Libertarian Party of El Paso County, CO interviews Austin Petersen

Austin Petersen

From the Libertarian Party of El Paso County, Colorado March 20th, 2016:

We had the pleasure and honor of getting a special mini-interview with Libertarian Presidential hopeful, Austin Peterson. He is extremely interactive, engaging and was receptive to answering our questions. We sincerely appreciate the time he took with us during this busy campaign season!

Questions were gathered from members of the local El Paso County Libertarian Party. What was the pivotal moment when you realized that you needed to run for US President under the Libertarian Party?

In the Fall of last year I saw that there was a chance that Libertarians would not have someone who could champion our ideals to the American public in a fashion that I thought we needed. It was unclear if Johnson would run, and our list of candidates I found lacking in the passion and drive necessary to advance our movement. I decided to run so that I could carry the torch to the best of my ability.

What would you do to improve interstate water compacts to preserve property rights?

The US Constitution reads:
“No State shall, without the consent of Congress, … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State.”
This means that Congress has oversight, not the president. I prefer to allow the states to sort out their differences without federal interference as much as possible. I would take a piece by piece approach in considering the agreements that congress wishes to intervene in, and make a decision based on the pros and cons of the specific legislation, while proposing that these issues are better handled at the state level.

Can you please explain your stance on the Non Aggression Principle?

I agree with David Nolan who wrote that the pledge of the Libertarian Party was meant to prove to Richard Nixon that the Libertarian Party was not a terrorist organization. I also plan on teaching my children not to hit others and not to take their stuff.

If elected President, who would you trust to be your cabinet?

I would trust professors Randy Barnett and Steve Horwitz. I would trust Lt Col Anthony Shaffer and Michael Scheuer. I would trust Judge Napolitano, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and even Ted Cruz if he’d back off the carpet bombing comments.

What are the 1 or 2 KEY differences between you and Mr. Gary Johnson?

Our tax proposals are extremely different, as Johnson proposes a national sales tax and I am only advocating that we should cut the taxes we have. He also appears to believe that the government should fund planned parenthood, and intervene in forcing the agricultural industry to label GMO foods. A recent quiz on shows me as having the most libertarian positions in the race so I would encourage everyone to take that quiz to see many of these difference for themselves.

You appear to have a strong Republican background. How will this HELP your campaign? HURT it (and how can you spin this to your advantage)?

I actually don’t have a strong Republican background at all, unless you count that I supported Ron Paul in 2008. I joined the Libertarian Party that year and never went back or cast a vote for a Republican candidate. I supported both Ron and Gary in 2012, even though Gary was a Republican. I was glad to see him drop out and join my party. I’m the youngest candidate in the race, but the oldest in Libertarian years, and have been growing the party and the movement while Governor Johnson was still attempting to secure the nomination of the Republican Party.

Why did you leave the LP? Why did you return?

Do you mean why did I leave the national office in 2009? That would have been because I got a new job, but I became a dues paying party member that year. I’d be curious as to where you heard that I left the LP, since I never did.

Some members have expressed reservations about your lack of governing experience. How can you address those concerns?

People complain about career politicians, and then complain when someone who isn’t a career politician is running and doesn’t have governing experience. There are more important things than having governing experience when running for office. How much governing experience did Johnson have before he ran for governor? None. How many of the Republican governors in their race have made it to the final round? None. Americans seem to be looking for something more than governing experience in this election cycle.

You have an impressive list of accomplishments throughout your life. Which of these will be the most instrumental in your ability to lead our country?

I would say that my time as a producer for Fox Business, since it required strict deadlines, enormous amounts of pressure, and attention to detail to succeed.

Article/Interview by: Mariana Wagner

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