Election 2012

2008 Libertarian Party nominee warns of ‘dire necessity’ to defeat Obama

2008 Libertarian Party nominee warns of 'dire necessity' to defeat Obama

Clearly thinking of those planning to vote for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson — or not vote at all — the 2008 Libertarian nominee for president said last week he is supporting Mitt Romney this time because “it is an absolute dire necessity to defeat Barack Obama.”

Four years after he carried the Libertarian presidential standard — and in all likelihood tipped North Carolina’s electoral votes from John McCain to Barack Obama — former Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia told Human Events last week he is back in the Republican fold and strongly supporting Mitt Romney.

“Everyone remotely libertarian has to do what they can to defeat Obama,” Barr told us. “All of the permanent damage that could be done in the next four years trumps all.” Specifically, Barr cited health care, warning that “if Obamacare becomes institutionalized, we are going to end up with a government-run health care system such as in Great Britain and that’s going to mean losing doctors.”

Barr also warned that a second Obama presidency could lead to a greater institutionalization of the federal role in education and what he called “the enhancement of civil liberties abuse that began under the Bush administration.” Specifically, he pointed to the Patriot Act, FISA courts — which oversee suspected foreign agents under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 — and domestic surveillance.

Sounding a theme that resonates with libertarians and supporters of Ron Paul’s late presidential campaign, Barr said “we must stop the erosion of civil liberties in the name of the so-called war on terror.” A former U.S. Attorney and Clinton impeachment manager in the U.S. House, Barr has been closely associated with these issues in recent years through his work with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Barr, who began participating in the Libertarian Party for two years before becoming its presidential nominee, now describes himself as “a capital ‘R’ Republican’ and a small ‘l’ libertarian.” In discussing his journey from and then back to the Republican Party, the Georgian refused to utter anything but kind words about the Libertarian ticket of former New Mexico Gov. Johnson for President and California jurist James P. Gray for vice president. As he told us, “they are a tremendous ticket and champions of liberty. But unfortunately we have a system that has a closed door to a third party. Building a third party is certainly a noble goal and it should be pursued. But given the possibility that a strong showing by (the Libertarian Party) might lead to a second term for Barack Obama, this isn’t the time or place for it.”

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