The Libertarian Party called the winnowing down of the GOP primary field to last man standing Donald Trump “bad news, good news” for supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ohio Gov. John Kasich or other candidates.
Seventeen people are vying to be the Libertarian nominee at the party’s upcoming convention in Orlando on Memorial Day weekend.
Leading the pack is former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who got 1.2 million votes in the 2012 presidential election.
After Kasich left the GOP race on Wednesday, the Libertarian Party sent out a statement noting that while “the bad news” for Cruz and Kasich supporters “is their candidates will not win the GOP nomination, the good news for fiscal conservatives is that the Libertarian presidential nominee—a tax-and-spending-cutter’s dream—is expected to be on the ballot in all fifty states, plus D.C., this November.”
“Libertarians not only campaign to immediately balance the federal budget,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. “We also aim to downsize and eliminate scores of unneeded and unconstitutional federal bureaucracies. The needs these government agencies allege to fulfill are far better served by the private, voluntary sectors of the economy.”
“Libertarians also know that we must do more than just cut spending,” he continued. “We must reduce taxes, or reduce deficit spending, by the amount saved. By moving trillions of dollars out of the bloated, wasteful government sector and back into the productive, private sector, we’ll stimulate massive business investment, which will create millions of desperately needed new jobs.”
“We invite Republicans, who are aghast at the big spending and trade wars they expect from Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, to join the Libertarian Party, support our candidates, and vote Libertarian on November 8.”
The Washington Examiner reported that the party saw a spike in membership applications after Tuesday’s Indiana primary, and party executive director Wes Benedict said in an email to supporters today that “you wouldn’t believe the numbers of inquiries we have gotten.”
Johnson said in a statement Tuesday that Cruz “deserves credit” for the fight he put up against Trump.
“His departure from the race, along with the likely nomination of Hillary Clinton by the Democrats, makes it clear that neither of the two ‘major parties’ will offer voters in November a small government candidate. What they are offering voters are two of the most polarizing candidates in recent history,” the governor said.
“Polarizing as they may be, when the rhetoric is pushed aside, will either of those candidates shrink the government? Will either of them stop the military interventions that are not making us safer? Will either of them stop the government from spying on us citizens? And will either truly bring government spending under control, stop the deficits that are bankrupting us, and get the government off our backs so that Americans can find the jobs they want and put us back on a path to opportunity?” Johnson continued.
“In November, there will be three candidates on the ballot in all 50 states: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Libertarian Party nominee. I hope to be that nominee. With millions of Americans now feeling politically ‘homeless’, a two-term Governor who balanced budgets, cut taxes, cut regulations and truly reduced the size of government may offer the home they are seeking.”
Johnson, meanwhile, came up with his own hashtag to counter Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan:
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) May 4, 2016