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Those who have been watching the presidential debates or followed the 2012 presidential election know that there was one additional member on stage in last weeks’ debate in Orlando. Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, made his first appearance at the presidential debate chiming in with his occasional policies, but has so far not made any drastic changes to the presidential race.
Being his first debate, the candidate did not have as much experience as the others, but he seemed confident and will hopefully get more face time during the next few debates to really increase his following. Johnson was perhaps the least in-focus candidate throughout the night with a lot of the attention still being directed to frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
“I got four minutes tonight,” he added, “I tried to make the most of it. I’m not complaining. That’s four more minutes than I had a week ago.” Although only appearing for a total of four minutes in the debate, he got some main points across and managed to include the most note-worthy line of the night.
“My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration.” Despite just getting laughs, this line also made Johnson stand out and was highly talked about days following the debate. Johnson is known to have similar stances as Ron Paul including his libertarian views and being anti-government.
He even answered that he would choose Ron Paul as his Vice President if he was elected into office as president after a hypothetical question during the debate. Some think that his entrance in the race might hurt Ron Paul or divide the support down the middle because of their similar views.
One position that he made clear in the debate is that he would promise to propose a balanced 2013 federal budget on his first day in office. When Johnson left office in New Mexico, his state had a balanced budget, along with only four other states across the country. His other positions include legalizing marijuana and supporting “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
He also supports withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and other countries that are not related to American defense such as Libya. He is also known for his frequent vetoing on legislation, and he said in the debate, “I promise to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue.
And if anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.” Johnson will have to do some catching up in the race, and still only has support in the single digits, but he may have the track record and comic relief to gain the support he needs.
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