Politics

Gary Johnson To End His Political Career

| by Oren Peleg

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has announced he will be ending his career in politics. The former New Mexico governor's bid for the presidency ended in a distant third place.

Johnson and his running mate, former Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts, won 4 million votes, or 3 percent of the national vote, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

“Given that we spent less than 1 percent as much as [Republican Donald] Trump and [Democrat Hillary] Clinton, the level of support we received is historic,” Johnson said. “We made a credible third-party ticket part of the national conversation. Both major parties will be doing a lot of soul searching in the weeks and months ahead. We can hope that the results will be policies that reflect the priorities of people, not partisans.”

Johnson’s bid ended up benefiting Clinton, according to an opinion article in The Washington Post.

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"The Libertarian ticket is having a largely neutral but slightly pro-Clinton effect on the race as a whole, and this fact is being widely misreported because people are improperly lumping together the effects of Johnson and [Green Party nominee Jill] Stein, then attributing that effect to the Libertarians along in a classic fallacy of division,” Jacob Levy, a political scientist for McGill University, wrote.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Johnson made a few notable gaffes, reports the Albuquerque Journal. The Libertarian candidate was caught unable to identify the Syrian city of Aleppo during an interview on MSNBC. During a CNN town hall meeting, Johnson failed to name any world leaders he admired. And Johnson was again caught out on naming North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a New York Times interview.

“We all make mistakes,” Johnson said. “We are all human. If I had one regret, it would have been not to have done this. But I have no regrets. None.”

Johnson, 63, noted that his next goal is to bike ride down the Continental Divide, a nearly 3,000-mile trail running from Canada through New Mexico.

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“I’m dedicating myself to health and fitness,” Johnson later added. “Maybe I stay politically active, but not as a candidate. I will leave that to others.”

Sources: Albuquerque Journal, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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