WHO AM I? I am Gov. Gary Johnson, Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative, and the two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1994 - 2003. Here is proof that this is me: https://twitter.com/GovGaryJohnson I've been referred to as the 'most fiscally conservative Governor' in the country, and vetoed so many bills during my tenure that I earned the nickname "Governor Veto." I bring a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, and believe that decisions should be made based on cost-benefit analysis rather than strict ideology. Like many Americans, I am fiscally conservative and socially tolerant. I'm also an avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist. I have currently reached the highest peak on five of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest and, most recently, Aconcagua in South America. FOR MORE INFORMATION You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr.

Comments: 1627 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

Cheesy22595 karma

What are your thoughts on the recent Edward Snowden ordeal and do you think he should be granted political asylum?

Thanks for doing another AMA; it's very cool that you came back.

GovGaryJohnson735 karma

It is truly a mixed bag. On one hand, he is a hero for letting us know what the NSA is doing in terms of surveillance on us. But, he did sign confidentiality agreements, and violated those agreements.

zlasner464 karma

Governor Johnson,

Are there any issues you have changed your stance on since starting your career in public service?

GovGaryJohnson1304 karma

The death penalty. I have come to realize that innocent people have been put to death, and that government makes mistakes.

everydayIProgram379 karma


GovGaryJohnson1215 karma

I support any initiative that takes us away from criminalizing personal choices.

GovGaryJohnson312 karma

Thank you all for joining me. See you next time!

mrpeppr1295 karma

If there was one law that you could change what would it be and why?

GovGaryJohnson878 karma

If I may categorize all of our drug laws as "one law", I believe decriminalizing would have tremendous benefits in terms of saved resources, less harm and positives across society.

noodlez222185 karma

What is the most important thing you learned from your campaigns?

GovGaryJohnson421 karma

A reiteration of always showing up on time -- and always telling the truth.

Sloppyfrench174 karma


GovGaryJohnson504 karma

I am going to continue to provide a voice that no one else is. Maybe that will involve lining up again in 2016.

letgoandflow161 karma

When are you going to hold an AMA in /r/GaryJohnson? It's a group of supporters that want to help you with your AMA's.

We are also super organized supporters. We have lots of ideas/feedback and we use reddit to organize our thoughts and vote up the ideas we all think are good.

Think about it, we'll be here! /r/GaryJohnson

GovGaryJohnson199 karma

Appreciate it, and I will definitely follow up with you.

lefthandedelf144 karma

How did you get into politics?

I agree with your business way of doing things.

Thanks for doing this AMA!

GovGaryJohnson324 karma

I cold turkey ran for governor of New Mexico, believing there was a better way to do things.

NeilThuigim131 karma

How do you think a Libertarian govt should deal with BIG problems that result from free markets, like pollution/global warming?

GovGaryJohnson224 karma

Government's primary responsibility is to protect us from individuals, groups and foreign threats that would do us harm, and I believe pollution falls in the category of doing us harm.

zmontoya94102 karma

Hello Governor!

The New Mexico Legislative Lottery scholarship is the reason that me and many of my fellow students are able to financially make their way through college.

That being said, do you think that something like the New Mexico's Legislative Lottery Scholarship would be able to work on a national level?


GovGaryJohnson241 karma

I signed the lottery scholarship legislation, and believe it is something other states can adopt. However, I would not want the federal govt to get in that business.

aljds85 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. I am a big fan, and appreciate what you have done for the libertarian party. My question has been asked before, but I think a lot of us are unhappy that you haven’t given a satisfactory answer. Global warming may be a serious threat, but many fear that little can be done without heavy government intervention, something Libertarians are not a fan of. In addition, any changes we make will have little-no effect if not matched on a global scale, and run the risk of heavily damaging our economy. What specifically (if anything) do you think should be done to combat this problem?

GovGaryJohnson100 karma

Specifically, you and I as consumers are demanding less carbon emission, and we are getting that reduction, and will get more of it.

dangerfieldxx80 karma

What new adventures are you planning on going on? My friend Indiana would like to meet you.

GovGaryJohnson163 karma

One month ago, I did the 24 hour national mountain bike championships, and in September, I am leaving to climb Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea.

choir_nerd80 karma

Are Russia's new anti-gay laws sufficient reason to boycott Sochi 2014? Why or why not?

GovGaryJohnson677 karma

The best response is for the U.S. to adopt laws insuring equality for gays, and go to the Olympics and kick ass, proving that equality is the right policy for any nation.


Do you think that, due to his relative influence, Rand Paul is doing a good job of garnering exposure for the Libertarian movement? Do you think that he is misrepresenting the Libertarian ideals? Many Paul supporters, who now support you, have said that Rand is too conservative to be a Libertarian voice in Congress.

GovGaryJohnson313 karma

Generally speaking, Libertarians are socially liberal. Sen. Paul is a social conservative.

PatentAtty70 karma

Do you think that the rise of the religious right has been a good or bad thing for small government conservatism?

GovGaryJohnson250 karma

I think when you lead with social conservatism, it turns people off to your next priority: small government.

imnga64 karma

What are your thoughts on changes regulating Influence & Lobbying government officials and Congress by corporate and special interest groups such as greater transparency and more restrictions.

GovGaryJohnson174 karma

I advocate eliminating the IRS, income tax and corporate taxes, and replacing them with a single consumption tax. That will issue pink slips to the vast majority of lobbyists in Washington.

nugget13653 karma

What do you believe is the greatest and most important issue in America that needs to be dealt with within the next 3 years?

GovGaryJohnson118 karma

The budget must be balanced. We can not sustain deficit spending and the massive debt we have created.

pubic_membrane28 karma

How do you feel Obama has handled immigration reform/policy?

GovGaryJohnson55 karma

Horribly. He has had the political capital to address it, and has not used it effectively.

bringindabacon28 karma

I am fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.

So by fiscally conservative do you mean you prefer to cut spending across the board or would you be an advocate for smarter more efficient spending? I can't find any sources right now but from what I understand some welfare spending has a disproportionately larger impact on the economy vs other types of spending(just using welfare as an example- I don't necessarily support all welfare spending).

Also how do you feel about military spending? My only frustration with most fiscal "conservatives" is their desire to raise the military budget over and over again and as far as I can see that's our biggest opportunity to get this budget under control. That being said I understand it's a complicated issue since it provides so many jobs domestically.

edit: as an aside I think a great method for phrasing the social tolerance part to appeal to those who call themselves conservative but vote republican would be to push the idea that the government needs to stop regulating our personal lives. for instance I'm trying to figure out why the government even has regulations on who can get married or what I can put my dick in(consensually of course) in the bedroom.

edit: also thanks for taking your time to come and spread the good word about fiscal conservatism to reddit!!

GovGaryJohnson73 karma

I am an advocate for smarter, more efficient spending. I advocate for a balanced budget, and the necessary 30% reduction in federal spending required to achieve it.

mrpeppr125 karma

Hi I'm from the Nation and would just like to thank you for doing that interview with Phil. You are a true people person that cares about the average Joe ;) Never change

GovGaryJohnson21 karma

Thanks - it is always a pleasure.

mrpeppr122 karma

Through your career I'm sure that you have met many interesting and fascinating people. Is there anyone that stuck out in particular?

GovGaryJohnson34 karma

Victor Niederhoffer.

speak2718 karma

Gov. Johnson, what advice would you give to a young business professional? I possess a Bachelor's in Marketing and I will soon be attending grad school for an MBA. Any advice is appreciated! Live free!

GovGaryJohnson74 karma

Apply what you learn as an entrepreneur. Go into business for yourself.

IamtheBiscuit14 karma

How are you going to take on the corporatocracy that currently resides in our political system?

GovGaryJohnson55 karma

I will be speaking out against it, as I am currently doing every day.

potatium12 karma

Any moments of your life you would like to share with Reddit that the public doesn't know of?

GovGaryJohnson72 karma

I have Celiac disease, which is being allergic to wheat, rye and barley. I was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago, and don't have gas anymore:)

speak2710 karma

What is your biggest regret of your political career? What about your business career?

GovGaryJohnson21 karma

No biggest regret. A lot of small ones.

unsanitary_napkin8 karma


GovGaryJohnson39 karma

Best marathon time: 2:48, and yes, I have considered the Appalachian Trail, and would love to do it.

prestonsteger7 karma

Please come to Murfreesboro, Tennessee (home of MTSU). I'm 16 years old and I'd love to attend a rally of yours or something.

GovGaryJohnson28 karma

I will try, and look forward to seeing you.

rjcron3 karma

Where is your favorite place to ski?

GovGaryJohnson12 karma

Taos, New Mexico, which is why I live here. Skiing is one of my passions.

unknownman191 karma

Why have your AMAs been getting formatted worse each time you do them?

One of your earlier AMAs (good formatting and answers)

Also, why have the quality of your answers decreased so much? You used to answer with more than one or two sentences and answer more hardball questions.

Edit: On a side note, I support you and voted for you in 2012. I also mod /r/GaryJohnson, /r/OurAmerica, and /r/FairTax!

GovGaryJohnson6 karma

Actually, we are always trying to get better. Your comments are taken to heart.