Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson — the Republican candidate for president best know for rarely but memorably appearing on a debate stage — tells TPM that he’s sticking with the GOP, despite reported calls from Libertarians that he switch teams.
“I intend to stay in this as a Republican,” Johnson said via text message Tuesday.
Politico reports that “several Libertarian Party leaders have approached [Johnson] about bolting the GOP and taking that party’s 50-state ballot nomination.” That would make sense, considering Johnson’s position as the guy who’s slightly more libertarian in ideology than Ron Paul.
Asked to compare himself to Paul in an interview with TPM earlier this year, Johnson said he’s “not a social conservative.” That translates into a policy platform that’s pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and pro-marijuana legalization.
The Libertarians don’t have a high profile figure leading their presidential nomination race this time around, though some national names have been batted around Libertarian circles. Last time, former uber-conservative Republican Bob Barr led the Libertarian ticket, earning the party some big-time national press coverage.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s (still Republican) campaign is taking on the FEC and FCC in an attempt to get some more of that sweet debate time.