Austin Petersen is one of several candidates for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. Today, he wrote the following on his Facebook page in regards to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s entrance in the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential nomination race:
Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m Austin Petersen, a candidate for president of the united states, for the libertarian party.
As you may have heard, today former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has entered the LP race for president. Governor Johnson is an old friend, and a good man, who I admire and have looked to for guidance in the past. This morning, I called him personally and welcomed him to the race.
I supported Johnson, even though he was a Republican, and while I was working as a producer at Fox, I did my utmost to make sure that he received the exposure necessary to help him spread the ideas of liberty across the United States.
Then, when Governor Johnson left the Republican Party, and joined the LP, I was glad to welcome him to the party of principle, where all libertarians should come home.
In the past I have been criticized for supporting Republicans such as Johnson, Ron Paul, and Rand Paul, due to my faithful allegiance to the Libertarian Party since 2008.
Still, I believe it’s important for us to be welcoming, so that we can convince men like this to join us in the Libertarian Party, as Johnson has done. And as we’ve seen how the Republicans have treated men like Johnson and the Pauls, it’s clear that the only real home for libertarians is in the LP.
That’s why today I’m also calling on Senator Rand Paul follow in his father’s footsteps and to abandon his fruitless quest to reform the Republican Party. I’m asking Senator Paul join myself and Johnson in the Libertarian Party, where we can all work together to provide a clear alternative to the two big government parties.
While I believe Johnson is a good man, I believe that I would make a better candidate for the following reasons.
First, Governor Johnson’s vote total, while impressive, was not substantially different than any other candidate in the past. I believe that I can do better. If madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, than the Libertarian Party should not retread the same tired, old campaign. We need new ideas, and fresh blood to advance the principles of economic freedom, and personal liberty into the future.
Second, while I may be young, I am far from inexperienced. In fact, it was my experience in television that showed me that Johnson lacked the critical skills necessary to sway people to our ideas. That is in part why I am running, because I believe I have what it takes to actually win the hearts and minds of the American people. And we MUST win, in order to prevent the disaster that could accompany a Trump or Clinton White House.
Third, as I have been campaigning, I have heard the frustrations of my fellow libertarians that Johnson has ignored the needs of the parties in the many states, and the party is not better off than when he left it in 2012. I have proven that not only am I dedicated to growing the libertarian party, but the movement as a whole. While my supporters have expressed to me that they also like Governor Johnson, they demand that I stay in the race, and fight for this nomination, as I represent a new face for libertarians, and the future of this movement.
That is why I’m asking that Governor Johnson not rule out a consideration as my vice president. While I respect him greatly, I believe that we would accomplish greater things if we work together in this way.
But since I believe I have the qualities necessary to be the leader of this party, Governor Johnson should step aside, and support my campaign to take over the government, and leave everyone alone.
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