Libertarian Presidential Nominee Campaigns in Indy
Johnson blasts Obama, Romney; embraces "spoiler" label
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson addresses a town hall at Marian University. State Libertarian Chairman Sam Goldstein is at right. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)
Mitt Romney has visited Indiana just twice this year, and President Obama not at all -- but the third candidate on Indiana's presidential ballot has wrapped up his third visit to the state.
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson cheerfully acknowledged he "doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning." But the Republican turned Libertarian urged about 75 people at a Marian University town hall not to vote for a candidate they don't believe in. He says the two major parties have demonstrated an inability to bring the size and scope of government under control, and predicts it will produce a financial collapse "sooner rather than later."
"When you talk about this years from now -- shelves are bare, we're in the midst of a monetary collapse -- (you want to be able to say) 'I didn't vote for these guys,'" Johnson says.
Johnson says he'd balance the budget his first year by slashing one-and-a-half-trillion dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and the Pentagon -- he ridicules Mitt Romney for saying he can balance it while growing those items. He boasts he vetoed more bills in his eight years as governor than the nation's other 49 governors combined.
And Johnson blasts President Obama as the most "militaristic" president in history -- he says he would have invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 as President Bush did, but argues al-Qaeda's been shattered as a force in the country for 10 years now. He says he'd withdraw immediately, and would be far warier than his opponents about military action elsewhere.
Johnson says he'd replace the income tax with a national sales tax. He argues the disappearance of the corporate income tax would bring jobs flooding back from overseas, while the abolition of withholding taxes would bring prices down, even with the sales tax taking their place.
The Indianapolis stop was Johnson's third on a two-day swing through Indiana, after visits to South Bend and Fairland.
Johnson briefly challenged Romney for the Republican nomination before dropping out and pursuing the Libertarian nod instead. He's on the ballot in every state except Michigan and Oklahoma.