Gary Johnson to seek Libertarian Party presidential nomination
Appearing on the Fox Business Channel's "Coast to Coast" show on Wednesday, Johnson told host Neil Cavuto, "I want to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for president. I am hoping to get the Libertarian nomination for president in 2016, and in fact offer that alternative."
Johnson went on to say "I think the biggest problem facing this country is the $20-trillion debt that we will have when Obama leaves office. Government is too big, it's unwieldy, it's out of control, we need to get control."
Johnson telegraphed his second bid for the White House in an Oct. 13 post on a Tumblr page titled "Why I would run for president."
In that post, Johnson chastised the current Republican field, calling out Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, in particular, for having "one foot in the libertarian camp and the other in the establishment Republican museum." Johnson accused Paul of "selling out."
Johnson dismissed the rest of the GOP field as "been there, done that" but said "one glaring exception" was the runaway popularity of billionaire Donald Trump.
"What does it say about the level of discontent that a professional salesman can launch a presidential campaign with a promise to build our very own Great Wall of China and a vague promise to 'make America great again,'" Johnson wrote, "(and) can assemble a coalition of the pissed-off sufficient in size to make him the Republican standard-bearer?"
Earlier this week, Johnson stepped down as president and CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc., a Nevada-based marijuana marketing company. According to a statement from Johnson on the company's website, "It is our ambition to brand and market the highest quality, legal cannabis products available today – and to innovate the industry-leading products of tomorrow."
But Johnson, who ran a successful construction business in the Land of Enchantment prior to becoming governor, will have competition for the Libertarian presidential nomination.
Former security software mogul John McAfee declared his candidacy in December. McAfee, who created the computer anti-virus program bearing his name, fled Belize in the wake of a police investigation into the shooting death of a neighbor in 2012. McAfee was later arrested in Guatemala and was detained there before being deported to the United States. Police in Belize have not pursued the case against McAfee since that time.
In the 2012 presidential election, Johnson appeared on 48 state ballots and the District of Columbia. He received 1,275,951 votes, or .99 percent.