Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson made a campaign stop at the University of Cincinnati Friday.
Johnson, a former Republican Gov. of New Mexico, warned against voting for either Republicans or the Democrats this election — mocking the rhetoric that this is the most important election of our time — and described both parties as leading the country down a similar path.
“We’re going to find ourselves with a heightened police state,” Johnson said. “We’re going to find ourselves in a continued state of military intervention and we’re going to find ourselves continuing to borrow and spend money in a way that is absolutely not sustainable.”
Johnson spent most of his speech addressing the flaws of a two-party political system, and reiterated multiple times the similarities between both parties.
The National Review Online rated Johnson as the best job creator of any of the candidates — with an 11.6 percent job-growth rate during his tenure in New Mexico. In response, Johnson reiterated his belief that the private sector creates jobs.
“[I] did not create a single job as governor of New Mexico,” he said. “I appointed all the boards and commissions. I controlled all the rules and regulations, and I want to tell you rules and regulations got better on a daily basis — with just a basis on common sense.”
Johnson’s philosophy of job creation is rooted in a faith in the private sector, and his method of enforcing rules and regulations keep private business at ease because they have certainty, he said.
Johnson criticized the unsustainable nature of the country’s current economic policies — a charge he faulted to both Democrats and Republicans.
“The biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we borrow and print money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar we spend,” Johnson said.
On foreign policy, Johnson said both Republicans and Democrats have different rhetoric, but act the same in office — claiming President Obama has been as militaristic as any president.
America has a lot of enemies, mostly because of our military interventions, Johnson said.
“When the drone flies overhead and hits the target, it doesn’t just hit the target,” he said. “It kills a lot of innocent people and as a result of that, friends, family, business associates, they vow revenge against the United States.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a “report card” that awarded Johnson with the most “liberty torches” of any presidential candidate this election. The liberty torches were based on candidates’ track record with issues of civil liberties, he said.
Jordan Page, a singer and songwriter who has played at more than 50 political rallies kicked off the event by playing a handful of “protest” songs, as he called them.
Guest speakers included Jim Berns, the libertarian candidate for Ohio’s first congressional district, and Rob Ryan, state representative for the 28th district of Ohio.
“It’s very important to raise awareness about the Libertarian platform,” Ryan said.
In the back of the Great Hall in the Tangeman University Center, seven booths were set up where attendees could register to vote, sign petitions and talk to Libertarian candidates. Students signed petitions for the legalization of marijuana, and read pamphlets on strategies to spread the libertarian message.
“The turnout could have been a little better, but the energy during the speech and everything was really good I felt,” said Brendan Carr, a third-year architecture student.
Approximately 150 people gathered in TUC to hear Johnson speak.
Johnson advocated spreading the libertarian message, and addressed the importance of voting for the candidate you believe in, regardless of their chances.
“So here we arrive now at an election with this whole notion of wasted votes,” Johnson said. “What is more of a wasted vote than voting for somebody that you don’t believe in?”