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Gary Johnson: The Gutsiest Guy You've Never Heard Of

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gary who?

Okay, we know, you’re maybe not so familiar with the name, unless you lived in New Mexico. You're not alone.

But come on, the man climbed the highest mountains on four different continents, competed in the Bataan Memorial Death March (a 25 mile desert run in combat boots wearing a 35 pound backpack), endured multiple Ironman triathlons, and biked across the Alps

Oh, and he was also the pro-marijuana-legalization two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1994-2003.

Asked by Stephen Colbert about rumors that he was considering a 2012 run, Gary Johnson laughed. “How could that possibly be? I’m here espousing the legalization of marijuana and harm-reduction strategies regarding all the other drugs. Who’s been smoking marijuana? Come on!”

Slate's David Weigel says of Johnson's time in Arizona that he was "the most libertarian governor in America, no contest. He was the Tea Party more than a decade before the idea occurred to Rick Santelli."  Here is where Mr. Johnson stands on the issues:

Abortion

Johnson calls himself pro-choice but signed a banning late-term abortion and has supported parental consent measures, “But I do support a woman’s right to choose, up until the point of viability.”

Education

“For six years straight I proposed that every student in New Mexico get a school voucher.” Johnson is not a fan of public schools, and in fact would like to do away with the Department of Education entirely. 

Campaign Finance and the Citizen's United Decision

"My issue with campaign finance is 100 percent disclosure. Wear a suit with patches from your big contributors. Depending on the size of the contribution, that's how big the patch should be."

Gay marriage

"I support gay unions. I don't think the government should be involved in marriage."

The Economy

"The government can be spending less of our money... I believe we are in for a bout of hyper-inflation."

Term Limits

“I was term-limited, but I’m a believer in term limits.”

The Second Amendment

"I don't believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None."

Drug Prohibition

"Control it. Legalize it. Tax it. When it comes to all the other drugs, treat drug use as a health issue, not a crime issue."  “Ninety percent of the drug problem today is prohibition related…. I think it’s insane that we’re arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country on drug-related crime.”

The Environment

"I do not believe in cap and trade legislation. I do not believe that taxing carbon emissions is the way to go forward." 

“For argument’s sake, global warming is happening, it’s man-caused. That given, I think the effects of it are grossly exaggerated and I think the amount of money we’re looking to spend on it is grossly, grossly misguided.”

States and Cities Declaring Bankruptcy

"I think that's a great idea that Congress ought to let them do."

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