My name is Austin Petersen, Libertarian candidate for President!

I am a constitutional libertarian who believes in economic freedom and personal liberty. My passion for limited government led me to a job at the Libertarian National Committee in 2008, and then to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. After fighting for liberty in our nation’s capital, I took a job as an associate producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show FreedomWatch on the Fox Business Network. After the show, I returned to D.C. to work for the Tea Party institution FreedomWorks, and subsequently started my own business venture, Stonegait LLC, and a popular national news magazine The Libertarian Republic.

Now I'm fighting to take over the government and leave everyone alone. Ask me anything!

I'll be answering questions between 1pm and 2pm EST


Comments: 966 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

Hugo_Hackenbush145 karma

Even if a Libertarian were to get elected, you would have to deal with either a Republican or Democrat majority in Congress. So how would you get them to go along with your policies?

AustinPetersen2016304 karma

Depending on who is in the majority of congress, I would work with them on the issues where libertarians agree. If it's Republicans, we would work together to cut taxes and spending. If it's Democrats, I will work to expand civil liberties, end the war on drugs, and finally put a stop to crony capitalism.

Wierd_Carissa60 karma

If it's Republicans, we would work together to cut taxes and spending.

What sort of taxes and spending cuts did you have in mind, even just generally? I can't imagine paring down the defense budget as per your non-interventionist stance going over too well with a GOP-controlled Congress... It's very, very easy to be a proponent of "cutting taxes and spending," but that means nothing without actually talking about whose taxes you're planning on cutting, and what you're cutting spending on.

AustinPetersen201698 karma

I am promoting the Penny Plan, as well as an audit of the Pentagon. I'm sure we could find a way to cut 1% of the DOD budget without any trouble after the audit.

IamSmeagol52 karma

What is the libertarian party's plan for this general election and is there any hope of having a candidate on the debate stage in the GE? If Gary Johnson wins the Libertarian party primary, will you still be running?

AustinPetersen2016136 karma

There are a few options here. The Libertarian Party is suing to get into the presidential debates. We are awaiting the outcome of that lawsuit. They could reject it, or wait until after the election to decide. We could also theoretically poll high enough to be included. In that case, they may just change the requirements to be even higher, or not include us in polling altogether. If that occurs, I will go to the debates anyway, and stand outside and talk to the media in protest. I will go to make sure that libertarians have a voice no matter what, to the best of my ability. In Colorado for example, the Libertarian Party voted to exclude me from their debate. I went anyway, and took second place, even after my opponent flubbed the definition of a "right." Libertarians have to understand that we can't be passive, we have to be aggressive, and push hard for our message to be heard. Liberty is never given, it must be taken.

secondyearsophomore37 karma

What positions of yours are you dead set on, and which ones will you give yourself some wiggle room on? A concern among conservatives that I have read is that they are afraid that you would back off on your pro life stance. This is an important issue to me and a lot of other voters, and I think your stance sets you apart from other candidates. I am just hoping for consistency.

AustinPetersen201686 karma

I am dead set on ending the war on drugs. For taxes I do believe we need to abolish the income tax, but we can't do it overnight. That's why I'm proposing a flat tax as a way to reduce and streamline our tax burden on the way to eliminating it.

I will never back down on my belief that the unborn is a human and deserves the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the rest of us. How that is legislated to protect life is a broad and diverse debate. I think we need federalism, and localism on these decisions. I will not create an authoritarian police state in order to force every state to comply with federal abortion regulations, but I do support state laws that protect life. There are many of them. We need to analyze them each one and debate them all on their merits. But morally, I am pro life absolutely. How about we legalize birth control over the counter first? That would result in fewer abortions.

owyn99936 karma

Good morning Mr. Petersen,

So I have recently found you. I am going to pose a question similar to one that I have asked in the past of candidates.

Had you taken over the white house instead of President Obama, what would you have done with the conflict in Iraq?

AustinPetersen201698 karma

Hello sir! Thank you for your question. Personally I would prefer we draw down our military obligations in Iraq. I don't believe our national security is served by maintaining a troop presence there. We need a national security that's focused on defense, not on invasion, occupation, and nation building. The American people have expended enough blood and treasure in the Middle East.

Rudaunt24 karma

Hello Mr. Petersen! I was the one who requested this AMA, I'm glad you could do it!

My 5 questions:

Would Ron Paul be in consideration for SCOTUS?

What would be your first action as president if elected into office?

Is your goal at this point to get elected as president or to get the party to major party status?

Will you run again in future years if you aren't nominated this year?

Would you do anything for our veterans?

AustinPetersen201653 karma

Thank you so much for requesting this AMA!

  1. Ron Paul has retired and probably wouldn't be interested in being a judge. Plus I have someone better in mind for that like Randy Barnett or Judge Nap. He'd be a great Treasury secretary though.

  2. I would unilaterally end the war on drugs by instructing the DEA to set all drug schedules to 0.

  3. Why not both?

  4. I have no plans to do that. I really don't have a desire to rule over anyone, or a lust for power. I'm doing this now to humbly give the American people a choice of a libertarian versus the authoritarian candidates. I'll fight as hard as I can this time, and consider in the future what might be right for me. I value my own freedom too, you know? And presidents lose a lot of freedom when they hold office. Do you think I should run again?

  5. I have great respect for veterans and the military. I would like to end the VA, and take the money saved and give it to the veterans in the form of a direct check so they can seek healthcare in the private market.

kingofthemilkyway23 karma

Hi austin, Do you think trump's rise will split the republican party and allow for a third party, like the libertarian party to rise?

AustinPetersen201639 karma

I absolutely do.

Cascobello20 karma

I know you and Gary Johnson don't seem to get along in the debates but can you consider a Johnson/Petersen ticket for the general election? I think it would be the best for the Libertarian party.

AustinPetersen201637 karma

I would be honored if the delegates were to decide that.

sezycei18 karma

Have you always been an atheist, or did you come to that conclusion later in life? What was that process like if it was later in life?

AustinPetersen201675 karma

I lost my faith as a young man after my mother died of cancer, and was victimized by a pharmacist by the name of Robert Courtney who diluted her chemotherapy drugs. I didn't understand how a loving god could allow such evil in the world. Eventually I found the intellectual underpinnings to determine why there was evil in the world (Epicurus' Riddle) and I read Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and others. Technically, I am agnostic. But I actively don't believe. I am open to changing my mind if I am confronted with evidence to the contrary.

LuffyThePirateKing17 karma

Hi Mr. Pertersen,

Before learning about you I was supporting Gary Johnson believing he was the only candidate for the libertarian party, then I stumbled across you, and found you to be the only true liberty focused candidate. As someone who got into politics following Ron Paul, I believe you are the only one who comes close to him. I truly believe you have the ideals and courage needed to refocus America on what we really need.

The only problem I have with giving you 100% support is a video I saw about you and Christopher Cantwell where you say a lot of well immature things. My question to you is, how do you defend this interview?

I hope you answer this please, I am very close to donating to your campaign, this is the only thing holding me back.

Thank you for for doing the AMA.

AustinPetersen201629 karma

Hello my friend! I get that question a lot. That man Cantwell had shared a nude photograph of a friend of mine! I was very angry! Do you think it was wrong of me to call him out and tell him what a slimeball he was? I was defending my friend. You might have done the same thing. It was a year ago, and I wasn't running for president. I understand that now I am attempting to represent the American people instead of just myself, and I have settled down in order to be a good representative because I believe that's the responsible thing to do.

nadams25417 karma

Would you be open to appointing Republicans (Cruz, Paul, Lee come to mind) in a Peteresen admin?

AustinPetersen201650 karma

100% yes, but I would be afraid to appoint too many of them simply because I need them to send me appropriate legislation that I can sign in order to reduce government. We will need good libertarians and conservatives in congress.

iamboat16 karma

I understand you are a non-interventionist. How would you deal with current foreign conflicts the US is already entangled in like with Islamic State and at what threat level stage would you as President finally go to Congress to declare war in the future? For example, if North Korea continued to lob missiles closer and closer to western seaboard.

AustinPetersen201655 karma

I would consider Ron Paul's proposal of Letters of Marque and Reprisal. I hope you don't mind if I link you to an earlier interview I did on this to answer:

In Article I, Section 8, the Constitution allows congress the power "to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal." Letters of Marque and Reprisal are commissions from congress to private firms to handle what would otherwise be acts of piracy with heavy restrictions on time, place, manner, and amount of reprisal allowed. Mercenaries would be accountable to congress for any collateral damage incurred.

"Letters of Marque and Reprisal are how Thomas Jefferson would have dealt with ISIS. I'm confident that his foreign policy, based on free market approach, would handily win the struggle against radical jihad," Petersen said. "We've tried endless war. Now, let's try the free market."

cgcross13 karma


AustinPetersen201639 karma


grizzburger33 karma

So your solution to ISIS is to privatize national security?

AustinPetersen201626 karma

The Founders privatized national security, and won our independence with it.

AlexTheOgre16 karma

Hello, Mr. Petersen. I'd like to know why you, as someone who's never held political office before, are qualified to be Commander in Chief?

AustinPetersen201612 karma

The constitution states I am.

redditbasement13 karma

Thank you for doing an AMA Mr. Petersen. My question: Instead of running for POTUS every election cycle, why don't more Libertarians try to get on the local/state level and change the game from the ground up?

AustinPetersen201615 karma

Actually by running for president I DO help the local and state level candidates. A strong presidential ticket helps the down ballot candidates. If we have a great ticket at the top, they may be more inclined to vote for our local candidates.

dmxbarks12 karma

What's your stance on climate change? Do you think the government has a role in minimizing human impacts (ie. greenhouse gases, deforestation, etc)? Specifically, what would you do to encourage responsible utilization of our natural resources? #AP4LP

AustinPetersen201613 karma

My problem with the climate change issue is that it assumes two things: 1. Government is efficient enough to actually turn the tide and save the world. 2. Centralization of our economy will result in better outcomes. Too often it seems to be an agenda to redistribute wealth, rather then actually protect the environment.

G60TimbersFan12 karma

Most non libertarians do not know anyone other than Ron Rand and Gary. How do you get your name out there?

How can people in states like Oregon (me) help you out? It is too late to switch parties.

AustinPetersen201627 karma

I have been working extremely hard to get the message out in social media and other venues. I admit, I am the underdog, and I am challenging a very powerful incumbent in my party who is also very popular. That being said, lately things have been changing, and I have been getting a lot more media and interviews since Trump won the GOP nomination. I believe that if I win the nomination, my aggressive strategy, along with the dismal state of the race, will propel my candidacy farther than any LP candidate in history.

secondyearsophomore11 karma

What makes you better than the other libertarian candidates?

AustinPetersen201623 karma

For starters, I am the only libertarian candidate who has read and understands Hayek, Rothbard, Mises, Bastiat, and others. I know the Austrian Business Cycle, and can break these concepts down for the American people and will introduce them to our ideas in a way they find palatable. I have been an LP member the longest, and I've been successful at getting libertarian ideas out there. I am articulate, dynamic, educated, and understand both grassroots and media strategy. I've been something of a community organizer for libertarians, and I believe that I will rally even more people to our cause than any of my opponents will be able to do.

5peasinapod9 karma

Hi Austin! I only heard about you a couple of months ago, and as a disillusioned former Republican you've been a breath of hope and fresh air. I think you're going to have a lot of appeal to former Cruzers and the nevertrump crowd, but what can we do to bring in Bernie voters? Also, what can we do to help you toward the convention?

AustinPetersen201638 karma

Bernie voters probably agree with libertarians that we need to end crony capitalism, corporate welfare, stimulus, bailouts, too big to fail, and other issues. They also probably agree we need to end the war on drugs and oppose the militarization of our local police forces. They want civil liberties too, and I'll bet I could even convince them to join us in opposing occupational licensing.

ContentEnt7 karma

As an advocate of the Free Market, do you draw the line at prostitution? Child Prostitution? Or are you fine with these?

AustinPetersen201621 karma

I think that consenting adults should be allowed to do as they please with their bodies. Children absolutely should be protected from prostitution and sex trafficking.

100mik7 karma

What are your thoughts on the Presidential race so far? And what should a country prioritise according to you, well being of the people or development of the nation itself.

AustinPetersen201634 karma

Quite frankly I am horrified with the state of the race so far. I wanted Rand Paul to win the GOP, Jim Webb to win the Democrats, and myself to win the LP so America could choose between great candidates, instead of a lesser of two evils.

SmogSUX6 karma

Do you plan on getting rid of welfare, section 8, food stamps, etc. and if so, how to you plan on slowly ending these programs?

AustinPetersen201623 karma

I believe we should, but the president is not a dictator. I also think we need to be cutting corporate welfare FIRST. I will ask congress to send me legislation cutting these programs, but if you look at my spending plan, you'll see that EVERY program gets at a minimum a 1% cut under my Penny Plan. That means those programs could face those same cuts.

ContentEnt6 karma

Can you explain why you think taxation is theft and how America could exist without any sort of taxation to pay for infrastructure, education, etc?

AustinPetersen20169 karma

I would like to advocate for more voluntary forms of taxation such as tolls and lotteries. Did you know that George Washington signed lottery taxes to raise money for roads? The next time a big fat statist asks you gloatingly "Who will build the roads..." tell them: George Washington!

vodkarendezvous5 karma

Where do you stand on the more "radical" libertarian platform of abolishing the FDA? Do you feel that American's have a right to know what goes into our food and make more informed choices based on that?

AustinPetersen20165 karma

I definitely feel we don't need the FDA. Private ratings agencies would spring up, because consumers would absolutely demand it through their purchasing activity. You don't have a right to demand business owners tell you what's in the food they make. You have a right to grow your own. If you want to know what's in their food, ask them, or don't buy it.

Kane04215 karma

How have you seen the Libertarian Party change with this primary election? Have you personally seen the surge everyone is claiming exists?

AustinPetersen201611 karma

We've had an enormous upswing in volunteers, donors, and social media followers after the news that Trump won. I honestly believe that the LP only has to not screw this up, and we will be borne on the back of the rising tide of #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary activism. I honestly believe that I am the best candidate that can truly capitalize on that.

CJEbertLives4 karma

Mr. Petersen, thank you for taking the time to speak with the people today.

Excluding your professed agenda to seek a federal descheduling of drugs and reclassifying the War on Drugs as a "medical problem," are there any additional steps you'd like to see the legislature take regarding criminal justice reform?

Thanks a great deal in advance if you choose to answer this.

AustinPetersen20169 karma

Certainly I think we need to bring an end to mandatory minimums, restore voting rights to felons who have served their time, and end solitary confinement for juvenile delinquents.

revocer4 karma

Who are your top 3 libertarian influences? And why?

Were you libertarian since birth? Or did you transition from some other political philosophy? If the latter, What brought the change?

AustinPetersen201614 karma

Ron Paul - He inspired my activism.

Judge Napolitano - He cemented my understanding of liberty, the constitution, and the law.

Tom Palmer - He caused me to question my beliefs and understandings of libertarianism to think about it in different ways.

JeffTS4 karma

If you don't win the Libertarian nomination, will you support, promote, and campaign for the nominee, no matter who that individual is?

Secondly, several months ago, you were pushing a "Where is Gary?" message due to his lack of presence in media, online, etc. Lately, he has been getting quite a bit of attention by the mainstream media in both print and on TV (ABC, CNN, NY Times, etc). What are you and your campaign currently doing to also appear in mainstream media to promote your candidacy and the libertarian ideology?

AustinPetersen201616 karma

I absolutely will support the nominee no matter what.

I am pushing Gary to become a better candidate, I think there's no doubt been a tangible impact I've made on getting him to get out there and be aggressive. In case you have been missing it, but I'm on mainstream media all the time. I was in the Fox Business debates, I'm on lots of popular national radio programs. I've been mentioned in CNN recently (they think Gary is the presumptive nominee and don't research the LP much). I also just got an interview with the Washington Post, and I was mentioned in the NY Times for the Stossel Forum. There's lots more, but I don't want to brag too much.

Sir every day almost I do livestreams on Facebook where I not only discuss topics in depth, but I respond to questions and criticisms from my viewers on important issues. I always hew to the libertarian philosophy and defend limited government to the best of my ability in every way. Check it out:

PorterJustice4 karma

First of all, thanks for your AmA.

I've seen on your Twitter that you really like to push your message for the #NeverTrump and #CruzCrew crowds. What's your position on Trump himself? Do you like/dislike his policies or him as a person?

AustinPetersen201612 karma

I dislike his policies. As a person I find him entertaining and hilarious.

kevinrk233 karma

Good morning Mr. Petersen,

Often times libertarianism and constitutionalism are used synonymously. Are there any areas where you believe that true libertarian ideals run contrary to the Constitution? Or are both ideas one in the same?

AustinPetersen201610 karma

Yes, libertarians generally don't favor an income tax, and they don't care for the expansive definition of the Commerce Clause. Libertarians also tend to believe in decentralization and anti-democratic checks and balances. The 17th Amendment resulted in what many believe was a consolidation of power in the senate, where they are less accountable to their states due to them being popularly elected.

There are many other dozens of things that conflict with libertarian ideology in the Constitution such as eminent domain and other items, but as president I will take seriously and honor my oath to protect, preserve, and defend the constitution from all threats foreign and domestic. I will obey the law.

dr-ransom3 karma

Mr. Petersen-

I'm a big fan of you. I have been since Rand Paul suspended his campaign. I've mentioned you to lots of my conservative friends and family who will never vote for Clinton and find Trump just as bad.

But my question is: why have you decided to pursue politics through the LP? Unfortunately, it does not seem as though the LP will be significant on a national scale anytime soon (though if any Presidential nominee can change that, it's definitely you).

If you look at the Pauls, they've been fairly successful in spreading the Liberty movement from within the GOP. Why have you not chosen to do the same?

And also: what would it take to get you to come to San Antonio and speak at my University next year? (Before your inauguration of course ;) )

AustinPetersen201610 karma

Hello sir! Thank you for the kind words! I have chosen the LP because I love my freedom of speech, and I am very comfortable being an outsider and a bit of a rebel. If i was in the GOP, I might feel compelled to do what Rand did and endorse Donald Trump. I feel bad for him! I don't want to have to be placed in those kinds of situations. Plus, I am truly libertarian in every way, and I don't know that I'd feel welcome in the GOP. The Paul's are fantastic, but I am very different from them. Don't you think we need new and different kinds of voices? We can't always be focused on the Pauls only and forever right? We need new voices to be lifted up, to show that our movement is diverse and growing.

Email my comms director for bookings at [email protected] or just bring your class to the White House next year. Address is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. ;)

Go_To_Bethel_And_Sin3 karma

What is the least libertarian view that you hold?

AustinPetersen20161 karma

That I believe we should defend the US Constitution, even with its flaws, and work to change it where it conflicts with our beliefs.

player753 karma

Do you support limiting firearm access to convicts and the mentally ill?

AustinPetersen20168 karma

Define mentally ill.

rumkahn3 karma

Has Robert Nozick influenced you?

XenonCeilingFan3 karma

What's your opinion of McAfee?

AustinPetersen201611 karma

We've developed quite a bromance during this election cycle. He's hilarious, brilliant, and fun to be around.

answerstothedream3 karma

Good afternoon Mr.Petersen,

I have but one "simple" question for you:

What kind of music do you listen to?

AustinPetersen201610 karma

I love this question. I listen to a lot of hip hop and EDM. Also a lot of doo wop and golden oldies. I'm a huge fan of Drake, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign, Chris Brown, and others. I also love Deorro, Calvin Harris, Diplo, Skrillex, etc. Sometimes I listen to musicals, as that was my major.


What are your plans to reform criminal justice? Also are you for legalization of Marijuana?

AustinPetersen20168 karma

I am for ending the war on drugs entirely. All drugs.

vodkarendezvous2 karma

After seeing you speak on how business owners should be free to conduct their business how they see fit (nazi cake), I am wondering how do you feel about discrimination in hiring in the work place? Do you feel that we should maintain the current regulations on non-discrimination for hiring and employees of a business?

AustinPetersen20163 karma

Personally I think that business owners should have the right to discriminate for any reason. People have a right to be stupid jerks in this country, and the government shouldn't be in the business of trying to make us into better people. That's wrong. That being said, I hate bigotry. I want us to love and be kind to one another no matter the race, gender, sexual orientation of anyone. I'd boycott businesses that were hateful and discriminatory, and personally I might even start a competing business to edge them out. I think diversity is a good thing in race, gender, politics and opinions.

rainyforest2 karma

Mr. Petersen, how long have you been an atheist for?

AustinPetersen20167 karma

Since I was 16 years old.

maltaethiron2 karma

I saw (and love) that you are in favor of getting rid of the NFA. How would you go about getting Congress behind such a big step in re-liberating gun rights in our country?

AustinPetersen201610 karma

I would work with senators like Cruz, Paul, and Lee to send me proper legislation abolishing the NFA and the Hughes Amendment.

nbtscan2 karma

Hey Austin! YUGE supporter of yours. I'm having problems convincing some close minded friends and family of yours that it should not matter if the POTUS believes in a higher power as long as he protects everybody's ability to worship (or not worship) how they choose. They have called you ignorant and that your reasoning ability is flawed. I respond with "would you rather have a president who tells you they are a christian and then murder a bunch of people?" They stop talking to me after that. Can you elaborate on how I should approach these types of people? Thanks! #AP4LP

AustinPetersen20166 karma

Show them this video:

Remind them God punished the Egyptians because the Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he wouldn't grant the Israelites freedom. You must be willing and open to new ideas to expand freedom for all, or suffer the wrath of an angry god.

ElectricParkour1 karma

How did the timing of your campaign work out? You've caught the interest of the public more recently than most other candidates, Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian who have already been on the campaign trail for a long period of time.

What is your plan for continued growth of your campaign? Do you think you can garner enough support to beat Hillary and Trump?

AustinPetersen20162 karma

It was pretty perfectly timed actually. I got a lot of Hell from Rand supporters because he was still running when I announced last fall, but I could see the writing on the wall and I knew we desperately needed a life boat if the inevitable happened. Thankfully the grassroots have come out strongly in support of my campaign, and I will work very hard to continue my growth trajectory. Every opportunity I have I educate people on free market economics and libertarian policy, and it's been amazing how many people have begun researching these issues due to my campaign.

I have a transition plan ready to go as soon as I win the nomination. I have a fantastic team of hardcore libertarians that are extremely professional and passionate about my candidacy. These will form the core team when I win the nomination. We'll be ready to hit the ground running, doing fundraising, events, media, and other things. I promise we are going to make you proud to be a libertarian!

CPSux1 karma

What role will Jesse Ventura have in your cabinet?

AustinPetersen20163 karma

Conspiracy debunker in chief.

andytkg981 karma

Mr. Petersen, I'm a huge fan of the Libertarian Republic and I'm glad I could catch this AMA.

Libertarians are often criticized for being overly idealistic or unrealistic, how will you stay "grounded" when you are elected?

AustinPetersen20163 karma

I will obey the constitution, and ensure that I am following the law. I will present my ideas to the American public in a way that I believe will achieve a broad consensus of change towards a more free market, and socially tolerant vision of America. I will blanket these ideas in the narrative of restoring the American dream.

indianrider1 karma

As a life long Libertarian who has already donated to Gary Johnson's campaign, please tell me why I should vote for you instead of Gary Johnson? What are the major differences between you two?

AustinPetersen20168 karma

I am pro 2nd Amendment unconditionally. Governor Johnson has proposed we need to discuss limiting guns to the "mentally ill."

I am for freedom of association and private property rights. Governor Johnson believes in forced association.

amhallman961 karma

I am a former Cruz supporter and one of things I liked about Cruz was he said on his first day in office he would instruct the Department of justice to investigate Planned Parenthood. Would you do the same if you became president?

AustinPetersen20164 karma

I didn't know he did that. I certainly think we need to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood, but I won't pander and say I'll do something if I hadn't thought if it before you asked. What would be the point of the investigation? Cruz is a good man, but he might have just been saying that to curry favor. I am against abortion, but I don't know if there's grounds for an investigation at this point until I get more information about why he wanted to do that. Frankly my top priority is slashing the federal budget like a Ron Swanson.

tpuller32221 karma

What are your ideal cabinet picks and supreme court appointees? Would you put Ted Cruz or Trey Gowdy on the court? Would you appoint Rand Paul to sec of treasury?

AustinPetersen20164 karma

For SCOTUS I really like the idea of placing either Judge Napolitano or Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett on the bench. Cruz would be good, but I really need him in the senate to work with me on overturning Obamacare. Rand Paul, too. It's important to have libertarian legislators.

AdamSB081 karma

Why do you feel that your time is now? With Gary Johnson currently getting an unprecedented level of media attention for a Libertarian Candidate would it not be best to let him have it this time around in hopes of more exposure for the Party and better odds if you were to choose to run for the House, Senate or what have you? I mean no disrespect and believe that you would make an excellent Vice President or Congressman. I just wonder if you could compete with Johnson (or even McAfee) in getting the attention of the media.

AustinPetersen20163 karma

I can appreciate this question. Here are the facts. In the Monmouth Poll that showed the governor at 11%, 76% of the people who were polled didn't know who Governor Johnson was. Of the people who DID know who he was, his unfavorable ratings were only beaten by one other candidate... Donald Trump.

The governor is a great man, but ultimately I believe he's unelectable as president, and cannot win pro-life conservatives who are begging the LP to nominate a candidate like me. We have a historic opportunity to build coalitions outside the liberty movement, and I believe I am the only candidate who can do it.

Lovethe3beatles1 karma

Hello Mr. Peterson, Thank you for doing this AMA. Where should a young person go to get involved and learn more about what it means to be a libertarian?

AustinPetersen20162 karma

Read as much as you can about economics and law. Start with Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson.

MasterChimp1 karma

If you were on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, what policy would you attack each of them for first?

If you don't get the nomination, what would you do to support the libertarian nominee?

AustinPetersen201610 karma

Trump I would probably attack on immigration, his hypocrisy on free trade while benefiting from it, his progressive income tax, and other things.

With Hillary, her lax behavior in Benghazi, her long list of non-accomplishments. Her ties to Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, her inability to connect to voters, her Keynesian economics plans that amount to nothing more than a redistribution of wealth, and other items.

I will do whatever the nominee asks! Hopefully they will see an advantage to taking me on their campaign, but I don't know if they will. They might be upset that I challenged them so heavily, but I hope they understand I just wanted to make them a better candidate in the event that I were to lose. I'll support them from my media platforms, and interviews, and defend the Libertarian Party all the way to November.

modrepalex1 karma

Hey there, I'm a Kasich supporter that recently transplanted to the Libertarian Party. I watched your debate on Fox Business News, which you clearly won. However, what's your path to the nomination? Governor Johnson seems to have all the delegates in his pocket.

AustinPetersen20161 karma

All the delegates save one caucus are unbound and able to vote for whoever they wish. I am the only candidate that has bound delegates (3) from Miami.