost to build these new coal fired plants? Because of that, I think there’s an example of potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be brought online just removing that uncertainty.
Hemmer: Back on the tax issue, how much, by what percentage, did you cut taxes in your home state?
Johnson: Well, I would argue not nearly enough. When I talk about fair tax,
Hemmer: You have a number?
Johnson: I think a $114 million. More significantly was the fact that I would’ve vetoed 750 pieces of legislations. I would’ve add thousands of line item vetoes that really gave certainty to business and it wasn’t gonna get worse. Because I ran state government, because I ran the agencies, there was really certainty that actually things were better.
Hemmer: I saw that on your record. I also saw that you cut a thousand state jobs. Why was that necessary?
Johnson: Well, just managed attrition, that was all. The notion that government could be more efficient. And I think that cutting 1,200 state jobs over an eight year period, that never happened before. I think that spoke volumes to government state employees doing a better job with fewer people.
June 23, 2011: Johnson on Fox News Insider with Bill Hemmer
Neil Cavuto: What do you make of this plan some Democrats are looking at, that is, making spending part of that discussion?
Gary Johnson: Really, I just see it as more of the same. President Johnson -- that would be me -- would propose a balanced budget for the year 2013. I would eliminate the corporate income tax, recognizing that it’s a double tax, and reestablishing this country as the only place to grow, nurture, develop, develop business.
I think if you just take the stimulus over the last couple of years, pretend like we didn’t do that, and if we would’ve applied that to the elimination of the corporate income tax, I think we would be seeing some real results from those seeds being planted a couple of years ago.
Cavuto: Governor, there’s always a gap between the cut in taxes and the revenue generated to Washington. In the interim, in the loss of that tax revenue, you have a dip. In other words, deficits get worse. Now, the money comes in, like gangbusters, actually, but, in Washington’s past, it is spent equally fast in Washington. How, as president, would you stop that?
Johnson: Well, I think that you point out a reality. And taking that reality, do you spend more money in ways that are, I think, a proven wrong with the last two stimulus packages? How about apply it to real fundamental change, like I say, eliminating the corporate income tax, provide certainty when it comes to business, something that government really can do?
If you just look at the coal-fired electrical generation industry, we’re not building new coal-fired plants because of the uncertainty of CO2 emissions and what ultimately these plants are gonna cost. Just do away with that uncertainty; I think you are talking hundreds of thousands of jobs. And then, when it comes to taxes for you and I, I think we should be looking at eliminating the income tax, the IRS, and replacing it with a consumption tax, a fair tax, which, by all free market economists’ reckoning, really is just that. A fair tax would promote taxes, the notion of fairness and the notion of savings.
June 22, 2011: Johnson on Your World with Neil Cavuto
Johnson opines that a federally managed education system is wasteful and inefficient. He advocates the abolishment of the Department of Education and in its place, allow the 50 states to experiment with their own education system.
Hi, I'm Stella Lohmann from Atlanta, Georgia. I've taught in both public and private schools, and now as a substitute teacher I see administrators more focused on satisfying federal mandates, retaining funding, trying not to get sued, while the teachers are jumping through hoops trying to serve up a one-size-fits-all education for their students. What as president would you seriously do about what I consider a massive overreach of big government into the classroom? Thank you.
Bret Baier: That topic is for all candidates. And to get everyone to weigh in, 30 seconds each, please. Governor Johnson?
Gary Johnson: I'm promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013. That's a 43 percent reduction in federal spending. I am going to promise to advocate the abolishment of the federal Department of Education.
The federal Department of Education gives each state 11 cents out of every dollar that every state spends, but it comes with 16 cents worth of strings attached. So what America does not understand is that it's a negative to take federal money. Give it to 50 laboratories of innovation, the states, to improve on, and that's what we'll see: dramatic improvement.
September 22, 2011: Fox News-Google Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, Florida American education is at a crossroads.
We can either choose to continue down the path of higher costs, poorer results, and top-down thinking, or challenge the status quo by using what actually works rather than what we wish would work. The problem is public education in America is now doing less with more. This is unsustainable for our pocketbooks and, most importantly, unfair to our children.
Now, imagine an educational system that not only educates students better, but also does it for less money every year. It would give each American child the opportunity to choose an individualized education to realize his or her dreams.
#1 Give Education Back to Parents and Teachers
• All parents should have an opportunity to choose which school their children attend.
• Putting educational funds in the hands of the people who use them gives parents and students a vote as to which schools are best and which need to improve.
• Our children deserve the chance to succeed educationally, but the same old way of thinking won't cut it. It's time to free individuals and states from burdensome federal mandates and regulations so they can pursue the right educational strategies for their students.
#2 End the Department of Education
Although it may sound drastic, there are practical reasons why it should be considered.
• The Department of Education grants each state 11 cents out of every dollar it spends on education. Unfortunately, every dollar of this money comes with 16 cents of strings attached. States that accept federal funding lose five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom.
• Schools should have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars. Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.
• Once citizens and their local representatives have the freedom to decide how their educational funds will be spent, they can consider innovations that will drive student choice, educational competition, and better results.
Campaign Website: garyjohnson.com, Civil Liberties
“Gary Johnson: I was an absolute advocate of home schooling. It just makes all the sense in the world. And I was very much, I was more outspoken regarding school choice than any governor in the country, believing that we needed to bring competition to the public education which is in essence what you’re doing.
Question: Do you support, ending the Department of Education?
Gary Johnson: Yes, and I do that from the standpoint that the federal government gives each states about eleven cents out of every school dollar that every state spends, but it comes with about 16 cents worth of strings attached. And those are the strings that you’re talking about. They’re really making it a negative to take federal money. Just get the states out of education, and yours is a great example I think, of, you’ve taken education on yourself and I dare say your results are going to be, if measured, would be outstanding.
Should everyone emulate what it is you’re doing? On that basis, I don’t think so. But this is the choice that you’ve made and if we were to open up the entire school system to genuine competition on how to deliver education, we would see some startling innovation. Giving it back to the states
Question: How do you feel that, by taking the government out of education that’ll help the family core?
Gary Johnson: Well, yours is the best example, yours is the best example that I think I’ve ever seen. You’ve obviously bonded together as a family unlike perhaps any family I’ve seen.
You’re living on a bus. But because of that, you get to travel all over the country, you get to do things constantly, and I think it’s really cool, just think it’s really cool. I think, I wish I had the same opportunity.
April 23, 2011: Gary Johnson speaking with the Halldorson family on the unschoolbus
Johnson, while maintaining the need to constantly improve our national defense, rejects the idea of our troops continued presence in Europe, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. The undefined and shifting objective of our international military presence, coupled with the enormous expenditure that our creaking economy is saddled with, is a stark reminder of the need to reevaluate our foreign and domestic security policy in the face of our outrageous budget deficit.
The sweeping powers accorded to the military and other national defense-related agencies under the guise of the War on Terror should be curtailed. Johnson wants an end to the practice of indefinite detention of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay; instead, these detainees should be tried under a civil or military court and there should be a complete end to interrogations involving either physical or psychological torture.
The Second Amendment: Individual or Collective Right?
"I don't believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None."
April 20, 2011, Slate Magazine
"If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. The first people who are going to be in line to turn in their guns are law-abiding citizens. Criminals are going to be left with guns. I believe that concealed carry is a way of reducing gun violence."
12 Nov, 2000, An Interview with Playboy magazine.
Gov. Johnson believes that a bloated legislative and regulatory environment is depriving our healthcare system of the ‘competition factor’, leading to inefficient government-sanctioned monopolies.
He considers President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as unconstitutional and intends to repeal it, along with former president George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription program.
A Johnson presidency would see an immediate 43% cut on federal Medicare and Medicaid funding, with the remaining amount redirected wholly to the states, no strings attached.
Johnson believes health care should be left to the states, and allowed to grow in a free market environment. "I’m promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013 that will detail a 43% reduction in Medicaid and Medicare. Before anybody falls of their chair, with regard to a 43% reduction in either of those categories, it’s important to point out that if we don’t balance the federal budget, we’re gonna find ourselves without any health care at all.
So as Governor of New Mexico, I oversaw the reform of Medicaid in New Mexico. Health care to the poor - changed it from a fee for services model to a managed care model, set up better health care network, saves hundreds of millions of dollars.
I believe that at the time, if the federal government would, were to have block granted the state of New Mexico 43% less money, done away with all the strings and mandates, that I could’ve effectively overseen the delivery of health care to the poor in New Mexico. I think the same model applies to Medicare. Fifty laboratories of innovation and best practice. The federal government has to give it up to the states."
Apr 28, 2012: Johnson speaking at the Fort Worth Libertarian Party of Texas Presidential Debate
"You got to start out by talking about Medicare and Medicaid. I'll just throw out some suggestions here. There are other, but let me just throw the fact that the federal government could cut Medicaid and Medicare by 43 percent…
… They could block grant the states. I'm going to say this throughout my campaign, 50 laboratories of innovation, the notion of best practices. Give it to the states to deliver health care to the poor and those over 65 and do away with the strings. Do away with that regulations - Let states handle it. There would be best practices emerge. Other states would emulate the best practices. They'd be failure. States would avoid the failure.
In New Mexico, Medicaid, now it came with all the strings attached. It came with all the regulation attached. It came with a mandate that here are the services that you had to deliver, but Medicaid in the State of Mexico, I shifted that from a fee for service model to a managed care model and saved 25 percent. If I were to have been given Medicare, I could have done the same thing with Medicare and saved 25 percent. By the way, I used 25 percent. I could have saved more money. I still could have delivered health care to those truly in need by cutting it 43 percent, I could have done that. But I was governor of the state. I had a legislature that was 2/3 Democrat and, you know, I wasn't the benevolent dictator."
May 27, 2011: Johnson on Hannity' Primary
Johnson: Specifically, and this is waving the magic wand, because I recognize that there are three branches of government, I would have the federal government cut Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent and block grant the programs [to the states] with no strings. Instead of giving the states one dollar—and it’s not really giving because there are strings attached—the federal government needs to give the states 57 cents, take away the strings and give the states carte blanche for how to give health care to the poor. I reformed Medicaid as governor of New Mexico and, in that context, even with strings attached, I believe I could have delivered health care to the poor. I believe I could have done the same thing with Medicare…
Holleran: Will you issue an executive order to repeal Obamacare as unconstitutional?
Johnson: Yes, if it’s possible. I would do the same for [President Bush’s Medicare] prescription [drug subsidies]. Two parties can take responsibility for where we’re at right now.
Aug 21, 2011: Interview with Gary Johnson, scottholleran.com
He is against the current militarized border between the United States and Mexico, and envisions a time when there will be free-flowing traffic between the two countries. He believes that a new legislation on drugs would put a stop to a majority of smuggling activities at the border. Johnson is also of the opinion that controlled immigration is beneficial to the country and dismisses the idea that immigrants are taking away jobs from hard working Americans, citing the fact that most of the jobs being involved are the low paying ones that are less attractive for locals.
The former New Mexico governor is against the idea of having a national minimum wage policy, as he feels that a uniform minimum wage rate across the country does not take into account the difference in living costs between regions and its respective local job market, while potentially causing some industries to lose their competitive edge. Johnson points out that a majority of states already have their own minimum wage policy that could be rewritten in the face of new market changes.
Johnson is a supporter of gay rights, arguing that ‘it’s freedom, it’s liberty’ and that the government has no right to intrude on the personal lives of Americans.
“Stephanie Condon: I know that you’re in favor of gay rights. Do you think this is an inevitability for the Republican Party to take that stance or do you think there’ll be more friction?
Gary Johnson: Well, it’s freedom, it’s liberty, and it’s the – how many times have you heard Republicans talk about ‘I believe in freedom’, ‘I believe in liberty’, and ‘I believe in the personal responsibility that goes along with that’? Well, in my estimations, that is what we should be believing in and espousing.”
February 11, 2011: Johnson speaking with CBSNews’ Stephanie Condon
Johnson on Marriage and Civil Unions
“Rick Santorum’s position is unconstitutional. The Constitution requires that all citizens be treated equally and makes no reference to gender in assuring those equal rights… By any fair measure, equal access to marriage for all Americans is a right - guaranteed by the Constitution. Senator Santorum’s claim that legally recognizing gay marriage would be no different than legalizing polygamy, child molestation or bestiality is repugnant and insulting to millions of gay Americans.”
January 9, 2012, Press Release: Gov. Gary Johnson Assails Santorum and Obama on Gay Marriage
“I support gay unions. I think the government ought to get out of the marriage business.”
April 22, 2011: Johnson on ABC News’ Topline
“Certainly, religions and people of various faiths have the right to view marriage as they wish, and sanction marriage according to those beliefs. Just as government shouldn’t interfere with individual rights, government should not interfere with how marriage is treated as a ceremony, a sacrament or a privilege within a set of religious beliefs. However, when it comes to the rights of individuals and couples under the law, government’s promise should be to insure equal access to those rights to all Americans, gay or straight.
For a very long time, society has viewed gay marriage as a moral and, yes, religious issue. Today, I believe we have arrived at a point in history where more and more Americans are viewing it as a question of liberty and freedom. That evolution is important, and the time has come for us to align our marriage laws with the notion that every individual should be treated equally.”
December 1, 2011: Johnson speaking during an on-line GOProud Town Hall meeting
Johnson on DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell)
“The Pentagon’s certification for the implementation of the repeal of DADT is good news - but long overdue... It should not have taken endless study and hand wringing for the United States to join many other nations in recognizing that our military need not discriminate against openly gay service men and women.
DADT is just one more example of the federal government trying to dictate the private lives of free people. It’s repeal is progress, but we have much more to do to get the government out of the business of discriminating on the basis of personal choices and lifestyles.
As I have stated before if the Republican Party is going to capture the White House in 2012 we need to be the party that promotes freedom from government intervention into our personal lives. Those who continue to promote discrimination and bigotry within the Republican Party in an attempt to pander to social conservatives will cost us the general election. Not only should Republicans be the party of efficient management of the pocket book, but we need to be the party of personal liberty and personal freedom.”
July 22, 2011, Press Release: Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson calls DADT certification “good news – but long overdue”
Johnson on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act)
Johnson opposes DOMA.
“As a believer in individual freedom and keeping government out of personal lives, I simply cannot find a legitimate justification for federal laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which ‘define’ marriage. That definition should be left to religions and individuals – not government. Government’s role when it comes to marriage is one of granting benefits and rights to couples who choose to enter into a marriage ‘contract’. As I have examined this issue, consulted with folks on all sides, and viewed it through the lens of individual freedom and equal rights, it has become clear to me that denying those rights and benefits to gay couples is discrimination, plain and simple.”
December 1, 2011: Johnson speaking during an on-line GOProud Town Hall meeting