by Eliza Collins, Politico.com
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has joined the crowded 2016 presidential race.
“I am announcing my candidacy right now for the Libertarian nomination,” Johnson said on Fox Business’ “Coast to Coast” with Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. “I do believe that crony capitalism is alive and well. It’s Democrats and Republicans that contribute to that. I’d like to be that choice that is not going to succumb to that.”
Johnson — a self-made millionaire — also ran in 2012 as a member of the Libertarian Party, which advocates for a radically smaller and less powerful federal government. He received 1,275,971 votes, or 0.99 percent of the total electorate…
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Full press release, via Paulie at IPR:
GOVERNOR GARY JOHNSON ANNOUNCES 2016 CANDIDACY FOR PRESIDENT
Two-term New Mexico Governor to seek Libertarian Nomination
January 6, 2016, Santa Fe, NM — Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson announced today that he is seeking the 2016 Libertarian nomination for President of the United States.
Johnson made the announcement during an appearance Wednesday on Neil Cavuto’s “Coast to Coast” on the Fox Business Network. Johnson placed third in the 2012 presidential race, receiving more votes than any Libertarian candidate in history.
Announcing his candidacy, Johnson said, “One need only to look at the Republican and Democrat nomination races to see that 2016 may very well be a ‘tipping point’ election year. The American people are clearly fed up and running out of patience with the status quo. I’m fed up with it also.
“By the time Barack Obama leaves office, the national debt will have reached $20 trillion. It has doubled while he has been in office, just as it doubled while George W. Bush was President. Obviously, it doesn’t really matter which of the two so-called ‘major’ parties is in control of the White House or Congress. The government just keeps growing, the spending just keeps increasing, and the debt keeps piling up.
“After two wars, seemingly endless foreign interventions and failed attempts at nation-building, can anyone credibly suggest that we are somehow safer today than we were 15 years ago? To the contrary, the threats to our safety and our liberty from violent jihadists are increasing, and if anything, we are less safe. The American people are tired of chaotic foreign and military policies that are obviously not fulfilling the government’s fundamental duty to keep the homeland and our freedoms secure. Voters are correctly demanding that their leaders focus on that most basic responsibility of the federal government.
“And the American people are fed up with politicians — both Republican and Democrat — who are determined to replace liberty with government overreach, control and intrusion into our daily lives. The United States was founded on a rejection of warrantless searches, oppressive taxation, and government interference with the free exercise of speech, religion, and personal choices. Today, we have a generation of young people growing up believing their own government to be the greatest threat to their privacy and their freedom to pursue their dreams.
“Our politicians and their refusal to abandon failed policies have sadly turned the governance of America into something the Founders would hardly recognize, much less embrace.
“America needs a President who will push back against the growth of government — and mean it. That begins with proposing a federal budget that doesn’t spend more than it takes in, and using the veto pen to enforce it if necessary. Government spends too much because it does too much, and a President who is serious about making government do and spend less can make it happen.
“America needs a President whose idea of national security isn’t to spy on American citizens and pry into their personal and financial lives without warrants or due process. The failed War on Drugs needs to end, along with the surveillance, incarceration rate and needless prosecution it has given us.
“And we need leaders whose idea of immigration reform consists of something more thoughtful — and effective — than building bigger walls, imposing unconstitutional religious tests, and militarizing our borders.
“Our system is broken. The two ‘major’ parties have become slightly different shades of the same big government, big debt and ineffective status quo. I am convinced that Americans are ready to send Washington, DC, a message, to reject the status quo and break up the political duopoly that can’t even come up with a real budget and that is fundamentally incapable of change. What is missing is a belief that there is an alternative, a belief that the rigged game can, indeed, be broken up.
“As a successful former Governor, an entrepreneur and a proven advocate for smaller government and greater freedom, I intend to offer Americans the alternative they seek.
“Liberty and the freedom to succeed are the real American values, and I’m running for President to restore those values, make America genuinely safe, and put an end to a tired status quo that has given us nothing but debt, less freedom and well-founded fears about the future we are creating for our children and grandchildren.”