Chattanooga newspaper endorses Gary Johnson for President
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In its Wednesday (Oct. 24) edition, the editorial board for the Chattanooga Free Press gave the nod to the Libertarian Party candidate, writing that the former two-term governor of New Mexico “offers the best plan to restore the values of limited government, personal freedom and free markets that made America the greatest country in the world.”
Johnson’s reaction? “That really is cool,” he told Capitol Report New Mexico over the telephone Wednesday afternoon.
The newspaper has an unusual setup. It runs two editorial pages, one staunchly liberal — under the banner of the Chattanooga Times — and another that is solidly conservative — called the Chattanooga Free Press — and together the newspaper is distributed under the name of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The paper has a daily circulation of 70,000 and a Sunday circulation of 95,000. In 2002, the Tennessee Press Association named the Times Free Press as the best newspaper in the state.
In Wednesday’s endorsement, the Free Press editorial board scolded President Obama for “government spending, unsustainable bailouts and stimulus schemes” and rapped Republican nominee Mitt Romney as “too flawed” to earn the editorial board’s support.
“Some may argue that voting for a minor party candidate is a waste of a vote,” the endorsement said. “While Johnson won’t win on Nov. 6, the more votes Johnson receives, the more the Republican and Democratic parties are forced to consider adopting his policies. Voting for Johnson is the most effective way to inject the ideas of liberty and limited government into the political mainstream.”
“We’re seeing this gigantic momentum going on,” Johnson said. “What we’re seeing is this thing is doubling every day now, whether it’s coming from newspapers or e-mails or faxes. I don’t know how it equates to votes but it’s a real snowball. Regardless of the size of the snowball, the snowball is growing every day. Maybe the snowball is 1 percent [of the vote], maybe it’s more.”
Past Libertarian Party candidates have been more like a snow flake than a snowball, having never received more than 1.1 percent of the vote in a presidential election and that came back in 1980.
Shut out of the three presidential debates with Obama and Romney, Johnson appeared on Tuesday night in Chicago with other third-party candidates for the highest office in the land and drew some attention for telling voters watching the debate on C-SPAN to “waste your vote on me.”
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