Presidential candidate Johnson visits UNM to address supporters

By Tim Carpenter / CJ 475 Reporter
Posted Oct. 23, 2012

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson visited the University of New Mexico recently to discuss why he is running for president of the United States and the differences between himself and the two other candidates running for president.

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By Tim Carpenter

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson speaks to supporters about eliminating the Internal Revenue Service during a rally on Oct. 9 at the UNM Student Union Building.

A recent CBS News poll shows Johnson receiving 4 percent of the national vote, while Republican candidate Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are virtually neck and neck with each receiving 47 percent support. With Johnson polling low numbers in this election, why would a registered voter vote for him?

"I am not a believer in the two-party system. I think a half of dozen on one side, and half a dozen on the other," Krista Guessing said, a stay-at-home mother. "I support Gary Johnson because he is actually standing up for things that matter, and he is able to tell people in Washington, D.C. and they will know where he stands on the issues."

Even though Johnson may not be a major candidate in this election, some do believe he has been taking away from one of the two major candidate's, but now believe he will not be a major factor in the 2012 presidential race.

"Former Governor Johnson has been pulling votes from both sides of the aisle," Mark Knoop said, executive director of the Republican Party of New Mexico. "However, at the Republican Party we recognize that Johnson's presence on the ballot is of less concern than defeating the economy-wrecking Obama machine — in New Mexico and across America." The Obama campaign was unavailable for comment.

Almost 200 people attended the Oct. 9 rally in which Johnson addressed different issues that concern New Mexicans and topics on a national level. One issue, which the crowd cheered for, was Johnson's position on taxes and the Internal Revenue Service.

"I am the only candidate advocating eliminating the income tax, corporate tax and abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and replacing all of that with one Federal consumption tax — in this case embracing the fair tax," Johnson said.

While Johnson has had supporters from the get go, there are some who have recently joined his bandwagon after the candidate they supported dropped out of the race.

"Well, let's not kid ourselves, there is not a whole lot of difference between the Republican and Democratic Party. It is out-of-control spending, controlled erosion of our liberties and the war mongering needs to end," said Daniel Cheshire, a contractor.

Johnson addressed Cheshire's issue about war mongering during his presentation. "I am the only candidate who wants to get our troops out of Afghanistan now," Johnson said.

Some organizations in New Mexico are solidly behind Johnson, especially when it comes to spending our tax dollars.

"When it comes to spending cuts, it sounds like this room (Student Union Building Ballroom A, B, and C). It is like the crickets chirping, because it very quiet when it come to this issue by both parties," Paul Gessing said, president of the Rio Grande Foundation.

If Johnson is elected, he would slash the budget in his first days in office, which has some people up in arms over one issue in particular.

"When some people fall out of their chairs when there is a 43-percent reduction in Medicare, the alternative is no Medicare," Johnson said.

Even though most experts do not believe Gary Johnson has a chance to become the next president of the United States, he does not listen to the political analysts — in fact Johnson believes he will win the 2012 presidential campaign.

"Well, I am the next president of the United States, and I guarantee you none of you will regret that we will take on all these issues and will not bury our heads in the sand, and this country will be as great as it has been," Johnson said.