Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson launched his presidential campaign on April 21 2011. Johnson is a classically liberal candidate, meaning he believes the government that governs least, governs best. Johnson was spreading his message at the 2011 World Series of Poker and that’s where our very own Dana Workman caught up with Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson for this interview.
Dana: I’m here with 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson also former Governor of New Mexico and republican although don’t be fooled by the word republican because although you are a very fiscally conservative, you’re extremely socially liberal.
Gary: Well and I would…I would define myself as a classically liberal which is the notion that the best government is the government that rules the least.
Dana: So we’re in Vegas.
Gary: Yes I like that.
Dana: And sitting at the PPA Poker Players Alliance booth so I’ll just jump right in to the first major issue about gaming and the regulation of it, what is your stance?
Gary: Well I think that a…that a person in this country should not be denied their passions and in this case were talking about 10 million Americans who are being denied their passion to play poker online and I think it’s outrageous. I also think it’s indicative of dozens of other issues where government comes in between a person and his or her passions for no reason whatsoever.
Dana: Things are seem to be going too far you know. It’s like we can, you know we can eat fatty foods and kill ourselves that way and we can (carry) a shotgun but we can’t gamble because god forbid a slot machine might fall on us.
Gary: Well there’s a great example and there’s a great example of Republicans uh saying that you should have every right in the world to carry a firearm but you shouldn’t have every right in the world to gamble online if that happens to be your passion.
Dana: Yeah. So what are your steps that you would take taking office? What’s the first thing that needs to be done?
Gary: Well administratively, I would go to the…I would go to the limit on not enforcing these laws if I were elected president of the United States. Clearly the American people would have spoken and said that among other things, online gaming needs to… online gaming regulations need to be repealed and let’s make this an American industry as opposed to anywhere else.
Dana: Well yeah that jumps right into my next question. Obviously this is about personal liberties and freedom but do you think that there is an economic benefit for our country to regulating online gaming?
Gary: You know without exception I’ve always found that when you look at cost benefit analysis, it just seems to match up with doing what’s right. So in this case, the cost benefit analysis of legal sites in the United States it would be paying taxes is a good thing. By having it legal, actually there’s more protections in a legal environment.
Dana: Why not create hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs in this area. So what do you think the public can do? We’re here for the Poker Players Alliance what’s the most important thing we as the public can contribute?
Gary: I think we should contribute our anger over the fact that this has happened and we rise up and lets talk revolution here. Lets return this country to what it’s always been about which is living within its means for starters and then the notion of liberty and freedom and the personal responsibility that goes along with that.
Dana: I took to my Twitter page and my Facebook page to try and see if anybody had any questions they wanted me to ask you so I’ll go up and…
Gary: Yeah good good.
Dana: …pull up one of those that I copied down for you…so would you change the Patriot Act to not break the constitution and would he bring in privacy rights for citizens on par with the EU?
Gary: Well yes…yes to both…to both…questions. I don’t think I would have signed the Patriot Act. Certainly not reestablish the Patriot Act, which just happened here recently. I think this is an intrusion on civil liberties and it’s an intrusion that is getting worse not better.
Dana: Now my next question is, will you get rid of the welfare policies that Obama put in place in order to cut our spending.
Gary: Well you know what I wouldn’t…I wouldn’t just tag this on Obama. I think both parties can share in this welfare state that we’ve gotten ourselves to I would repeal president Obama’s healthcare plan simply because it’s not affordable but I would also repeal the Republicans passing of the prescription healthcare benefit. When they controlled both houses of congress and ran up record deficits because we couldn’t afford that then and we can’t afford that now. So both parties can share in where we’re at.
Dana: Alright. Well thank you very very much for talking with us. Obviously Gary Johnson huge advocate of gaming and online gaming, The Poker Players Alliance. Where can we find more information out about your stance on everything?
Gary: So garyjohnson2012.com
Dana: Let’s stop one of these on there.
Gary: There we go.
Dana: Thank you Gary.
Gary: Thank you.
Dana: I’m Dana Workman signing off for CalvinAyre.com.