Updated 09/25/2012 07:48 AM
Possible new Libertarian Party leader speaks at UT
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A presidential hopeful many people have never heard of spoke Monday afternoon at the University of Texas.
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is on the ballot in 47 States as a Libertarian candidate for president.
He’s still fighting to stand on the same stage as President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Johnson filed a lawsuit to be included in upcoming presidential debates, but without a national microphone he's concentrating on getting his message out.
"I did not create one single job as the Governor of New Mexico. The private sector creates jobs,” Johnson said. “I am the only candidate that would abolish the Federal Reserve if Congress would pass the legislation."
Johnson's speech brought a young crowd to UT's Hogg auditorium.
John Jay Myers is running for U.S. Senate as a third party candidate. He made the drive in from Dallas to hear Johnson speak.
"As both parties are kind of letting down, the Ron Paul people, the Libertarian movement is kind of filling in that gap as like a constitutional back up plan," Myers said.
Johnson’s visit comes a few months after Ron Paul drew hundreds to the same spot. With Paul stepping down, many are describing this as a passing of the torch for the Libertarian Party.
"I have been given the opportunity. I am trying to make the most of it, and these are messages that are too important,” Johnson said. “We have a growing police state in this country, we find ourselves in continual war in this country, and we continue to have unsustainable debt and spending."
The former governor says the "broad brush" of values for a Libertarian is being socially accepting and fiscally responsible.
According to his own website, Johnson is pro-choice, anti-big government, pro-immigration and he is an outspoken critic of the war on drugs and favors legalizing marijuana.
This is his only stop in Texas, but he says Austin is a hub for forward-thinking politics. He heads to Berkley, California next.