Johnson said the federal government wastes money and taxes too much. He said he will create jobs as he did in New Mexico, where he also cut taxes several times. He seeks to make the federal government more hands-off when it comes to civil liberties: “Whether it’s a Republican who wants the government to tell you who to love or a Democrat who wants the government to look through your cellphone, the threat to our civil liberties needs to be stopped by a renewed appreciation for what it means to be free.” As a former governor of a border state, he opposes building a wall to block illegal immigration from Mexico. Instead, he calls for a more efficient work visa system, better background checks and an incentive for undocumented immigrants to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment and assimilate.
Johnson, 63, is running for president on the Libertarian Party line. He was governor of New Mexico for two terms from 1995 to 2003, ending his tenure because of term limits. He ran as the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 2012, after briefly seeking the Republican nomination. Born in Minot, North Dakota, he graduated in 1975 with a political science degree from the University of New Mexico. He founded one of New Mexico’s biggest construction firms and was CEO of a Nevada-based company that produced medical marijuana. He is a triathlete and in 2011 climbed Mount Everest, according to the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World.