Meet the Candidates: Gary Johnson

By, Ariell Branson

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Gary Johnson was born in North Dakota in 1953 but attended high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was a member of his high school’s track team. He served as the Governor of New Mexico for two terms as a Republican. Johnson is very athletic and climbed Mount Everest in 2003.

 The Issues

Taxation: Johnson has proposed eliminating income and corporate taxes and replacing them with a federal consumption tax. The federal consumption tax is called the “fair-tax.” He has said that as president he would eliminate the IRS and other federal agencies if Congress sent him legislation to do so.

 Immigration: Johnson would make it as easy as possible for individuals without criminal records who want to come to the U.S. to work to get work visas. He also supports comprehensive immigration reform. He said, “[Americans] know that the only realistic and . . . humane policy is to find a fair and safe way to allow non-criminal, undocumented immigrants to get right with the law and go about their lives, paying taxes, having a valid Social Security number, and earning a legal status. No cutting the line. No ‘special’ path to citizenship. Just a common sense way for undocumented immigrants with jobs, families, and a clean record to come forward and live by the same rules as the rest of us.”

 Healthcare: Johnson opposes government-mandated health insurance. He has called the Affordable Care Act, “a torpedo in a sinking ship.”

 Education: Johnson believes the states should control public education and encourages competition between schools to drive improvement in public education. "Most importantly,” Johnson has said, “state and local governments should have more control over education policy. Decisions that affect our children should be made closer to home, not by bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C. That is why we should eliminate the federal Department of Education. Common Core and other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools are costly, overly bureaucratic, and actually compromise our ability to provide our children with a good education."

LGBT Rights: Johnson supported legalizing same-sex marriage and advocated for ending the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

 Trade: Johnson supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He stated, “Free trade needs to be promoted in a really big way. Diplomacy, that’s what we ought to be engaged in. I reject the fact that Libertarians are isolationists.” Johnson’s running mate, Bill Weld, has asserted “We’re the only free trade ticket in the race.”

 Abortion: Johnson has expressed support for abortion rights and called Texas House Bill 2, which effectively made it extremely difficult for women to obtain legal abortions, "an affront to women's rights." This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the restrictive provisions of Texas House Bill 2 saying that the law placed an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion.