Who Is Gary Johnson? And Why Is the GOP So Mad at Him?

Time

As soon as libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson rolls up to the restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., his driver, Tom Mahon, jumps out of his seat and hands me a Sharpie. Mahon says that as a libertarian, he wants me to sign the campaign vehicle wherever I like and write whatever I like. So just below Johnson’s head, I write, “I didn’t do this,” and draw an arrow toward the mustache, beard and marijuana cigarette already on Johnson’s face. Being a true libertarian means driving around in a van with graffiti on your face.

Johnson isn’t one of those incapable, extremist, wacky, millionaire third-party candidates. He is extremist: he wants to abolish the IRS, legalize marijuana and allow the private sector to create competing currencies. Sure, he’s a little wacky: he’s finished 75 triathlons, climbed Mount Everest eight weeks after breaking his leg in a skiing accident and crashed while paragliding. And yeah, he’s a millionaire: in 1999 he got $10 million for a handyman business he started his junior year of college and built into a 1,000-employee construction firm.

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