Third Parties and the Vice Presidential Debate

Gary Johnson 2012



Oct. 12, 2012, San Diego, Calif. — Speaking in San Diego Friday, vice presidential candidate Jim Gray, a former Superior Court judge and federal prosecutor, called Thursday's vice presidential debate an "animated exercise in agreement."

Gray said, "On taxes, Ryan and Biden both nibbled around the edges of a broken and corrupt system. They are arguing over brackets and rates, while the real issue is a tax code that fundamentally penalizes productivity and kills jobs. On foreign policy, it was a chest-thumping contest to prove who would carry the bigger stick. There was no conversation about why we are putting Americans at risk and spending billions on the other side of the globe with no clear U.S. interest. That is the conversation we need to have, not a 'debate' over who would bomb Iran first."

On what they didn't say, Judge Gray was even more critical. "This is why I wish I'd had the opportunity to be on the debate stage — not once did they bring up the drug war and how our federal government has failed. Not once did they bring up meaningful tax reform. Job plans? What job plans? You want a jobs and tax plan rolled into one, you listen to Gary Johnson.

"At the VP debate, you heard how two men were going to rob you of your economic or personal freedoms — I'm offering you a third choice where we protect both."

Gary Johnson, Judge Gray's running mate who served as governor of New Mexico for two terms, advocates ending the IRS completely. Gov. Johnson and Judge Gray propose a consumption tax rather than the current income tax.

PRESS RELEASE from Libertarian Action Super PAC


Wes Benedict

A Libertarian response to the vice presidential debate

AUSTIN – October 12, 2012 – Paul Ryan and Joe Biden are equally bad on every major policy. It’s no wonder they were too cowardly to let Libertarian vice presidential nominee Jim Gray join the debate last night.

With the media and the two major parties keeping Libertarians out of the debates, Libertarian Action Super PAC (LASPAC) will be reaching out to voters directly during the last few weeks by mailing and robocalling hundreds of thousands of voters in a few key states to let them know about the Libertarian presidential ticket.

Judge Jim Gray could have wiped that smirk off Joe Biden’s face by simply calling him out for supporting the foolish wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by calling the Biden-supported PATRIOT Act another gross violation of civil liberties.

While more and more voters support decriminalizing marijuana, Joe Biden helped create the White House Drug Czar’s office in 1988. In contrast, Libertarian Jim Gray, a former judge and  outspoken critic of the War on Drugs, co-sponsored the 2011 California initiative “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine.”

In reaching out to the Tea Party, Jim Gray could have slapped Paul Ryan across the face with Ryan’s votes for the TARP bailouts, GM and Chrysler bailouts, the 2003 Republican Medicare expansion, and wasteful ethanol subsidies. We know what Paul Ryan would be like as vice president, because we have his horrible voting record after 14 years in Congress.

The vice presidential debate last night reaffirmed one thing: on all big issues, the Republicans and Democrats are in complete agreement.

Both the presidential and vice presidential debates have squandered their time on silly semantic arguments and insignificant details. Obama and Romney’s positions are so similar that they have to play stupid semantic games to create the illusion of a difference. The same goes for Paul Ryan and Joe Biden.

The only noteworthy thing about the debate was that Libertarian candidate Jim Gray was not allowed to participate. If Jim Gray had tried to attend, he would have been arrested. Why? Because the Commission on Presidential Debates has only one goal: promoting and perpetuating the Republican and Democratic Parties. This has become so evident that major sponsors like the YWCA and Philips Electronics have recently withdrawn their support from the debates.

Here’s an example of the comical semantics: Paul Ryan said, “Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.” In other words, instead of spending $716 billion on health care, the feds will spend $716 billion on health care. But Joe Biden denies it: he insists that the feds will actually spend $716 billion on health care.

That’s why Americans needed to see Jim Gray up there, cutting through the nonsense and explaining that Medicare is an inefficient and unjust system that needs to be changed. Americans ought to be able to provide for their health care through voluntary choices, not massive taxation and government spending. But Jim Gray was prohibited from participating.

Paul Ryan loves big government, and he is apparently no longer hiding it. That might be a good thing — after all, Americans deserve to know that Paul Ryan supported the hugely expensive TARP bailouts, GM and Chrysler bailouts, No Child Left Behind Act, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq, 2003 Republican Medicare expansion, and even wasteful ethanol subsidies.

Joe Biden has no interest in protecting civil liberties. He supported the PATRIOT Act and has voted to renew it. He wants to build a Mexican border fence. He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. He has steadfastly supported the War on Drugs.

Both candidates spent lots of time talking about how they wanted to increase or “not cut” military spending. Unfortunately, the millions of Americans who want to cut military spending are left out in the cold. If Libertarian Jim Gray had been there, he could have talked about the benefits of non-interventionism and cutting military spending. But Jim Gray was prohibited from participating.

The Gary Johnson-Jim Gray ticket plan for peace and prosperity is simple: end marijuana prohibition, bring the troops home from Afghanistan tomorrow, and cut spending by 43%. Do those three things, and American job opportunities will flourish.

Wes Benedict, president of LASPAC, served as Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee from 2009 to 2011.

EMAIL from Jill Stein for President

Joe --
Will you be watching the Biden-Ryan vice presidential debate tonight? We will be. And, in our continuing efforts to get Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala into the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) televised debates, we’ll be adding our voice to the conversations happening across the web and demanding to be heard!

Until the debates are open and fair, we won’t see a sincere discussion of fighting to end poverty in America. Or an honest debate of reproductive rights or equal pay for equal work (in fact, gender issues weren’t mentioned even once in last week’s debate).

Join us online tonight at 9pmET/6pmPT!

1. #OccupytheCPD!
Wherever you are online, encourage others to sign-on to the statement demanding fair debates! Here are sample messages:
2. YouTube will be livestreaming all of the debates.
3. Tweet! Use the following hashtags to join the conversation:
4. Facebook Politics will be covering the debate, but your comments anywhere on Facebook during this pivotal time will be important!

Key Messages

Just like last week, say what you will to rebut the flawed policies of the Obama White House and the Romney campaign, but please try to mention Jill Stein’s Green New Deal. Green New Deal. Green New Deal. The more people see that phrase, the more they’ll wonder what it is, and the better chance we have at forcing it into the political discourse!

Beyond that key phrase, here are some other messages relevant to tonight’s debate:

Finally, if you’re near Danville, join Green Party VP candidate Cheri Honkala to Occupy the CPD Vice Presidential Debate at Centre College today! Learn more here.

In solidarity,

Jill Stein for President