On Saturday afternoon, delegates at the Libertarian National Convention will choose candidates for President and Vice-President.
As has become tradition, the leading candidates for the nomination met for a debate the evening before the vote.
If you were looking for fireworks and personal insults, you tuned into the wrong show. Televised nationally on C-SPAN, the civil exchange between former governor Gary Johnson and activist Lee Wrights offered voters a clear picture of the party’s positions on a variety of issues. Johnson and Wrights answered questions on topics such as foreign policy, taxation and drug legalization during the 2 hour exchange, which was moderated by 1984 presidential nominee David Bergland.
While Johnson seemed a bit uneasy during the first few questions, he quickly gained confidence. Wrights, an excellent orator, entertained the crowd with his homespun answers while offering up some raw red meat for Libertarian purists.
Johnson’s extensive resume of accomplishments and practical experience shined, and there seems little doubt that he will be nominated for the top spot on the ticket. Retired Superior Court Judge Jim Gray is Johnson’s preferred running mate, but Wrights’ passionate and well-delivered pitch may cause him to be taken seriously as a possible contender for the party’s VP nomination.
One question that was particularly interesting, for Johnson, related to the candidate’s plans for future involvement with the party. In addressing the question, Johnson confirmed that he had “come out of the closet” as a Libertarian and plans to remain a Libertarian for life. Teasing delegates that if his bid was as successful as he expects it to be, the ex-governor said he would like to be back in 2016 seeking the nomination once again.
C-SPAN’s coverage of the party’s nominating speeches and the roll call votes will begin at 12pm Eastern on Saturday.