Hello Reddit,

Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. Bill Weld here to answer your questions! We are your Libertarian candidates for President and Vice President. We believe the two-party system is a dinosaur, and we are the comet.

If you don’t know much about us, we hope you will take a look at the official campaign site. If you are interested in supporting the campaign, you can donate through our Reddit link here, or volunteer for the campaign here.

Gov. Gary Johnson is the former two-term governor of New Mexico. He has climbed the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents, including Mt. Everest. He is also an Ironman Triathlete. Gov. Johnson knows something about tough challenges.

Gov. Bill Weld is the former two-term governor of Massachusetts. He was also a federal prosecutor who specialized in criminal cases for the Justice Department. Gov. Weld wants to keep the government out of your wallets and out of your bedrooms.

Thanks for having us Reddit! Feel free to start leaving us some questions and we will be back at 9PM EDT to get this thing started.

Proof - Bill will be here ASAP. Will update when he arrives.

EDIT: Further Proof

EDIT 2: Thanks to everyone, this was great! We will try to do this again. PS, thanks for the gold, and if you didn't see it before: https://twitter.com/GovGaryJohnson/status/773338733156466688

Comments: 9499 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

AmnestyInternational4457 karma

Gov. Johnson: some people still think that Edward Snowden betrayed the USA when he shared NSA files with journalists. Yet without him, we would not have the global debate on surveillance that has already led to more stringent protections of our right to privacy. Given that this is a clear cut case of a whistleblower acting in the public interest, would you support a pardon for Edward Snowden? Why?

Thank you,
Tanya O'Carroll - Adviser, Technology and Human Rights - Amnesty International

GovGaryJohnson5672 karma

Yes, I would support a pardon for Edward Snowden based on what I know. Watch Citizenfour (and I’m looking forward to the new movie).

ESPbeN2456 karma

Gov. Johnson,

What is the best way I can present the reasons to vote for you to someone who does not want to vote for Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump but feels that a third party vote is a waste?

Thank you for your time. I really respect what you are trying to do.

GovGaryJohnson5381 karma

You may disagree with everything I have to say, but you’ll see it done in complete transparency and honesty. The only wasted vote is to vote for someone who you don’t believe in.

AntiProhibitionist2007 karma

You've made clear that marijuana legalization is a priority. What about other vices that create black markets, like gambling, specifically sports gambling? Prostitution?

GovGaryJohnson2820 karma

I do believe that marijuana should be legalized, and I do believe California will legalize it in November, which will be a tipping point. An example of a black market in marijuana is Washington state where a black market still survives due to too many taxes.

AntiProhibitionist1166 karma

That stance is widely known. What I was asking about was other vices. If you'll only answer one, I'd like to know about sports gambling since it is strangely legal in limited states yet a federal law restricts it in those not "grandfathered-in"

GovGaryJohnson2894 karma

I've come out in favor of legalizing online poker. I think sports gambling should be legal, too.

bytor991393 karma

Both of you have done a great job showing why environmental protection is a legitimate government function. Current EPA regulations, however, are complicated, not effective enough, and can sometimes impede small businesses. As president, what reforms would you advocate to reform our regulations, so that we can protect the environment while at the same time, cutting back on waste, bureaucracy, and red tape?

GovGaryJohnson1467 karma

As Governor, a specific example was allowing clean up to take place even though it hadn’t passed regulatory hurdles, which allowed for clean up to occur and cost less.

Frajer1322 karma

Governor Johnson- what inspired you to switch party allegiance from Republican to Libertarian?

Governor Weld- what made you want to join the Libertarian party?

GovGaryJohnson2865 karma

Shedding the social conservative dogma of the Republican Party. (On behalf of Gov. Weld, he feels the same way.)

yourmom32111276 karma

Governor Johnson, I am an avid fan and a potential voter of yours. I must know:

If elected, would you work to abolish the electoral college? Would you also consider replacing our system of plurality voting with the Borda Count Method or even rank-choice voting as Dr. Jill Stein does?

GovGaryJohnson2736 karma

Count on my support for majority vote. Count on my support for ranked voting. I believe it would have to be done via an amendment to the Constitution.

Yankee_Farmer1275 karma

Would you be in-favor of an extensive overhaul of the Gun Control Act of 1968, completely redefining who should be deemed a “prohibited person”?

Currently the definitions mirror the unrest of the 1960s, and have been proven ineffective.

My suggestion is to ban anyone convicted of a crime of physical violence, including murder, assault, sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, hate crimes, terrorism, and criminal harassment.

Persons convicted of a non-violent felony, should be removed from the list of prohibited persons, as should persons convicted of marijuana offenses, or receiving medical marijuana.

GovGaryJohnson2656 karma

Sounds like you should be a member of our administration! I agree with your premises. I don’t know the details of the 1968 bill, but I’ll become more in tune with them.

willhoop1239 karma

Do you believe it is the role of the US government to maintain hundreds of military bases all over the world?

GovGaryJohnson2451 karma

No, we would initially target a 20% reduction in those bases.

TheManWithTheBigName849 karma

Governor Johnson, Governor Weld, thank you for doing this AMA. I would like to ask two questions:

  1. It is abundantly clear that America has a healthcare problem. Americans pay far more than any other Western nation for healthcare, and it is a leading cause of bankrupcy. What is your plan to address this issue, if elected?

  2. What do you feel your strongest states are? Where will you two be campaigning, and where do you think you have the best chance of winning?

FancySkink296 karma

I think their best states are Utah and New Mexico. Been seeing bumper stickers here and there in my swing state (Florida) so I'm hoping the ticket will gain some traction here!

Edit: Also I'm from Jacksonville so I have to support Gary "Jaguar" Johnson

GovGaryJohnson944 karma

Check out the NBC News poll from this morning. We're at 15 points or above in 15 states and in double digits in 42 states. The poll shows us at 25% in New Mexico and 23% in Utah.

bour-bon-fire839 karma

Hi, Governor Johnson. If you are elected, what do you hope your legacy will be seen as after your term?

Best of luck and thank you for being a voice of reason!

GovGaryJohnson1912 karma

Honesty, transparency, not a hypocrite (not saying one thing and doing another).

jyanix812 karma

Gov. Johnson, you've said that you love the Game of Thrones. If you could be one of the characters who would you be and why?

GovGaryJohnson2345 karma

I would be Jon Snow. My favorite Game of Thrones scene is Jon Snow, holding his sword, ready to be slain, only to survive.

storm181695 karma

Governor Johnson, this will be the first election I am old enough to vote in and am already in your camp. What are you doing to try to draw the many others in my age group who have grown up with a distaste for the two party system yet still hesitate to vote Libertarian?

Thanks for doing this AMA and being the best candidate!

GovGaryJohnson1101 karma

I think the distaste has to do with dishonesty, non-transparency, and play-to-pay. We’ll do the opposite.

dlbuunk636 karma

How is the view from the top of the world?

On a more serious note: (how) has climbing Mt. Everest changed your view of humanity?

GovGaryJohnson2246 karma

As it should be: unmatched.

Since it all took place from Nepal, I saw happy people with nothing material. We have everything material and we don’t seem as happy as we should be.

Remix2Cognition523 karma

Governor Gary Johnson,

Can you clarify your position on a potential Carbon Tax?

In a discussion with CNBC journalist, John Harwood, you stated

“I do think that climate change is occurring, that it is man-caused. One of the proposals that I think is a very libertarian proposal, and I'm just open to this, is taxing carbon emission that may have the result of being self-regulating.”

This was mistakenly portrayed by the media and many others that you support a Carbon Tax, even though you simply stated your openness to it and the potential benefits of it. It did, however, also add much uncertainty in people’s minds about where you actually stand on the issue and for those that have strong feelings about a Carbon Tax (as with any issue), they favor concrete answers.

A few days later, you attempted to clarify your position during a rally in New Hampshire when you stated

”If any of you heard me say I support a carbon tax...Look, I haven't raised a penny of taxes in my political career and neither has Bill [Weld]. We were looking at—I was looking at—what I heard was a carbon fee which from a free-market standpoint would actually address the issue and cost less. I have determined that, you know what, it's a great theory but I don't think it can work, and I've worked my way through that.”

So my question is this, WHY have you come to that conclusion? Can you work the rest of us through your findings of why it can’t work?

GovGaryJohnson901 karma

I do not support a carbon tax. The theory sounded good, but it’s way too complex to implement, in my opinion.

random_guy666465 karma

Gov. Johnson, I am an undocumented immigrant who came to this country when I was just 11 years old, I came here with my mother trying to find a better life, trying to avoid the poverty and violence that took over my country. I've been living in this country nearly 8 years of my life, at this point I considered myself an American, I am enrolled in the Selective Service System, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to protect this country. Like many other undocumented immigrants, I am currently paying taxes and have zero criminal history. To prove that my goal in this country is to succeed like any other American, I graduated in the top 15 students from my class, and I was accepted to some of the best universities in my states, unfortunately my legal status forces me to pay international student fees, which are insanely unaffordable for me. Gov. Johnson, as the President of the United States of America, what would you do to help me, and many other undocumented immigrants that have a similar situation as me?

GovGaryJohnson717 karma

Congratulations on your accomplishments and your life thus far! You're the person I'm standing up for with my position on immigration. I think that what you're talking about is a state issue. As Governor of New Mexico, I would have sided with you on the issue. As President, I will continue to be your advocate.

mkrik3409 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA Governor Johnson!

I have seen elsewhere that you oppose Net Neutrality, but on isidewith.com, to the question

Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)?

Your answer is "No, this would allow them to remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and increase prices." This answer suggests that you support Net Neutrality. So I'm curious, do you support Net Neutrality or not?

GovGaryJohnson1158 karma

I abhor legislation that would regulate the Internet. It doesn’t appear to me to be broken; I don’t want to fix it.

zaporozhets219 karma

Governors, you’ve talked a lot about work visas as part of immigration reform, but the details are pretty vague for something that would have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people. In President Johnson’s America,

  • Would the work visas be unlimited in quantity?

  • Would the work visas have an expiration date, as is the case for green card holders?

  • Would they require payment of a fine or back taxes for those who entered illegally?

  • Would they require English proficiency?

  • Would they require registration for Selective Service (assuming it is still required for citizens and green card holders)?

  • Would background checks disqualify applicants with misdemeanor convictions?

  • Would work visa holders ever be able to apply for permanent residence or citizenship?

  • What will happen to those who are already living here unlawfully but are denied a work visa for some reason (or fail to apply for one at all)?

  • Would businesses be required to comply with the same labor standards (minimum wage, overtime rules, health and safety regulations) as they do for citizens and permanent residents?

Finally, on a much lighter note, who is better at chess, Gary or Bill?

GovGaryJohnson632 karma

Work visas would be unlimited in quantity, subject to background checks and provision of Social Security Numbers. No quotas.

LeMeACatLover201 karma

I have a question for the both of you.....what are your favorite science fiction films?

GovGaryJohnson574 karma

The first Alien

cbert777160 karma

Governor Gary Johnson,

Have you ever practiced meditation? You maintain such a peaceful composure in your interviews.

-Good luck and I look forward to voting for you!

GovGaryJohnson426 karma

I don't.