In a town hall with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson once again proved not only that he shouldn’t be the choice of young voters in this election, but also that he isn’t qualified to be president.
The former New Mexico governor, accompanied by running mate Bill Weld, discussed a wide range of issues, but it was one answer that should give young voters pause, particularly if they are thinking of casting a ballot for Johnson.
When asked by Matthews how he would address the staggering level of college debt faced by so many young adults, Johnson offered a two-pronged response: 1. Student loans are bad; 2. Students should boycott college until the cost of tuition goes down.
Yes, fellow young voters, that’s his solution.
Johnson also showed (again) that he doesn’t have a deep knowledge of foreign policy. When the MSNBC host asked him to name a current world leader that he respects, the Libertarian nominee couldn’t do it.
Here’s the video— Gary Johnson says he’s having an “Aleppo moment” when he can’t name a world leader he respects: https://t.co/7oRLTW5Jep
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 28, 2016
This isn’t the only time Johnson has totally blanked on a foreign policy-related question. Earlier this month, Johnson was asked about Aleppo, a Syrian city central to the refugee crisis, and his response was, “What is Aleppo?”
Also during the town hall, Johnson was asked by a questioner if he would protect Planned Parenthood from Republican funding cuts, and he essentially said, “Nope.” As president, he instead promises to slash the organization’s funds by 20 percent.
Planned Parenthood, of course, provides health services to millions of people each year. It’s particularly useful for young people when it comes to providing annual exams, access to contraceptives, and other vital programs.
Gary Johnson may be doing a good job of appealing to millennial voters by repeatedly emphasizing his support of marriage equality and pot legalization, but his other proposals – which arguably have more impact on young people than social issues – should make them think again.
The candidate that many young liberals are flirting with as an alternative to Hillary Clinton is a man whose understanding of foreign policy seems to be comparable to Donald Trump’s; a man whose plan to relieve student loan debt amounts to “you’re on your own”; a man whose plan to fight climate change is to ignore it; a man who wants to cut an organization on which millions of people rely.
Donald Trump certainly won’t be getting the support of many young voters this fall, but neither should Gary Johnson. Every time he gets in front of a camera, he shows us why.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.