The Libertarian Party presidential campaign ticket, Gary Johnson for president and William Weld as his running mate, get a rare shot at a national audience in a CNN Town Hall that will stream live from New York City on Wednesday night, in what will be the first and possibly best chance for the Libertarian candidates to make their case to voters nationwide.
Scroll down this page to watch a live stream of the CNN Libertarian Party Presidential Town Hall.
Johnson (pictured above), a former two-term governor of New Mexico, is perhaps best known for his stance in favor of marijuana legalization. And in fact, Johnson has distinguished himself in the 2016 race for the White House as the only presidential candidate to announce that he has quit smoking pot for the duration of the campaign.
“It’s been about seven weeks. I want to be completely on top of my game, all cylinders… I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in 29 years because of rock climbing and the notion of being the best that you can be, and in that same vein I’ve stopped using marijuana of any kind.”
Johnson also pledged that, if he is elected president, he would abstain from marijuana use during his term in the White House.
But there is more to Johnson than his views on, or use of, marijuana. In fact, unlike Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump, Johnson has actually been elected to a major political office — twice — serving as governor of New Mexico for two full terms from 1992 until 2002.
Gary Johnson belonged to the Republican Party during his terms as New Mexico governor, though he was known for his libertarian political philosophy rather than adherence to a Republican party line.
Watch a news report on Johnson and his selection for an exclusive CNN Town Hall appearance in the video below.
To watch a livestream of the CNN Libertarian Party Town Hall with both presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his vice-presidential running mate, William Weld, click on the video below or see the streaming links in the final paragraph of this article. The Town Hall will stream live starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, 6 p.m. Pacific, on Wednesday, June 22, from the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City — a building that is also home to the CNN studios and headquarters.
Like Johnson, Weld has also served as a two-term Republican governor, elected to the office in Massachusetts in 1990. Weld also staged an unsuccessful run for United States Senator, challenging incumbent Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry — who now serves as Secretary of State in the Barack Obama administration — in 1996.
Weld resigned the governorship in 1997 when President Bill Clinton named him U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. But Weld never served, because conservative Republicans in the Senate refused to hold hearings on his confirmation on the grounds that though Weld was a Republican, his views were too moderate.
According to the political data site On The Issues, Johnson is more conservative than Weld, though both hold views classified as Libertarian.
Gary Johnson’s top states (projected share of vote): pic.twitter.com/YvcfzHulcR
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 18, 2016
Among Johnson’s views on social issues: he supports a woman’s right to choose an abortion, and is also in favor of same-sex marriage — though as a Libertarian, he believes that the government should not be in the business of sanctioning marriages at all.
He also supports an absolute right to own guns.
“I’m one of those who believe the bumper sticker: If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns… I believe that concealed carry is a way of reducing gun violence.”
Economically, Johnson as governor of New Mexico vetoed a raise in the state’s minimum wage. He believes that “governments don’t create jobs, businesses do,” and supports eliminating the Internal Revenue Service as well as the federal income tax, replacing it with a nationwide sales tax of 23 percent.
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To watch a livestream of the Wednesday CNN Libertarian Presidential Town Hall featuring Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and vice-presidential pick William Weld, use this link to CNN Go, which will stream the Town Hall. An alternative live stream can be found at this link. The international version of CNN will also live stream the Trump Family Town Hall at this link.
[Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images]