After U.S. President Barack Obama gave the final State of the Union address of his presidency on Tuesday, 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson issued a response on his official Tumblr page.
Johnson opened his response by praising Obama’s optimistic tone, but cautioned that he takes issue with “basing that optimism on what government has done over the past 7 years and what President Obama wants it to do in the future.”
The former two-term Republican governor, who now identifies as a member of the Libertarian Party, challenged Obama’s claim that the U.S. economy’s health is beyond question, noting that the national debt, which Johnson says is bankrupting the country, has “doubled on his watch, aided and abetted by Congress.”
Johnson then criticized President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and said that his “promise of better care and lower cost simply isn’t happening.”
“To be fair, there have been steps in the right direction. Meaningful criminal justice reform is taking hold across the nation. More and more governments at all levels are finally seeing the failure of the War on Drugs. But far too many Americans are still being victimized by militarized police and heavy-handed laws,” said Johnson, who also in the same response called Obama “a President whose Administration continues at every turn to dismantle the 4th Amendment, spy on American citizens and plant the government in every aspect of society.”
Johnson summarized his appraisal of the health of the Republic and said, “My assessment of the State of the Union is quite different than President Obama’s, and much simpler. I see a national debt that will hit $20 trillion by the time he leaves office. I see a government that was too big and too overreaching when he took office, and has gotten more so under his watch. And I challenge anyone to show that we are today safer after years of war, failed nation-building abroad and foreign policy chaos.”
The Libertarian Party presidential hopeful concluded by saying that he shares Obama’s optimism, but not because he believes government policies will deliver the nation from its problems, but because he feels “it is clear America is tired of too much government and too little freedom, and appears poised to demand change – a different kind of change than we have gotten over the past 7 years.”
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