Gary Johnson has abandoned his bid to
become the presidential nominee of the Republican Party and has
joined the Libertarian Party.
The former two-term New Mexico governor
announced on Wednesday that he would seek the Libertarian nomination
Johnson described the decision as both
difficult and easy in a statement and pledged to bring a “libertarian
voice” to the 2012 race.
In previous remarks, Johnson, whose low
polling numbers have locked him out of all but 2 Republican debates,
said the anti-gay rhetoric of some candidates in the Republican Party
played a part in his decision to reconsider his membership.
“I've been in the
Republican Party my entire life,” Johnson told gay glossy The
Advocate. “And I don't feel like I'm leaving the
Republican Party as much as the party is leaving me.”
“I don't think
I'm different than a lot of Americans, in that when you grow up,
there's a negative prejudice built against gays. You're just
bombarded by it,” Johnson said. “And then, in my life, I've come
to find out that I have friends who are gay. And it makes me feel
horrible that I would in any way potentially add to discrimination
against them. Every single candidate talks about equality, freedom,
liberty: Doesn't that all start with a person's right to conduct
their own lives as they see fit?”
endorsed gay marriage during an online town hall with Jimmy LaSalvia,
a co-founder and executive director of gay GOP group GOProud.
Johnson previously supported civil unions for gay and lesbian
During a news
conference to announce his decision at the Capitol building in Santa
Fe, New Mexico, Johnson said: “I am excited. I am liberated.”