After his polling numbers dropped this fall and he was no longer being invited to the debates with other GOP presidential candidates, the probability of former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson's running as the Libertarian Party candidate in 2012 looks a bit more likely.
He's still actively campaigning as a Republican, opening himself up online to people during GOP debates to give them another option to listen to.
In a release from his campaign, he's announced he's making a few stops in Florida next week -- including one in West Palm Beach -- and the language of the announcement makes it sound like he's entertaining the idea of the third-party candidacy.
The fight continues. Tomorrow I head to California to meet with liberty-minded activists and to talk about reforming our failed drug laws. Next week, I will be in Florida to speak to Republican groups, libertarians, and Tea Partiers from Tampa and Clearwater to Miami. And along the way, I am hosting on-line Town Halls that are attracting thousands of viewers and participants.
The audiences may be different, but the message is the same: Get the government out of our personal lives, balance the budget now, get out of wars we shouldn't be fighting or financing, and give Americans the freedom they want and deserve.
That may explain why he's speaking at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel in West Palm Beach at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday -- being hosted by the South Florida Tea Party.
In the South Florida Tea Party's announcement, he's framed as the type of guy who fits the principles the Tea Party movement was founded on:
Gary Johnson has been an outspoken advocate for efficient government, balanced budgets, rational drug policy reform, protection of civil liberties, comprehensive tax reform, and personal freedom. As Governor of New Mexico, Johnson was known for his common sense business approach to governing. He eliminated New Mexico's budget deficit, cut the rate of growth in state government in half, and privatized half of the state prisons. Gov. Johnson became famous for his comment during the Orlando Fox Google Debate where he suggested his neighbor's dog created more "shovel ready" jobs than President Obama.
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According to Johnson's campaign, he'll likely be adding more events around Florida as they're confirmed.