Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gary Johnson courts Ron Paul supporters at PAUL Festival

EXAMINER | Shane Wittig | August 26, 2012
As delegates to the Republican National Convention begin arriving in Tampa, libertarian activists have gathered for the weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds. PAUL Festival,
an acronym for People Awakening and Uniting for Liberty, was organized for RNC delegates and other liberty activists to pay tribute to Ron Paul and his work in furthering the liberty movement.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson delivered a speech to a crowd of about 2,000 on the second day of the event, and was well received by those in attendance. Johnson discussed his long admiration and support for Paul and recounted giving him his endorsement when requested in 2008, as well as supporting Paul after dropping out of the 2012 Republican primaries. He mentioned his tenure as governor of New Mexico and his presidential platform, including his plan to balance the budget. Johnson also spoke about the liberty movement as a whole, stating that it does not end with Ron Paul's presidential run.

Johnson was passionate and fiery throughout his speech, especially when discussing foreign policy and the necessity to cut military spending and end the wars now:

“I'm going to be the only candidate that does not want to bomb Iran. I'm going to be the only candidate who wants to get out of Afghanistan now, bring the troops home! Stop our military interventions! I am outraged by politicians that beat their chests against the terrorist threat, and that comes at the cost of tens of thousands of innocent people being killed in foreign countries, and it results in our men and women coming back in body bags or with their limbs blown off. This has to stop, and it has to stop now!”

Johnson's campaign slogan, “Be Libertarian with me for one election,” was a cornerstone of his speech. As one of three candidates who will be on the ballot in all 50 states, it is imperative for libertarians to unite behind Johnson's candidacy as Paul's comes to an end. Johnson is now the standard bearer for the liberty movement going forward and has the opportunity to have a sizable impact on the election by providing a voice for liberty at the ballot box.

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