Many Bernie Sanders supporters may be searching for a presidential candidate to back now that Hillary Clinton has wrapped up the Democratic nomination. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, thinks you should consider him. He laid out his case in an exclusive interview with International Business Times this week.
Read the transcript below and see video above of Johnson discussing how successful he thinks his campaign will be this November.
IBT: Do you have a strategy for getting more people, especially young people, to vote for you this year?
Johnson: When I ran for president in the 2012 cycle, I’m expecting nobody to know this, but I went from 0 to 1.3 million votes and here was my trend line. People say, “Gee, it’s too bad you never caught on.” Well, here was my trend line, and at Election Day it was 1 percent of the vote. I was really disappointed — I thought it would have been more — but here was the trend line. Well, this kind of a trend line doesn't stop, and it hasn’t stopped.
So here we are in 2016, and now it’s breaking through at 10 percent. Well, that gets noticed. And guess what? The trend line still is here. Trend lines don’t go from this to this. Trend lines, at some point, do this, but I haven’t reached that yet either.
A lot of attention right now is being given to my candidacy. A lot of that has to do with just how polarizing Trump and Clinton are, and I want to recognize — any third name in a poll right now, that would probably be at the same level that mine is, but anybody is not on the ballot in all 50 states. Myself and Bill Weld — we’re going to be the only third-party candidates on the ballot in all 50 states. And anybody hasn’t been two former Republican governors serving in heavily Democrat states and getting re-elected.
Well, how does that work? Well, fiscally conservative, socially liberal.
IBT: Some young people have said they’re concerned that voting for a third party would be the equivalent of throwing their vote away because an independent candidate has never won the presidency. What’s your response to them?
I would say that throwing your vote away is voting for somebody that you don’t believe in. Vote for who you believe in. That’s how you’re going to change things.
I make the pitch to get online and take the political quiz ISideWith.com. Answer 60 questions, see which presidential candidate you most are in line with and then knock yourself out supporting that candidate. For me, personally, I thought it was really interesting that I side with myself — of course — all the time. But secondly, I side with Bernie Sanders.
So obviously Bernie and I part, or come to a T in the road, when it comes to economics — I really do believe in smaller government, I don’t believe anything is free, that somebody pays for that, and it’s you and I that pay for it, and that free markets, that the rap on free markets is really a rap on crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is alive and well. People with money pay for benefit. People with money pay for advantage, and they get it. It’s sold to them.