Former Governor Gary Johnson Joins Presidential Race

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) declared his candidacy for President Thursday morning, adding a libertarian voice to the emerging GOP field.

Dubbing himself a "fix-it man" for America, Johnson announced his run from the New Hampshire statehouse.

"America needs a 'President Veto' right now - someone who will say 'no' to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington," he said in a press statement. "That's why I am here today to announce that I'm running for President of the United States. And I don't do so lightly."

Johnson has gained the most attention so far for his strong opposition to America's drug laws and he mentioned the "drug crisis" in passing in his announcement. His newly-launched 2012 website prominently features "Drug Policy Reform" as one of four core parts of his platform, with a large section promoting the legalization of marijuana, suggesting the issue will play a major role in his campaign.

While many candidates have admitted to experimenting with drugs in their youth, Johnson turned heads when he said in a recent interview that he smoked medicinal marijuana from 2005 to 2008 to help cope with back pain. His take on drugs has earned him some contempt in conservative circles: CPAC organizers cut off a pro-legalization address from Johnson at their most recent convention mid-speech.

An avid outdoorsman, Johnson's website spends almost as much time recounting his travel and sports achievements as it does his tenure as governor. A section labeled "Personal Accomplishments" includes entries like "Scaled the highest peaks of 4 continents, including Everest" and "Competed in the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 25 mile desert run in combat boots wearing a 35 pound backpack."

After his announcement, he'll remain in New Hampshire for the next few days to hike and ski while courting supporters.


Former Governor Gary Johnson Joins Presidential Race Republished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Benjy Sarlin. Photo via AP. TPM provides breaking news, investigative reporting and smart analysis of politics.