Politics

Ron Paul Supporters Will Be Targeted by Gary Johnson in Tampa

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 26, 2012 3:55 AM
Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

Former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, the presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, will be looking to steal a little of the national spotlight away from the Republican convention in Tampa in August as he makes a pitch to supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

With Paul not expected to endorse former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, the Johnson camp hopes to make inroads with the maverick Texas congressman’s backers.

Over the weekend, organizers of the Paul Festival, an event bringing speakers, rock bands and entertainers together in Tampa from Aug. 24-26 -- right before the Republican convention -- announced that Johnson will be taking part in their festivities. Johnson’s running mate, Jim Gray -- a trial court judge based out of Orange County, Calif., who has been a sharp critic of the drug laws -- will also be speaking at the Paul Festival.

In a statement released over the weekend, Johnson said he hoped his two terms as governor, when he won national attention for his fiscal discipline and opposition to the drug laws, would help appeal to supporters across party lines.

"I am grateful and excited to receive an invitation from Paul Festival and look forward to joining such a great gathering for liberty," said Johnson. "I proudly stand by my record as a governor who united voters from all parties and beliefs."

"Governor Johnson's attendance furthers Paul Festival's goal to band together against the political establishment," said Bryan Simeon, the chief organizer of Paul Festival. "Gary Johnson spent a career unifying both the left and right and and fighting to allow all voices to be heard."

Johnson endorsed Paul for the Republican nomination in the 2008 election cycle and was hoping to appeal to the Texas congressman’s supporters when he sought the nod himself. But Paul entered the race and Johnson was left out of almost all of the major debates, with the exception of the forum held in Orlando at the Republican Party of Florida’s (RPOF) Presidency 5 event in September.

While he attempted to focus on New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, Johnson made little headway in the Granite State and on the national level. At the end of December, he announced that he was leaving the GOP to continue his presidential bid as a Libertarian. Johnson won that party’s nomination at their convention in May.

While Paul expects to bring 200 delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa, he is not expected to back Romney or speak at the convention. Some of Paul’s supporters -- including most prominently his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. -- have announced that they are backing Romney.



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.
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Comments (30)

Tommy
9:17PM JUN 27TH 2012
Listen. It is completely absurd for the supporters of Ron Paul to not begin to consider lending some help to Gary Johnson. These are two men who endorse each other. What pushes us to support Justin Amash? They are they on the same path. The GOP is going to shut Paul out, as is evident in MA this week. There are going to be debates this fall.....between Obama, and his right leaning contender, Romney. Do you want a Liberty voice in the debate? Or is your PRIDE going to keep you from getting Gary on the stage? I love Ron Paul....Gary Johnson is not Ron Paul. He is not trying to replace Ron Paul. Gary Johnson is simply trying to spread the message of the Libertarian Party. Give the guy his due. Look at his record. Really. We have a chance to put him on the stage this fall. We cant get Paul in the debates...I hope we do not let pride prevent Gary from being there.
David Robertson
10:36AM JUN 27TH 2012
It would have been more respectful to have named the festival something other than Paul Festival when the intention was to invite the Presidential candidates of another political party. Dr. Paul's name was used without his permission and is even being exploited to raise money for other candidates who may or may not be supportive of all his positions.

Ron Paul is a Republican for a reason. He wants to return the Republican Party to its roots in the libertarian Jefferson/Madison tradition.

To create a division in the liberty movement by promoting the Libertarian Party at a festival with Ron Paul's name knowing Dr. Paul's quite well known intentions could easily be seen as an insult to his leadership.

This is especially true since the festival is being held at the same time as the Republican Party Convention and will undoubtedly be used by Dr. Paul's enemies to further create opposition to him within the Republican Party.

Gary Johnson has been positioning himself over the past several weeks as the natural heir to Ron Paul of the Revolution. This appearance at the Paul Festival will be used by him for that purpose. It is my view that he is a judas goat who is leading as many of Ron Paul's supporters as he can into the wilderness of third party politics where their energies will be easily dissipated and come to nothing.

Anyone with a grain of political sense will know this to be true. There may be many associated with the Paul Festival with pure intentions but their efforts are being used for other purposes. Far from being a means of uniting the liberty movement it is being used for the opposite purpose.

The only gleam of hope is that Dr. Paul will find a way to defuse the situation before the Convention.
Dave77777
9:41AM JUN 27TH 2012
hat the GOP leadership doesn't realize, that by shutting out Ron Paul and cheating him, not only do they lose our votes, but even more importantly, they lose our activism. I'm not lifting a finger to help or promote Romney in any way. I'm friends with the local Libertarians around here and may (if I'm over my activist burn-out by then), help them promote GJ.
Dave77777
9:42AM JUN 27TH 2012
"What"
Erick
11:38PM JUN 26TH 2012
To all the Ron Paul supporters hell-bent on writing in Ron Paul, consider this. If Ron Paul has not filed to be a candidate in any way, shape or form in your state (which he will not unless he wins the Republican nomination), your "write-in" vote will be simply disregarded as if you didn't vote for president at all. This means you will not have even sent a message to the establishment parties, your vote will mean nothing other than being able to tell people you wrote in Ron Paul.
If you do not like any candidate on the ballot, that is fine and I don't blame you for writing in Ron Paul just on principle. However, if you actually like Gary Johnson or any other options that are not Obama or Romney on your ballot, PLEASE vote for them so that your vote actually gets counted and means something.
John Balzer
8:34PM JUN 26TH 2012
Inflammatory ranting does not serve the cause of Liberty. Writing in Ron Paul will not be counted for anything. Gary Johnson is polling nearly 10% nationally. 25% of Americans have not made up their mind yet who to vote for. It is great to have Gary Johnson speak at a great Libertarian rally honoring Ron Paul. It will give RP supporters a chance to get to know Gary Johnson really is. He is certainly not a neo-con or a war monger. I will be there and hope to see you too!
jeff oldman
7:58PM JUN 26TH 2012
i hope Ron Paul waits to his last moment for a huge audience at the Republican Convention to endorse Gary Johnson for POTUSA. Only then will Paul's messages of freedom and personal liberty in the pursuit of happiness be able to be heard on a national stage. If we get to 15% support for Gary Johnson he will be in the national debates with only two other candidates; who don't seem to do so well conveying ideas without a teleprompter (Obama) or puppeteer (Romney).
Gino
5:44PM JUN 26TH 2012
Nothing against candidate Gary Johnson, but he shouldn't be invited to a gathering for Ron Paul.
John Balzer
8:25PM JUN 26TH 2012
Why would you not want the Libertarian candidate for president speak at the Ron Paul celebration? Gary Johnson has historically supported Ron Paul. It serves the cause of liberty to hear what Gary Johnson has to say, especially since he the only candidate left on the ballot who shares Ron Paul's beliefs.
Tommy
9:42PM JUN 27TH 2012
Why would anyone liberty minded be so stubborn as to reject Gary Johnson speaking? Stupid. Good GOD, you dont have to wear the same exact number to be on the same team.....its people that think like this that restrict the movement. grow UP!
leslie
8:59PM JUN 26TH 2012
Only a true and real Ron Paul supporter could understand how offensive and rediculious you are.
Tommy
9:44PM JUN 27TH 2012
u are the one they talk of...in the hat...in the basement....narrow minded.
Gino
5:44PM JUN 26TH 2012
Nothing against candidate Gary Johnson, but he shouldn't be invited to a gathering for Ron Paul.
mackenzie
4:24PM JUN 26TH 2012
I hope some Paul supporters will confront Johnson over his pro-war foreign policy.
Fred Mangels
5:24PM JUN 26TH 2012
Gary Johnson is not pro- war.
Miguel
5:58AM JUN 27TH 2012
Search Gary Johnson: Caveat Emptor
Wendy
9:09AM JUN 27TH 2012
I did and this is oe of the key reasons I support Gary over Paul. We need an anti war candidate who does not take an isolationist approach. We need out of the wars, but in good consciousness I can not support a candidate who would not have supported stopping Hitler.
Wendy
9:08AM JUN 27TH 2012
I did and this is oe of the key reasons I support Gary over Paul. We need an anti war candidate who does not take an isolationist approach. We need out of the wars, but in good consciousness I can not support a candidate who would not have supported stopping Hitler.
leslie
6:58PM JUN 26TH 2012
Pro abortion+pro war= neo lib/con has ruined the brand of libertarian for decades to come. That to use the good doctors name and this group of opportunists to promote another name called libertyunleashed.inc
Liberty unleashed should change their name to Dogs Of War. Crap Fest is not a Paul Festival it is a delusional. RON Paul or NOBODY AT ALL. How dare you use his name to get people attracted and then drop a crap bomb like this...YOU SHOULD BE SUED.
Mike c
8:36PM JUN 26TH 2012
You are an idiot. You should be sued. It's people like you, who THINK they know what they are talking about, pretending to be intelligent, that have brought this once wonderful, exciting, and unique country to be the laughing stock of the world. Even 3rd world sovereign nations laugh at America and its use of Global politics. Do the rest of the Johnson AND Paul supporters and shut up. Johnson is ANTI-WAR and PRO-LIBERTY. And Liberty is what started this country, Liberty is what built this country from NOTHING to the greatest nation in modern history. Liberty means having certain unalienable rights, such as to do as you feel so long as it doesn't hinder the rights of someone else. As far as abortion is concerned, I am not pro- or anti-, but abortion should be one of the LAST things we as Americans are concerned with. Read the friggin Declaration of Independence and study the Constitution of the USA before you so ignorantly blast someone who is willing to fight for the RIGHTS and LIBERTY laid out for Americans 2 and a half centuries ago!
A Chen
6:26PM JUN 26TH 2012
Still! I hope they do, so they find out he's not!
haydukelives42
1:51PM JUN 26TH 2012
For all those planning on writing in Ron Paul, please vote Gary Johnson instead. Write-in votes aren't counted and we need to send a message to the political system. "I can't imagine endorsing anybody else." - Ron Paul on Gary Johnson, November 2010.
BDM
7:38PM JUN 27TH 2012
The whole point is for the vote 'not to count'. It doesn't exactly go into a black hole if you WIRP. The undervote will reveal the amount of write-ins.
Mykl
12:39PM JUN 26TH 2012
If Ron Paul does not get the GOP nomination, I will vote for Gary Johnson. May liberty and free markets prevail.
Warren
3:21PM JUN 26TH 2012
I'll second that without question. Ron Paul would be my first choice but if he doesn't get the Republican nod, Gary Johnson it is! No more voting for the lesser of two evils. I'm voting for good!
Faceh
10:45AM JUN 26TH 2012
I still personally plan on writing Paul's name in on the ballot no matter what.

But I think Johnson is the single best alternative out there right now.

Seriously, no matter who you put down, Paul, Johnson, or Mickey Mouse, each vote you cast NOT for the establishment diminishes their margins of victory. Don't vote for the two-headed snake that this election is becoming.
joe4liberty
1:13AM JUN 27TH 2012
in all 50 states, in order for a "write-in" candidate's vote to be counted, that name (candidate) must be regestered with the state, collect the required signatures, and pay the fees necessary to be a candidate. Any candidate willing to do this, would wisely list themselves on the ballot as "independent", rather than "hope" that people write them in. That process is time consuming and costly.
The point is; write-in votes will NOT be counted. Johnson is the same as Paul except for the fact that Johnson is pro-choice, as well as in favor of open-borders (and afterall, free men are free to travel, borders are instituted by governments, not people). Other than those two issues, Johnson is Paul, and Paul is Johnson. Make your vote count, vote for Johnson.
BDM
7:42PM JUN 27TH 2012
WE DON'T WANT OUR WRITE-INS TO BE COUNTED.

If you vote for the other offices in your state, and write-in Ron Paul for President, you contribute to the undervote.

Do this especially in Ohio, PA, and FL and watch Mitt's people call fraud when they lose, but discover the undervote is 10x the normal rate.
Farmer 1
9:31AM JUN 26TH 2012
Ron Paul 2012!
Gary Johnson for VP!
jhalldor
8:27AM JUN 26TH 2012
The neo-con warmonger elites will be targeted by the American people.

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