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November 19, 2012

US presidential candidate Romney blames his election loss on \’Gifts\’

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Monday, November 19, 2012

In a conference-call to fundraisers, former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney said his loss in the 2012 presidential election was partly due to “gifts”. Romney claimed President Obama had targeted special-interest groups, “especially the African American community, the Hispanic community, and young people.” Romney contrasted this with his own strategy of “talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.”

Some of the things Romney said people wanted included contraception, college loans, and the controversial healthcare law commonly called Obamacare. “With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008,” Mr. Romney said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Most conservatives did not support Governor Romney’s comments, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie. One conservative who did was Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Governor Romney’s comments were similar to those of O’Reilly on election night when he said half of the population of America “wants stuff.”

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Romney Blames His Election Loss on \”Gifts\”

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Monday, November 19, 2012

In a conference-call to fundraisers, former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney blamed his loss in the 2012 presidential election on “gifts”. Romney claimed President Obama had targeted special-interest groups, “especially the African American community, the Hispanic community, and young people.” Romney contrasted this with his own strategy of “talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.”

Some of the things Romney said people wanted included contraception, college loans, and the controversial healthcare law commonly called Obamacare. “With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008,” Mr. Romney said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Most conservatives did not support Governor Romney’s comments, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie. One conservative who did was Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Governor Romney’s comments were similiar to those O’Reilly on Election Night when he said that half of the population of America, “wants stuff.”

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 7, 2012

United States re-elects Obama

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama speaking to troops at Bagram Airfield in May.
Image: Bill Gowdy, US Navy.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been projected enough electoral votes to win re-election, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Many of the major media outlets have called the election for Obama.

Obama’s campaign succeeded in persuading voters in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire. Romney won in Indiana and North Carolina, two states Obama won in 2008.

Obama thanked voters via Twitter, posting: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger Todd Akin. In August, Akin suggested that women who are victims of “legitimate” rape are unable to get pregnant.



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  • “Barack Obama elected 44th President of the United States” — Wikinews, November 5, 2008

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Australian Broadcasting Corporation plans to call California for Obama before polls close

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Screenshot ABC24 call for various states at 11:04am Sydney time, 4:04pm California time with electoral college votes allocated for states like California and Texas.
Image: LauraHale.

Around 9:40am (Wednesday) Sydney time and 2:40pm (Tuesday) California time, on ABC News 24 (of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), a reporter covering the United States election said the network would call California for Barack Obama before the polls closed.

The reporter went on to explain that the media in the United States avoids doing this so as not to affect voter turnout, but as they are reporting in Australia, this is not a local concern and they are not concerned about making predictions about race results.

Going into the elections, Obama was already forecast to win it, with RealClearPolitics predicting he would win by 14 points. ABC OTUS had also predicted Obama would win California.

Predicting election results before actual returns has been a problem historically, such as when Florida was called for Al Gore before all the votes had been counted.



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World leaders react to Obama win

World leaders react to Obama win – Wikinews, the free news source

World leaders react to Obama win

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Barack Obama
Image: Pete Souza.

Leaders from around the world have congratulated re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama on his success at the ballot box.

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he “will continue to work with President Obama to preserve the strategic interests of Israel’s citizens” and described relations between the U.S. and Israel as “rock solid”. Some others within the ruling Likud party were not so optimistic about the relationship, with Knesset member Danny Danon criticising Obama for “ill-advised” policies towards Israel and hoping Obama “resets his course relating to Israel and our region for the next four years”.

A statement on behalf of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas expressed hope that Obama “continues his efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East“.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron took time from his tour of the Middle East to congratulate Obama and listed as shared priorities a trade deal between the U.S. and the United Kingdom as well as solving the crisis in Syria. Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour Party, stated on Twitter that Obama’s success in the election was “based on building fairer economy and optimism about what politics can achieve.”

French leader François Hollande said in choosing Obama over Mitt Romney, voters in the United States had voted for “an America of openness and solidarity, fully engaged on the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, economy and the environment”. He listed economic growth, unemployment, and the Middle East as challenges the two politicians would have to face. German leader Angela Merkel stated she “deeply appreciated” meetings and conversations with Obama on issues including “overcoming the global financial and economic crisis”.

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, issued a joint statement which described the U.S. as “a key strategic partner of the European Union” and hoped to meet Obama “at an early date in order to reconfirm our priorities and provide renewed impetus to our joint action”.

Across Africa, Obama received congratulations from South African President Jacob Zuma, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, and Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of Kenya.



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United States re-elects Barack Obama

United States re-elects Barack Obama – Wikinews, the free news source

United States re-elects Barack Obama

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama speaking to troops at Bagram Airfield in May.
Image: Bill Gowdy, US Navy.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been projected enough electoral votes to win re-election, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Many of the major media outlets have called the election for Obama.

Obama’s campaign succeeded in gaining the vote in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire. Romney won in Indiana and North Carolina, two states Obama won in 2008.

Obama thanked voters via Twitter, posting: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger Todd Akin. In August, Akin suggested that women who are victims of “legitimate” rape are unable to get pregnant.



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November 5, 2012

Lawsuit filed at Florida due to long lines at early voting

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Florida voters had to wait as long as eight hours just to vote early. The lawsuit was filed by Democrats on Saturday morning in a Miami federal court. The extended voting hours in counties included Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward due to inadequate voting facilities.

According to the Miami Herald‘s website the filing claims states: The extraordinarily long lines deterred or prevented voters from waiting to vote. Some voters left the polling sites upon learning of the expected wait, and others refused to line up altogether. These long lines and extreme delays unduly and unjustifiably burdened the right to vote.”

Rick ScottR Governor of Florida has steadfastly refused to keep polls open beyond an 8 day early voting period that ended Saturday at 7:00 pm local time (000 UTC) or make that Sunday 1:00 am local time (600 UTC) when the last voter in line in Miami-Dade was finally able to cast a ballot.

There were long lines especially for Miami-Dade at 7:25 am local time (1225 UTC) on Saturday. Two of the country’s 20 stations for early voting were already suffering 5 hour times to wait. Six locations listed wait times of six or more hours on Saturday afternoon, hampered perhaps in part by a hefty ballot of 10 pages for most voters.

The GOP legislature of Florida had cut the number of early voting days from 14 to 8 in 2011. It eliminated its own tradionally based heavy Sunday prior to Election Day, however the number of maximum numbers were kept. This move was signed into law by governor Scott, as well as approved by federal courts.

Cquote1.svg We are requesting in federal court that more Floridians have a meaningful chance to early vote. Cquote2.svg

—Rod Smith

The problems are not limited to long waits in Southern Florida according to the Tampa Bay Times.



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On the campaign trail, October 2012

On the campaign trail, October 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, October 2012

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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The following is the twelfth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: a fan of Wikinews asks a critical question at the Second presidential debate; Gary Johnson discusses Syria and foreign intervention with Wikinews, and three candidates give the their final plea to voters ahead of the November 6 election.

Summary

October opened with President Barack Obama comfortably leading Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in most polls. This changed following the first presidential debate, which opinion polls and commentators declared as a Romney victory. Around 67 million Americans watched the Jim Lehrer-moderated debate, which focused on economic matters. CBS News analysis described the debate as possibly the best night of the Romney campaign, finding him in control of the discourse and appearing “reasonable, pragmatic and respectful.” On the other hand, the analysis characterized Obama as cautious, lacking energy, and exercising poor body language, particularly in his propensity to look down at his podium while Romney spoke. One memorable exchange occurred when Romney argued that he would cut federal funding to Lehrer’s network PBS, prefacing that he actually liked Lehrer, the network, and its Sesame Street character Big Bird, but argued that he would not continue “to borrow money from China to pay for it.” Afterwards, Romney experienced a bounce in the national polls, surpassing Obama for the lead in several. Shortly after the debate, September’s economic report was released, revealing a fall in unemployment to 7.8 percent, the lowest rate since the beginning of the Obama presidency. However, the Obama campaign hit a potential stumbling block as State Department officials reported details on the September 11 embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The administration had earlier claimed the attacks resulted from Innocence of Muslims protests, but it emerged the attacks were planned. The report raised questions of what the administration knew and why better protection was not provided to the consulate. The story broke just shy of the one and only Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, held in Danville, Kentucky. Though analysts drew contrasting conclusions on who won the debate with many believing Biden had won it on substance, much post-debate discussion focused on Biden’s aggression, use of the word “malarkey”, incessant smiling and laughing, and interruptions of both Ryan and the moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News.

Third party candidates Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, and Gary Johnson participate in the 2012 Free and Equal presidential debate.
Image: Connie Ma.

Shortly thereafter, the second presidential debate commenced in Hempstead, New York, moderated by CNN‘s Candy Crowley. The debate’s town hall format allowed the candidates to walk around the stage as they answered pre-selected questions from audience members. In contrast to the first debate, Obama appeared energetic and aggressive, as did Romney. CBS News described the debate as “contentious” with Obama and Romney attacking each other often and appearing to almost “come to blows” on one exchange. One such exchange occurred when Romney and Obama went back-and-forth about oil leases on federal lands. Obama claimed oil production increased during his administration; Romney agreed but countered that the increase was due only to private production, and that oil leases and production on federal lands actually decreased. The Benghazi attack presented another contentious topic at the debate with Obama claiming that he labeled the incident as a terrorist attack on the day after it happened, which Crowley confirmed, though she also noted the administration later claimed the incident was a reaction to the Innocence of Muslims. Before the next debate, the candidates appeared jointly at a less serious event, each taking part in the traditional Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner hosted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, where they joked about the election, their opponent, and themselves. The final debate held at Florida’s Lynn University and hosted by CBS News’ Bob Schieffer focused on foreign affairs, which the candidates often appeared to agree on. Notably, Romney avoided criticism of the president for his handling of the September 11 Benghazi attack. One disagreement between the candidates concerned the issue of military strength. Romney accused Obama of proposing budget cuts for the military and criticized him for maintaining a Navy with the fewest battleships since 1917. Obama countered that “we also have fewer horses and bayonets. Because the nature of the military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

The next day, four third party candidates excluded from the national debates for not meeting the Commission on Presidential Debates‘ polling threshold, but who satisfied the commission’s ballot access requirements, took part in a debate of their own sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation and broadcast on C-SPAN with Larry King as the moderator. Those taking part in the debate included former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, former congressman and Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, former Salt Lake City Mayor and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson, and physician Jill Stein, presidential nominee of the Green Party. The two candidates that received the highest number of votes following the event, Johnson and Stein, were then invited to a one-on-one-debate scheduled for the next week. The event was postponed due to the Superstorm Hurricane Sandy. Sandy hit the northeast coast on the final week of campaigning, causing damages largely in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The destruction and lack of electricity in certain areas raised questions of how the election could take place on November 6 amid such chaos. Furthermore, analysts questioned whether Obama’s response to the crisis would help him win the race. As Election Day neared, Obama secured critical endorsements from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Nevertheless, in the RealClearPolitics average for October 31, Romney and Obama remained in a statistical tie. Polling also indicated that the most critical swing states were Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, and North Carolina.

Wikinews fan sparks controversy at second presidential debate

Kerry Ladka, a senior sales associate at Global Telecom Supply and self-professed fan of Wikinews, was one of the individuals picked to address President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the October 16 presidential debate in Hempstead, New York. His question, which involved the September 11 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, sparked one of the debate’s most contentious and controversial moments.

According to Ladka, the Gallup organization randomly selected him to ask a question, which he devised without their assistance. In fact, prior to asking, Ladka explained to viewers that his question arose during a discussion with his friends at work.

Kerry Ladka asks President Obama a question during the second presidential debate.
Image: The New York Times.

Speaking directly to President Obama, Ladka mentioned the reports that the U.S. State Department denied additional security forces to the Libyan embassy before it was breached. He then asked, “Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?”

Obama responded that upon hearing of the breach, he gave three instructions to his national security advisers: (1) increase security at the Libyan embassy and other U.S. embassies throughout the region; (2) investigate the matter; and (3) find and prosecute the culprits of the attack. He then criticized Romney’s reaction to the event as “trying to make political points.” Romney responded that it took the administration too long to label the break-in as a terrorist act while casting blame on a YouTube trailer. Obama countered that he actually did refer to the attack as a terrorist act at the Rose Garden on the subsequent day and expressed outrage that Romney would suggest “anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own”. This remark led to a war of words between Romney, Obama, and moderator Candy Crowley.

Romney repeatedly asked Obama whether he actually said the attack was a terrorist act and not a “spontaneous demonstration.” Obama twice responded, “please proceed” before citing the transcript of his remarks from the Rose Garden. After the moderator confirmed the president’s statement, Obama asked her to do so “a little louder”. With Crowley doing so, Romney then argued that the administration instead had maintained the act was a reaction against a video, which Crowley also confirmed. Romney next attempted to question why the Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice “went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how this was a spontaneous reaction”, but Crowley decided to move on to other questions.

Ladka told The Washington Post he did not believe Obama adequately answered the question during the debate, but noted that afterwards, Obama approached him and explained that he had wanted, in the days following the attack, to ensure the intelligence he received on the matter was correct, and that to avoid endangerment he did not want to explicitly name any individual in the State Department responsible for denying security.

To the Post, Ladka remained undecided on whom he would give his vote. But now after time for further deliberation, he tells Wikinews he has come to a decision. Though he felt Romney was “very impressive” at the debate, he believes President Obama was the winner and has decided to cast his ballot for the President on Election Day.

Gary Johnson speaks to Wikinews on Syria and foreign intervention

Though the fallout from the break-in at Benghazi was the main foreign policy focus in October, there was also some discussion, especially during the final two-party debate, about the unrest in Syria and actions of the Bashar al-Assad government, which led to the killings of roughly 30,000 people and displacement of 300,000.

Gary Johnson.
Image: Gary Johnson.

During the third and final debate between Obama and Romney, both seemed to agree that the United States should help the anti-government forces in Syria. Gary Johnson, in contrast, has a completely different viewpoint on both Syria and the question of foreign intervention.

In an exclusive interview with Wikinews, Johnson asserts that assistance for the Syrian rebels for humanitarian purposes may simply lead to the rise of a faction worse than the regime in power. Broadly speaking, he finds that “we intervene in the name of humanity, and the result is…more times than not, a situation that is worse, not better.”

Nevertheless, Johnson does not hold an absolutist view against foreign intervention. When questioned about the need to intervene in the case of a genocide, he responded “I don’t think any of us want to stand by and watch that happen.” However, for any kind of military intervention, Johnson favors congressional approval.

But for what actually constitutes a genocide requiring intervention, Johnson holds, “let me borrow from a Supreme Court justice that was asked his definition of pornography. [He said] You know, I can’t give you a definition of pornography but I’d like to think that when I see it I recognize it.”

The complete interview with Governor Johnson on these and other issues can be read here.

The final pleas…

With Gary Johnson and Jill Stein making their case to voters at the final Free and Equal debate, Wikinews provided the opportunity to the three other third party presidential candidates with enough ballot access and write-in certification to theoretically win the election.

Those making their final pleas include: former congressman Virgil Goode, nominee of the Constitution Party; America’s Party nominee Tom Hoefling; and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, nominee of the Justice Party.

Ballot access maps for each of the three candidates appear below their respective statements.

Virgil Goode: Virgil Goode is the only candidate who will stop illegal immigration and block automatic citizenship for children born in the US of illegal aliens. He is also the only candidate who will protect jobs for US citizens by stopping so many green card holders from entering the United States. Lastly, he will work to stop the domination by Big Money PACs of federal elections. Save America and Vote for Virgil Goode.

Goode answers questions after the first Free and Equal debate.
Image: Connie Ma.
Ballot access (violet), write-in certification (light violet), no access (gray)
Image: Ariostos.


Tom Hoefling: Without faith there can be no justice. The two things are inextricably linked.

What is justice? To put it most simply, it is right-doing. In terms of the law and self-government, it is doing right to all persons equally and equitably.

But how can we possibly perfect justice in this country, as the framers of our Constitution purposed to do, if we pay no mind to the laws of nature and of nature’s God? It is not possible.

Is there a desire in your heart to help save this country and restore America’s greatness? Then trust God, seek His will, and do right. Join together with your fellow citizens who are of the same mind and heart, and retake the reins of your own self-government. If enough Americans will do this, without compromise, and do it in time, there is hope for this country and for our posterity. We can, if we choose to follow God and do right, once again be a shining city on a hill.

But if we refuse, and choose instead to be faithless and unjust by continuing to kill the babies and destroy God’s institution of marriage and the natural family, our children and grandchildren, those who survive our brutal savagery, will curse us. They will rightfully convict us of squandering their precious heritage, one that was dearly bought with blood, sweat, and tears by our just and faithful forebears.

Our generation is a link in the chain between the past and the future. Please, my fellow Americans, I beg you, don’t let it be broken. Strengthen the things that remain, before it is too late.

Tom Hoefling.
Image: Tom Hoefling.
Ballot access (cyan), write-in certification (light cyan), no access (gray)
Image: Ariostos.


Rocky Anderson: I propose an alternative to the corrupt two-party system that has created a militarist and corporatist government for sale to the highest bidders. My Justice Party campaign calls for people to demand a government that is genuinely of, by, and for the people.

Peace and prosperity require: (1) aggressive action on climate change; (2) creating a vibrant economy with living wage jobs through a WPA-like initiative, and returning outsourced jobs to the U.S.; (3) a significant reduction in military spending; (4) equal rights, regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation; (5) a Medicare-for-all system providing better outcomes with lower costs; (6) prosecution of financial crimes, enforcement of financial regulations, including reinstatement of Glass-Steagall; (7) a restorative criminal justice system and an end to the disastrous “war on drugs”; (8) tax fairness; (9) Social Security and Medicare not be plundered; and (10) dismantlement of the imperial presidency and restoration of the U.S. Constitution.

My foreign policy will promote peace and respect for human rights, not the empire-building wars of aggression supported by both major parties. I will promote long-term U.S. security and build better relationships with other nations by ending the immoral drone killings that have already killed hundreds of innocent civilians and created more hatred and hostility toward the U.S.

Anderson poses with a supporter after the first Free and Equal debate.
Image: Connie Ma.
Ballot access (blue), write-in certification (light blue), no access (gray)
Image: Ariostos.




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Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party

Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party

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Monday, November 5, 2012

With the U.S. presidential election looming, former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson spoke with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn on an assortment of economic, foreign, and social issues. In the interview, Johnson makes his final plea to voters before they cast their ballots on Election Day, November 6.

Gary Johnson.
Image: Gary Johnson.

Though a member of the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s, Johnson was elected and re-elected governor of New Mexico in 1994 and 1998 as a Republican. During his governorship, he vetoed over 750 bills, more than all other then-governors combined, and left the state with a $1 billion budget surplus. He briefly ran for president as a Republican in 2011 before rejoining the Libertarian Party to seek its 2012 presidential nomination.

After winning the nomination this past May, Johnson has campaigned throughout the nation espousing the Fair Tax, spending cuts across the board, a repeal of Obamacare, an audit of the Federal Reserve, a non-interventionist foreign policy, an end to the Drug War, and legalization of same-sex marriage. He and his running mate, Judge Jim Gray of California, have attained ballot access in all U.S. states except Michigan, where he is a write-in candidate, and Oklahoma. Nationally, he has received four percent registered-voter support in the past two CNN/Opinion Research Polls that included him with President Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. It is the campaign’s goal to reach five percent on Election Day, which will enable the party to receive ballot access and federal funding on par with the two major parties.

With Wikinews, Johnson discusses the federal budget, education, entitlements, the Syrian uprising, Mexican Drug War, same-sex marriage, the Libertarian Party, and his political future.

Economic matters

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png:You say that as president, you would propose a balanced budget “not five or ten years down the road” but in 2013. Realistically can that budget pass, especially with a Congress hostile to your proposed spending cuts and tax plan?

Gary Johnson: I would suggest that if I’m elected president promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013, and also promising to veto any legislation where expenses exceed revenue, even though they would override my veto, I’m going to suggest to you that spending will be lower with those two promises kept than any other scenario you could possibly come up with.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou also propose decreasing federal education spending including decreases in Pell Grants and loans for college students. Is that correct?

Johnson: Well the reason being is that because of guaranteed government student loans that is the reason why college tuition is so high. It’s an artificial market. It’s not a market made up of supply and demand. And it’s a market where kids are going to school because they’re guaranteed a government student loan and because of that, the vast institutions of higher learning, colleges and universities are immune from pricing much much dramatically lower than they would have to price themselves at if government student loans did not exist. And of course you wouldn’t cut students off that are currently receiving student loans. And that isn’t to say that government student loans would go away. It’s just that you wouldn’t make government the guarantor of those student loans.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngSo it wouldn’t be an immediate cut?

Johnson: Well it would be immediate…You know it’s not really a cut because student loans are student loans. You can’t escape a student loan even under bankruptcy. So these loans are going to get paid back but the argument is is that student loans, government-guaranteed student loans are a direct cause of tuition being as high as it is.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngOkay. I have a question here about entitlements: During the Tea Party Republican Party Debate on September 12, 2011, one of which you were not invited to, Wolf Blitzer [the debate’s moderator], he provided the following scenario to Ron Paul, this is what he said, he said:

“A healthy thirty-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma?”

Now Ron Paul answered that question. If you were at that debate, how would you have responded to that?

Johnson: Well, first of all, I think there are those who are truly in need. So you’re talking about a thirty-year-old who doesn’t have health insurance; there conceivably could be government step in and it would be state government, not federal government. I really believe that we have to slash Medicare and Medicaid spending; that Medicare is a program that you and I put $30,000 into in our lifetimes and we receive $100,000 plus benefits and by that whatever we contribute in we get back three times, more than three times what we contribute in. So it’s not sustainable. Federally funded healthcare is not sustainable. So with that said, I would leave it to the states to draw new lines of eligibility and when it comes to this hypothetical kid that you’re talking about that falls into a coma, I’m believing that state governments will come up with a program to address that kind of individual.

Foreign affairs

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngLet’s shift to foreign affairs. On your website, you say “America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests.” In the case of a humanitarian crisis as in Syria right now, does the U.S. ever have a moral obligation to intervene militarily even if it is not clearly in the U.S. interest?

Gary Johnson: No. To intervene in Syria…Look, we end up supporting a new dictatorship that takes over from the old dictatorship. The results are no better or even worse than the old. So we intervene in the name of humanity, and the result is like I say, more times than not, a situation that is worse, not better.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngLet’s say it’s like Hitler‘s Germany, would intervention be necessary then?

Johnson: Well yeah. The notion of…Well first of all, let me borrow from a Supreme Court Justice that was asked his definition of pornography. [He said] You know what, I can’t give you a definition of pornography but I’d like to think that when I see it I recognize it. And so when you talk about humanitarian, when you talk about atrocities, when you talk about genocide, when you talk about the Holocaust, I don’t think any of us want to stand by and watch something like that happen. How do you define that? Well as the commander-in-chief, I’d like to think I’d be the first one that would recognize it if it actually was occurring. And of course, as the leader of the United States, I would have to be articulate in that and make my case for intervention. If we were to intervene, first and foremost would be Congress vetting that and actually approving that, but look, I just think that we militarily intervene as a result of our military intervention, but I think we have hundreds of millions of enemies to this country that look for our military intervention that otherwise would not exist. We kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians in the countries where we militarily intervene. Our men and service women end up dying. Our men and service women come back with their limbs blown off.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou were the governor of a border state. As president, what would you do to prevent the violence in Mexico from spilling over into the United States?

Johnson: That violence is a prohibition phenomenon. If you legalize marijuana, arguably 75 percent of that border violence with Mexico goes away. These are disputes that are being played out with guns rather than the courts. Forty thousand deaths south of the border over the last four years. These are disputes that are being played out with guns rather than the courts.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngBut as president, would you increase border security or would you keep it the same?

Johnson: No. I would not build a fence. I think there would be less of a need for border security if we had a moving line for immigrants that would want to come into this country and work to get a work visa. So my pledge is I’m going to create a moving line for immigrants that want to come into this country and work to get a work visa. That would entail a background check and a Social Security card so that applicable taxes would get paid. I am espousing eliminating income tax, corporate tax, abolishing the IRS and replacing it all with one federal consumption tax: the fair tax. If we adopt the fair tax, taxes will not be an issue. Whether you’re illegal, legal, a visitor to the U.S., or a U.S. citizen, nobody is going to avoid paying one federal consumption tax.

Social issues

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngLet’s get into social issues now. You criticized President Obama for his stance that same-sex marriage be left to the states. With the Tenth Amendment in mind, why should same-sex marriage be a federal issue and why should the federal government mandate that states allow same sex marriage?

Gary Johnson: Well I think that first and foremost that as president of the United States you take an oath to govern under strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution. I would espouse…I would suggest that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right of Equal Protection Clause that is on par with Civil Rights of the sixties. It’s not a states issue, that it’s a federal issue and that the federal government should be involved. If you say it’s a state issue where 42 states have said that marriage is between a man and a woman. Effectively what you’re saying is that ‘I’m not going to do anything when it comes to marriage equality’, and I take the position that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right so goes the federal involvement.

Libertarian Party and political future

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngOkay I’m getting to my final questions here. I want to talk about the Libertarian Party. The first nominee of the Party was John Hospers, who died last year, and he was a supporter of Republican President George W. Bush. The next nominee Roger MacBride also left the party and went to the Republican Party. The 1988 nominee Ron Paul, as we all know, serves in the House of Representatives as a member of the Republican Party, and his son [Rand Paul] serves in the Senate as a member of the Republican Party. Both the 2008 presidential and vice-presidential nominees of the Libertarian Party: Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root have recently rejoined the Republican Party and have both endorsed Mitt Romney for president. In fact, until the end of last year, you too were a member of the Republican Party. So why does it seem Libertarians flock to the Republican Party?

Gary Johnson: I’m not so certain…I think that the tie-in is [libertarian] Republicans are fiscally conservative and socially accepting. That’s the, I think, the heading under which most Americans are. I will just tell you that last night, although it did not happen, apparently the Democrats were going to come and protest my speaking at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I guess it was all those anti-gay, anti-immigration, pro-Drug War, pro-military interventionists that were going to show up and protest me.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngBut you admit that there are some Liberty Republicans and that Republicans make up a large portion of libertarians. Is that correct?

Johnson: Well, I think libertarians are libertarians. I mean, the largest political affiliation in the country right now is Independent and I think if you took the pulse of Independents, I think you’d find that majority of Independents are libertarians. I think libertarian-leaning, if you go to that category, if you include Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, I think the majority of Americans in some way, shape, or form describe themselves as libertarian-leaning.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWell let’s say someone is a libertarian-leaning Republican like Rand Paul in the Senate. Should such libertarian Republicans support you and guaranteeing their vote will go to you rather than voting Republican…Let me rephrase this question… Let’s say that a Rand Paul Republican was considering who to vote for and they could choose between guaranteeing their vote would not go to the Republican, which they see as the small-government alternative in the duopoly, rather than voting Republican and ensuring their vote will go to someone who they believe is the small government alternative, should they still support you?

Johnson: Well yeah, because really Republicans aren’t small government. I mean, if you go back to the [Vice presidential] debate the other night between [Republican vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan and [Vice president Joe] Biden, Ryan says toward the end of the debate, he goes, hey, look we’re going to increase spending by three percent, they’re going to increase spending by four and a half percent, what’s the big deal? I would echo that. What’s the big deal? There’s not a big deal between either one of them and if libertarian-leaning Republicans want to send a message to elected Republican leaders then vote for me that’s how you’re going to send a message. You’re not going to send a message by voting in the status quo. The status quo being much to do about nothing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngThis is my final question here. The OC Weekly website reported last week that your running mate, Judge Jim Gray remarked during an appearance at Tulane University that you two plan to run again in 2016. Can you confirm whether that is correct?

Johnson: Well, we’ve created statewide organizations. There’s a tremendous amount of interest. What is that going equates when it comes to votes? You know what, I don’t know what that’s going to equate to votes on Election Day, but I’ll just say from my standpoint, William, there’s just a whole lot of enthusiasm and I do think that this is the future of politics so I’m staying around here, I think the last thing anyone wants to hear is that I’m going to run again when, you know, this is an election that hasn’t even taken place, and I mean the one on Tuesday. [There’s] lots of time to be looking at those kind of options.



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Lawsuit filed in Florida due to long lines at an early voting

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Florida voters had to wait as long as eight hours just to vote early. The lawsuit was filed by Democrats on Saturday morning in a Miami federal court. The extended voting hours in counties included Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward due to inadequate voting facilities.

According to the Miami Herald‘s website the filing claims states: The extraordinarily long lines deterred or prevented voters from waiting to vote. Some voters left the polling sites upon learning of the expected wait, and others refused to line up altogether. These long lines and extreme delays unduly and unjustifiably burdened the right to vote.”

Rick ScottR Governor of Florida has steadfastly refused to keep polls open beyond an 8 day early voting period that ended Saturday at 7:00 pm local time (000 UTC) or make that Sunday 1:00 am local time (600 UTC) when the last voter in line in Miami-Dade was finally able to cast a ballot.

There were long lines especially for Miami-Dade at 7:25 am local time (1225 UTC) on Saturday. Two of the country’s 20 stations for early voting were already suffering 5 hour times to wait. Six locations listed wait times of six or more hours on Saturday afternoon, hampered perhaps in part by a hefty ballot of 10 pages for most voters.

The GOP legislature of Florida had cut the number of early voting days from 14 to 8 in 2011. It eliminated its own tradionally based heavy Sunday prior to Election Day, however the number of maximum numbers were kept. This move was signed into law by governor Scott, as well as approved by federal courts.

Cquote1.svg We are requesting in federal court that more Floridians have a meaningful chance to early vote. Cquote2.svg

—Rod Smith

The problems are not limited to long waits in Southern Florida according to the Tampa Bay Times.



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