In an interview by the Albuquerque Journal's Michael Coleman, former Governor of New Mexico and failed 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has stated that he will never seek the Oval Office again.
Between stints of skiing down the mountain at the Taos Ski Valley, Johnson revealed to Coleman that Trump's election has caused him to loose quite a bit of faith in the American political system, causing him to abandon any further attempt to run for office.
Of course, as Johnson and I rode the lifts between runs, we talked a little politics. He vowed to never again run for the presidency, citing a deep disillusionment with an American political system that rewarded Donald Trump with the keys to the White House despite his “dishonesty.”
This doesn't mean that Johnson will be walking away from the American political stage altogether. The former governor still plans to maintain his PAC, as well as assist in the building wave of marijuana legalization.
But while he won’t run for president again, Johnson said that at the urging of several high-profile Americans whom he declined to name, he’ll keep his political action committee, “Our America,” active and stay involved in national policy debates.
Not surprisingly, Johnson said he’s most interested in supporting the momentum for marijuana legalization, especially now that staunchly anti-pot Jeff Sessions is the U.S. Attorney General. Johnson predicted that one day Americans will look back at America’s punitive drug policy with the same regret as alcohol prohibition.
Johnson's race for the White House in 2016 saw something of an unprecedented rise in support by Libertarian standards. Due to the unpopularity of both then Republican candidate Donald Trump, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Johnson saw his star rising to new heights as people were abandoning their typical voting habits and going third party.
However, after embarrassing moments such as his failure to recognize what Aleppo was, and his inability to control his emotions when it came to certain subjects, and the consistent non-Libertarianism his running mate Bill Weld displayed, Johnson became a bad taste in the mouths of too many who came to support him, including his base.
By the end of the election, Johnson was an afterthought, coming in at 4,042,291 votes. While this was much better than his 2012 run, which netted him 1.2 million votes, it wasn't enough to even consider the Libertarian party a threat. The damage done to Johnson's reputation after this election may seal away his presidential aspirations for the future, regardless of whether or not Johnson intends to run again.