On Wednesday June 22nd, CNN was kind enough to hold a Presidential Town Hall for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Many libertarians were incredibly excited about the event. Supporters of the presidential ticket were happy to see the party receiving mainstream attention, and the folks in the #NeverJohnson crowd were anxious to see if Gary and Weld could redeem themselves, at least enough to earn a vote in November. But the two failed, as a team. They showed everyone why they are unfit to represent the Libertarian Party and its philosophy.
Here are the worst moments of the CNN Libertarian Town Hall, in no particular order.
Pandering To Democrats
Chris Cuomo asked Gary if he shared the same views as Donald Trump when it came to Hillary Clinton, Trump stating that she “is the most corrupt person to run for president.” Johnson replied with “that is not a view that I would embrace.” But it didn’t end there. In a little game that the candidates played with Cuomo, Bill Weld says Barack Obama has “been statesman like,” Johnson said he is a “good guy.” When it came to Hillary Clinton, Weld went on about how they are “old friends” and has a “bond” that is “lifelong,” and later in the evening Bill stated that he would vote for Hillary Clinton if there was not libertarian candidate. Johnson went as far as to say that she is “a wonderful public servant.”
Weak On The 2nd Amendment
Many people suspected that Gary Johnson was weak when it came to the issue of guns and after tonight’s Town Hall it’s clear that he is. In response to an audience member Johnson stated “I don’t think our position would be making it easier. We’re not looking to roll back anything.” and he continued with his line of being open to “keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill… keeping guns out of the hands of potential terrorists” and doubled down on Bill Weld’s position of creating a 1,000 member task force designed to address that issue. Which of course is the liberal position. A Johnson-Weld administration would add even more layers of government bureaucracy and yield unconstitutional power by taking away the second amendment rights of whomever they label a terrorist or mentally ill.
Supports A Social Safety Net & Cronyism
“There should be a safety net regarding healthcare, and in no way are we saying this safety net should be eliminated.” No this is not another socialist statement made by Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, this was made by Gary Johnson in response to what the role of the federal government should be in healthcare. To be fair, Gary did mention having more of a free market in this area. I’m not sure why, Gary doesn’t have a positive view on free markets. He believes the free market bankrupted the coal industry and that ending discrimination requires government force. Johnson also went on to defend the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Weak On Tax Policy
In talking about his “fair tax” proposal, Gary Johnson told Chris Cuomo that it would be revenue neutral. Johnson did mention the potential benefits of abolishing the IRS, which was the one good statement he made about the issue, but was immediately contradicted by Bill Weld stating “I don’t think you have to go so far as to abolishing the IRS.” Who is exactly is running for president here? Which leads me to my next point.
Their Teamwork Approach
Gary was asked about the balance between cutting military spending and maintaining a strong national defense, and you’d think he’d have a good answer to a seemingly simple question – because I don’t know, HE’S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! Instead, he looks over to his VP candidate and says “want a crack at that one?”
I thought Bill Weld was going to be just another meaningless Vice President with no influence on public policy, at least that’s what I was told by many Johnson supporters leading up to the Libertarian National Convention. Bill Weld has a history of supporting extreme measures of gun control, supported the Iraq War and, in the past, has endorsed Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and John Kasich. Gary insists that him and Weld are running as a team, like Co-Presidents if you will. It’s clear that Bill Weld will have an incredible amount of influence in a Johnson presidency, which is a scary thought for any libertarian, given his track record. Not to mention it makes Gary look very weak.
Tonight’s Town Hall had many in disbelief and left them wanting to pull their hair out. They continue to reveal they’re incapable of conveying an inspiring, consistent message of liberty. I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again; Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are not libertarians and the party has made a huge mistake in nominating them.
I encourage everyone to click the link and watch for yourself.