Calling for a “reassessment of American government,” former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) launched his 2012 bid for president Thursday on the steps of the New Hampshire state capitol.
In an email to supporters sent as he officially announced his campaign, the libertarian-leaning former governor promised to “passionately” seek the GOP nomination, expressing confidence that his record of fighting for smaller government in his home state will resonate with voters.
The greatest impediment to a Johnson bid gaining some traction among the GOP’s libertarian faction could be Rep. Ron Paul (Texas). The two share a similar base of support, and if Paul officially gets in the 2012 race, the Texas Republican would likely overshadow Johnson.
Like Paul, Johnson is a fervent opponent of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he rose to national prominence largely as an advocate for marijuana legalization. And unlike Paul, Johnson has made little effort to court the more traditional parts of the Republican Party’s base as he has campaigned in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Additionally, Johnson is not known as a strong fundraiser which could severely limit the scope of his bid.