"I always thought that honesty would rule the day. I always thought integrity would rule the day. I always thought that telling the truth would rule the day. And it doesn't," says Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate and a former two-term governor of New Mexico, in an exclusive new interview with Reason.
Visiting Washington, D.C., in late February to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Johnson talks candidly with Nick Gillespie about his presidential run, which mixed memorable gaffes ("Aleppo") with historic triumphs (he pulled 3.27 percent of the final vote, more than tripling the best of any previous LP candidate). "I'm done with elected political office," he avers, even as he discusses his ongoing work with Our America Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to training libertarian candidates and promoting libertarian positions on immigration, sentencing reform, occupational licensing, and more. He also talks about his involvement in CB1, a hedge fund devoted to publicly traded marijuana investments.
Johnson weighs in of the presidency of Donald Trump, whom he said was appealing to racist sentiments during the 2016 campaign. Trump's tone, says the former governor, remains absolutely awful, but some of his policies, such as those regarding regulation and corporate taxes, are worth celebrating. When asked whether Hillary Clinton would have been a better president than Trump, Johnson says, "I think we would have kind of a myriad of other issues with Hillary that would probably be equally as bad....I think it would be horrible if Hillary would have been president, but I think Trump's got his horrible also."
Click here for full text, a transcript, and downloadable versions.