Libertarian presidential candidate makes stop in Bowling Green

Editor-In-Chief, In Focus Editor/ Lead Political Reporter and Editor-In-Chief, In Focus Editor/ Lead Political Reporter

Looking for last minute support in the presidential election, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson laid out his proposals for lower government intervention and military involvement in a Bowling Green campaign stop at Cla-Zel on Friday afternoon.

The former New Mexico governor touted himself to the crowd of over 100 students and area residents as the only candidate truly fighting for the middle class and promoting liberty in this presidential election cycle.

Johnson, this election’s premier third-party candidate, said he was not deterred by his political longshot of victory.

“Why do it if you didn’t think you could do it?” he said of his campaign.

Although Johnson did not gain the 15 percent required to qualify for presidential debates this fall, he said there were multiple issues he would have targeted to a national audience.

“They both talk about the need for a balanced budget but then they follow that up with how they’re going to spend more money,” Johnson said in an exclusive interview with The BG News. “I just want to scream.”

Asked what he could offer college students as president, Johnson said young Americans need to hear the “truth.”

“Nothing is for free,” he said. “The high cost of college tuition has to do with government-guaranteed student loans.”

Citing his personal background, Johnson said his appeal as a candidate has been a simple business approach to politics.

Johnson first entered politics in 1995, becoming governor of New Mexico, just the second Republican elected to the post since 1971. Previously, he had operated a handyman business he opened by himself in college, he said.

Also an avid athlete, Johnson has successfully climbed Mount Everest and competed in multiple triathalons.

Johnson displayed political endurance as well, vetoing “more than the other 49 governors combined,” he said.

“In New Mexico, people wave at me with all five fingers, not just one,” he added.

As a presidential candidate, Johnson said he supported ending the “War on Drugs” and would legalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses. He also argued heavily against government intervention regarding military action, health care coverage and civil liberties.

“I’m the only candidate who believes marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right,” he said. “I’m the only candidate that does not want to bomb Iran. Stop with the military intervention.”

Most of all, Johnson said he wanted to “rain on the party” of American politics, advising the crowd to vote out of principle rather than the lesser of two evils.

“Don’t waste your vote on somebody you don’t believe in,” he said.

The event featured various Ohio Libertarians, including local candidates Nathan and Eric Eberly running for state and U.S. House of Representatives respectively.