During the 2016 presidential campaign, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson made headlines as the quirky, marijuana-friendly, third-party candidate outspoken about his criticism of then-rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, continued that criticism Wednesday during his first public interview since the controversial November election with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast”, siding with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in their ongoing conflict with President Trump.
“I think they’re spot on,” he said. “The fact that Trump is acting crazy, is that the role of the outsider? Or is that just being crazy? I think the two of them are saying it’s being crazy, and I’m in that camp.”
Corker and Flake – both of whom have announced decisions to not seek re-election – have criticized the president for some of his policies and unpredictable behavior.
Trump responded in kind, lashing out at the Republican senators for their refusal to unconditionally support him, tweeting that “the reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!”
“We are becoming a country that’s becoming concerned, at least when it comes to Donald Trump, more concerned with safety,” Johnson said. “And I think that comes under the guise of just ‘Look, I want to get re-elected because I’m going to keep you safe.’”
Part of the reason Johnson said he sides with Corker and Flake in the GOP infighting is because of Trump’s lack of transparency as the president -- particularly reneging on campaign promises. A keystone of Trump’s campaign platform was to reduce the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, but instead, he doubled down in the country, Johnson said.
“I would love to see transparency go along with diminishing the size of the federal government, but there’s no transparency to go along with this other than Twitter,” he said. “And it’s not being transparent, it’s just being inflammatory.”
Johnson lauded the president however for his tax cut efforts -- a key position during Johnson’s role at the helm of New Mexico leadership and in his 2016 presidential platform. The GOP tax cut plan, so far, purports to reduce taxes primarily for the middle class and corporations, reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%.
Last week, for the first time ever, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied above the 23,000-mark -- a historical moment that experts largely attribute to the business-friendly tax cuts proposed by the Trump administration.
“I do think we’ll get tax cuts,” Johnson said. “I do think this is going to happen. In the short-term years, the US stock market is the place to be.”