Who the heck is Gary Johnson? I'm not going to lie, guys, that's what I thought when I read his name too. In a world where Donald Trump is the (for real) Republican presidential candidate, running against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (the first time in history a former FLOTUS has ever run for POTUS), it can be difficult to remember these two personalities are not the only players in the game. There is a third option, and he is getting a little attention these days. So what is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson's stance on abortion? He recently held an hour long town hall to get down to the nitty gritty (and basically introduce himself to America, since we've all been so completely gobsmacked by the other candidates), so we at least have some sort of idea.
Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, appeared with his running mate Bill Weld during the live town hall meeting for CNN on Wednesday. Johnson decried the two-party system when speaking with CNN's Chris Cuomo, saying; "The two-party system is a two-party dinosaur, and they're about to come in contact with the comet here."
But where does this "comet" stand on the issues that matter most to Americans? Well, when it comes to abortion rights, Johnson says he isn't looking to make any changes.
According to On the Issues (which quoted a 2001 Playboy interview Johnson did with David Sheff), Johnson is pro-choice:
Q: Where do you stand on abortion rights?
A: It should be left up to the woman. If my daughter were pregnant and she came to me and asked me what she ought to do, I would advise her to have the child. But I would not for a minute pretend that I should make that decision for her or any other woman.
Q: But you have supported legislation that requires parental consent and signed a ban on partial birth abortions.
A: I think the decision can be made at an earlier stage. That's why I don't support partial birth abortions. I realize it's a fine line, but I generally come down on a woman's right to decide.
Johnson reiterated his initial stance in his town hall meeting on Wednesday. When asked about his stance on abortion, Johnson told voters, "We're not looking to change the law of the land in any way."
He felt that the Republicans had made a bad choice and "alienated a lot of people" when they criticized Planned Parenthood. But aside from that, Johnson was generally pretty careful to avoid the mud-slinging he and his running mate feel has become the cornerstone of American politics and are choosing not to engage: "It's almost like the parties exist more for the purpose of slandering each other than they do for having constructive approaches to legislation," Weld said. "We like to think we're going to be the third way."
While it is noble for the two Libertarians to take the high road, they're going to have to try out some pretty fancy footwork if they hope to galvanize voters before the election.