George Phillies at Gold Mass Group confirms a story IPR previously reported, which quoted a claim previously posted by Lew Rockwell (embedded links added by Paulie):
Your Editor can confirm from the first-hand source that a senior staff member from the Gary Johnson (Republican) for President campaign has contacted a member of the Libertarian National Committee about determining the response if Johnson were to switch parties and run for President as a Libertarian. Johnson, who is a former two-term Republican Governor, has been shut out of Republican Presidential debates in favor of candidates who he out-polls. Older members of our Party will remember Johnson directly; he appeared at one of our State Conventions and gave the keynote address.Phillies sought, but did not receive, the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination in 2008, and the Libertarian National Committee Chair position several times, including 2010. He has served in a number of local and state positions in the Massachusetts LP, including Chair and Congressional candidate.
Johnson’s statement about the latest debate exclusion:
“If Republicans and Independents were looking for new ideas and decisive plans in the debate, they were disappointed. That’s what happens when the media decides, six months before the first ballots are cast, who should be allowed on the stage. Much of the debate was about the records of the governors running for president. Where was the governor who vetoed 750 bills to control the size of government? Much was said about job creation — or lack thereof — in those governors’ states. Where was the governor whose state had more job creation than any of them? And where was the governor who polls show to be the most highly regarded in the state he governed? I suspect voters would like to hear from the one governor among them all who actually did the things that need to be done today to right America’s ship.Johnson was previously a dues paying member of the Libertarian Party in 1993-1994 . . .
“There is much to debate in this country today, and within the Republican party. But we didn’t see or hear a debate tonight. We saw business-as-usual wrapped in a bunch of different packages.”
A good deal of Johnson’s support comes from libertarians associated with the Reason/CATO wing of the movement, which dominated the Libertarian Party from the mid-1970s to 1983, when they lost the presidential nomination. Ron Paul’s core supporters also left the Libertarian Party in 1989, when they lost a battle for national committee chair; they are centered around Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute. The Rothbard/Rockwell/Mises vs. CATO/Reason split in the libertarian movement goes back to about 1980. The Rothbard/Rockwell/Mises side accuses the CATO/Reason crowd of being too moderate on foreign policy and economic issues, while the CATO/Reasonites consider the Rockwellians to be too socially conservative. For many years during the 1990s and 2000s, both sides had little to do with the Libertarian Party. If the rumors about Johnson switching to the LP prove to be true, it is possible that this may change.