I am Gov. Gary Johnnson, the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States, and the two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1994 - 2003.

Here is proof that this is me: https://twitter.com/GovGaryJohnson/status/245597958253445120

I've been referred to as the 'most fiscally conservative Governor' in the country, and vetoed so many bills 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.

I'm also an avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist. I have currently reached four of the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Mt. Everest.


To learn more about me, please visit my website: www.GaryJohnson2012.com. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr.

EDIT: Unfortunately, that's all the time I have today. I'll try to answer more questions later if I find some time. Thank you all for your great questions; I tried to answer more than 10 (unlike another Presidential candidate). Don't forget to vote in November - our liberty depends on it!

Comments: 9274 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

countdownkpl956 karma

My question is about marijuana. Obviously you are pro-decriminalization. But my question is, when did you last smoke it? Honestly.

GovGaryJohnson1981 karma

2008 I had used marijuana for the prior 3 years to deal with a serious paragliding accident.

ItoldonAnneFrank877 karma

Do you believe your stance on marijuana will cause older people, or people generally not in favor of marijuana use to dismiss you as just "that guy for pot legalization" instead of focusing on your other stances on issues?

GovGaryJohnson1808 karma

Hopefully, this issue will be a litmus test as to whether or not I have a brain.

[deleted]872 karma

How can we get you to 15% in the polls to get you in the debates?

GovGaryJohnson1326 karma


prettythick688 karma

How do you intend to break the mold of bipartisianship? Most of America really believes someone can only be either Republican or Democrat and there are no alternatives.

PS - you have my vote already!

GovGaryJohnson1469 karma

I am more liberal than Obama, and more conservative than Romney. I think most Americans fall into this category. Where are they being represented?

EricTehRed651 karma

What are your thoughts on the ongoing war in Afghanistan, and what do you think is the best course of action for our mission there?

GovGaryJohnson1509 karma

Withdraw immediately. Bring the troops home.

BlessBless644 karma

Gary, I can’t thank you enough for doing this! Very excited and energized by your campaign. My questions are:

  1. What do you think the worst ramification will be for Americans if Romney wins in November? And for the rest of the world?
  2. Same question, adjusted for Obama?


GovGaryJohnson1558 karma

Either one of them is going to result in an increased police state, continued state of war, and continued unsustainable debt and spending.

mrbananagrabber1639 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

GovGaryJohnson1145 karma

One horse-sized duck

hiimmichael616 karma

As a Libertarian, I imagine that your policy proposals would not be popular with the members Congress. If you were president, how do you think the two-party dominated Congress would respond to your policy proposals? And how would you get Congress on board with your policies?

GovGaryJohnson1659 karma

I'm kind of excited about the prospect of coming at Democrats hard from the left, and coming at Republicans hard from the right. Challenge them both to be good at what they are supposed to be good at.

kittykathat576 karma

I like marijuana. Should I vote for you?

GovGaryJohnson924 karma


IAmAsoullessginger508 karma

I’m gay. What specifically would you do to fight for my rights? Do you differ from President Obama on this subject in anyway? How so?

GovGaryJohnson1334 karma

I believe marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Leave it to the states and nothing changes.

mitzt472 karma

First, thank you for doing another AMA, I wasn't aware of the last one when it happened.

In your last AMA in response to what your first action as president would be you said, "First action as president is to submit a balanced budget to congress in 2013. So my first action is to start this process which is to create a blueprint for a 43% reduction in government spending."

43% is so specific, I have to ask. How did you come up with that number? What would be a priority using 57% of the current federal budget?

GovGaryJohnson1024 karma

43% is the amount of money that we are printing and borrowing, so 43% is the amount we need to cut from federal spending.

londubhawc467 karma

What would you do about Gitmo and the people being held there?

How do you respond to critics who say that ending the wars would only exacerbate an already bad unemployment situation?

GovGaryJohnson1086 karma

Torture and the practice of detainment without being charged are practices that need to stop, and are synonymous with Gitmo. Gitmo, as a facility, without these practices taking place, may be a facility that we continue to need in the future as a place to house enemy combatants off-shore.

blacktaxi2d441 karma

What will you do to help fix the broken and unsustainable factory farming system in the US? Animal cruelty, environmental damage, and communal damage surrounding the factories are all major points here.

GovGaryJohnson936 karma

I think education brings change. The more light we shine on these issues, the better they become. As a consumer, I am demanding these changes.

Butthole_Scientist387 karma

What are your opinions on the National Defense Authorization Act? Would you have signed it?

GovGaryJohnson901 karma

I would not have signed the NDAA

mttwldngr342 karma

What keeps you motivated when numbers may not necessarily be in your favor?

GovGaryJohnson1116 karma

We really don't want to peak too early, so we have them right where we want them.

Prog339 karma

Governor Johnson, if you lose this election, will you please, PLEASE continue to try to hold political positions? Perhaps congress or the senate? Thank you for doing this!

GovGaryJohnson982 karma

I plan to stay involved, but not running for Congress, or the Senate. I think both jobs are judged by how much bacon you bring home, and I refuse to be a part of that.

Butthole_Scientist335 karma

My question is about gun control.

Governor Romney has a history of banning guns in MA, and Obama has a history of opposing handgun ownership in Chicago and D.C, reinstating the Clinton "Assault Weapon" ban, and opposing the right to carry concealed.

As President, would you support renewing the Clinton Era gun ban?

Do you support "Right to carry" laws that give law abiding citizens like myself the right to carry a concealed firearm to protect themselves?

Thank you for doing this AMA!

GovGaryJohnson722 karma

I fully support the second amendment. in 1995 I was able to sign concealed-carry legislation when it was cutting edge at that time. I believed this would lead to less overall gun violence.

jetscape324 karma


GovGaryJohnson403 karma

I didn't create it, but I appreciate the guys who did!

DrSandbags310 karma

  1. Let's be real: Appearing on television, going door-to-door, and posting on social media can only get you so far even if you have great principles and a solid message, even if a lot of people know about you or you get a debate spot. Do you think some things need to be changed about the Presidential election system (primaries, funding, voting system, etc) itself before most people stop viewing 3rd parties and independents as a wasted vote or spoiler? If so, what?

  2. You've ran an Ironman and climbed Mt. Everest, what's the next outdoor physical activity you want to accomplish?

Please come to Madison, WI!

GovGaryJohnson515 karma

I am scheduled to go climb Aconcagua, with my family this fall, barring my being elected president. Sticking with what's real, you can't change reality, so we're trying to compete as the rules are written.

BlessBless303 karma

One more for you, Gary!

What's the most important thing a redditor like me can do right now to ensure your message is heard this November?

GovGaryJohnson643 karma


lukeman251 karma

Are you planning on having any official presence (whether on location or virtual) during the debates?

GovGaryJohnson573 karma

We've got plenty of cards that we are planning to play, this is one of them.

J4k0b42230 karma

How do you feel about Ron Paul running as a Republican?

GovGaryJohnson639 karma

Kudos to Ron Paul. Trying to change the Republican party resulted in a lot of knots on my head. Changing to the Libertarian party, nothing had to be changed.

Cheeseslopes217 karma

Governor Johnson: I agree with you on many issues, but abolishing the IRS seems a bit extreme. How do you plan to raise money for the government to function without an IRS-like agency?

GovGaryJohnson499 karma

Fair Tax, which is one federal consumption tax, and it would be administered by the states. Simple, simple, simple.

YouthInRevolt216 karma

Gov. Johnson, thank you for doing this!

In terms of achieving electoral & campaign finance reform in America, what are your thoughts on these potential solutions:

  • Bringing about a ranked voting system for congressional/presidential elections (Ex. Instant-Runoff Voting)
  • Getting rid of the Electoral College
  • Instituting a public financing system for congressional/presidential elections
  • Passing a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United

GovGaryJohnson344 karma

A combination of all of the above.

libertariantexan210 karma

Thank you so much for doing this, Governor Johnson.

What do you think is a greater threat to America? The national debt, or the overwhelming support for candidates that exacerbate it?

In essence, the cause or the effect?

GovGaryJohnson777 karma

I put the biggest threat to America as politicians who beat their chests over the threat of drugs, the threat of the illegal immigrant, the threat of terrorism, the threat of poor healthcare, all at a cost of bankrupting America.

harland45208 karma

Obviously, the RP movement has sparked somewhat of a libertarian uprising in the country. Now it seems we are at a crossroads of what to do next. Some are moving to the LP while some are trying to reform the GOP from the inside to move it more libertarian. I fear that nothing will really result if both are occurring simultaneously. What do you predict will happen in the future?

(edit: typo)

GovGaryJohnson484 karma

Speaking personally, it is great to not have to beat my head up against the wall anymore.

Nunr8per207 karma

You've had my vote Mr. Johnson since your infowar interview a few months back. Go president Johnson!

My question is related to GMO's and the genetically modified foods that you, myself, the cattle and everyone else here are somehow consuming in our everyday lives. How do feel about this monopoly that Monsato has set-up and the immunity they are getting in the courts via Judge Naoimi Buchwald of February 24th. I want them out of my produce!

Also, any comments on the 9% Congressional approval rating?

GovGaryJohnson565 karma

I have celiac disease, so I need food labeled. I think food should be labeled, and that would include GMOs in food. 9% Congressional rating - well deserved.

ChromeRadio205 karma

What's the first thing you would do in office if elected? Also, how do I convince my family members to vote third party?

GovGaryJohnson557 karma

Produce a balanced budget document.

mttwldngr193 karma

What's your opinion of Mitt Romney?

GovGaryJohnson768 karma

Wonderful, engaging human being, but I have to tell you that we can't balance the budget, and increase military spending and hold medicare in tact.

taylorcraig634172 karma

As a very strong supporter of your campaign, a lot of people ask me who Gary Johnson is. What do you think is the perfect answer to give for a potential Libertarian vote?

GovGaryJohnson441 karma

Entrepreneur, athlete, former governor of New Mexico. This guy has a resume that would suggest that he is going to doggedly pursue everything he is talking about.

toSTONEiGO170 karma


GovGaryJohnson710 karma

The notion that all of us can make the best decisions regarding our own lives, as long as those decisions don't put others in harms way.

afuturepresident170 karma


GovGaryJohnson394 karma

The belief that politics really is a higher calling, and the ability to do good by others is really important. I also understand doing good by others is big time debatable.

boblordofevil166 karma

Your platform includes closing the department of education; what will you do to insure every American receives schooling should they desire? What about higher education? What role will the government play in insuring their future financial stability?

While I understand regulations may prove to be impediments to business, which regulations would you maintain? For example, banking regulations removed by Regan and Clinton are now viewed as the major stepping stones that have led to today’s financial crisis.

What does common sense tell you about environmental issues?

GovGaryJohnson426 karma

Government exists to protect us against individuals, groups, and corporations that would do us harm. Rules and regulations should exist to accommodate this. The EPA protects us against those that would pollute, and without them a lot more polluters would be allowed to pollute.

walrus_0311143 karma

Does a nuclear Iran pose an existential threat to America, and what, if any, military intervention would you consider appropriate?

GovGaryJohnson514 karma

I am the only candidate that does not want to bomb Iran. I believe that all of our military interventions have resulted in hundreds of millions of enemies to this country that would otherwise not exist, but for our military interventions.

tellamahooka108 karma


GovGaryJohnson305 karma

As governor of New Mexico, all jobs were up for grabs. Be qualified, come apply. So, save your money and come apply.

Gougeru108 karma

Serious question, do you like waffles or pancakes?

GovGaryJohnson337 karma

Waffles, of course.

sladoid107 karma

:D we love you!!

GovGaryJohnson255 karma

Thank you! I love you too.

Jewzilian106 karma

What's your opinion on the "Spoiler/Nader effect?" Are you worried about it happening this election?

GovGaryJohnson432 karma

A wasted vote, is voting for someone that you don't believe in. If Obama or Romney are spoiled, they have themselves to blame.

Dynamaxion100 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA, I have been working with your campaign since June and it’s been a great experience. Most of the people who I try to convert to the libertarian cause, however, have asked me the following question (or something similar) about the Fair Tax Plan.

It sounds great on paper, but I am curious as to how you would enact it without loopholes and corruption on Capital Hill. It seems like interest groups and lobbyists would render such a plan impossible to enact purely. “Surely you can’t tax food at the same rate as tobacco”, Agriculture corporations might say for example.

As President, would you have any way to combat these interest groups who would seek to make the Fair Tax system just as corrupt as today’s? It seems that your election would result in little more than gridlock.

Also, would you make an effort to minimize political rhetoric even after being put on the big stage, or would you spew the same “We Love America, This is For America” BS that Washington is currently infested with? If not, how would you get a bigger voting base? Some people have argued with me that you would just turn into another empty-rhetoric loving politician as soon as your voting base got large enough to demand it.

GovGaryJohnson322 karma

I will not succumb to the BS, and Fair Tax really does cover all of these issues. Check it out. www.fairtax.org

AcademicGuy79 karma

Taking a step away from politics for a second, I would just like to congratulate you on summiting Everest! That is quite a feat! Keep being a boss Gary!

GovGaryJohnson112 karma


SoundSalad74 karma

There are four candidates receiving matching FEC funds paid for by our taxes: Johnson, Obama, Romney, and Stein.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has a literal monopoly on the presidential debates. With the debates widely thought to be the most influential aspect of a campaign, some have said that in order to have a chance at winning the election, you must be allowed to participate in the debates. The CPD makes up their own arbitrary debates rules which seem to be intentionally exclusionary, while at the same time maintaining the facade that they are a nonpartisan organization whose main goal is to provide the best information possible regarding debates, stating that "the debates belong to the people."

The fact of the matter is, providing the best information possible is simply not possible without inviting every candidate who has a mathematical chance of winning to the debates. Therefore the CPD cannot accomplish their mission statement without inviting you to the debates.

There are organizations such as Open Debates and Help The CPD who are heavily petitioning the CPD to invite all candidate who have a mathematical chance at winning, and citizen outrage over exclusionary debate practices by the CPD may never have been higher.

My question: What are the most effective methods for your supporters to help you get an invite to the debates? There is a lot of talk that the CPD needs to be replaced with a non-bias entity, do you agree with this and how do you believe this be achieved?

GovGaryJohnson219 karma

The most effective thing that anyone can do, is to go out and sell your immediate family, friends, and coworkers to the fact that there is a legitimate third choice. Perhaps the only choice.

CSArchi72 karma

Gov. Johnson, My question is quite simple - What is the game plan for Michigan? Currently you are not on the ballot.

GovGaryJohnson239 karma

Last answer. Thank you all very much. We have litigation in Michigan that we believe will prevail. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To Everybody!!!!!

MustangDude6966 karma

What is your plan to be included into the national debate scene? And do you think that would show some legitimacy for your campaign to those who may still not be familiar with you?

good luck- you have my vote

GovGaryJohnson153 karma

We are just going to keep pluggin'

buchk28 karma

Mr. Johnson, thanks so much for doing this.

To me and my friends who support you, it seems that your biggest problem , at least in our area, is that people just don't know who you are. Everyone that we have told about you has gotten on board is very excited about your views. We want to increase our area's awareness about you, and we wanted to try to hold a rally at our local college. What would be the best way to make this happen?

GovGaryJohnson59 karma

Blogging and social media. Send everyone to www.garyjohnson2012.com

moosenaslon28 karma

Mr. Johnson-

With the fiscal cliff set to approach if nothing is done, what is your plan to avoid it (if you think it needs avoiding)? How will this plan help the American economy?


GovGaryJohnson82 karma

Balancing the federal budget now is the only way we have a fighting chance.

katffro28 karma

If elected, what would you do about welfare?
As a libertarian, I know you're against it, so would you flat-out remove it, or slowly dismantle it?
And thank you for coming back!

GovGaryJohnson104 karma

As the Libertarian candidate, I am the only one talking about lowering welfare spending, and warfare spending in the same sentence. I'm looking to reform welfare that we would not spend more money than we take in to accomplish it.

ksimpson2627 karma

I would like to know your stance on abortion as well as your stance on gay marriage. Thank you for your time. Edit: More specifically, would you make gay marriage the same as "marriage" or would it be referred to as a civil union? What types of legal definition changes will happen? How will you handle public outcry?

GovGaryJohnson101 karma

I fully support a woman's right to choose. I believe that marriage equality is constitutionally guaranteed.