Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson was among the Republican presidential candidates excluded from last week’s CNN debate in Manchester, NH.
In this YouTube video, Johnson responds to the all of the questions posed to fellow candidates during the June 13, 2011 Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, sounding off on coal fired power plants, space exploration, food safety, the ethanol tax credit and, strangely, the long-term threat posed by the sun.
Gary Johnson on coal fired power plants
As Governor of the State of New Mexico, I think businesses went to sleep knowing that they weren’t going to have needless regulation or fees piled on to the business they conducted. As a result of that, there was certainty in New Mexico.
As an example, right now, the coal industry. We’re not building any new coal fired plants because of the uncertainty over carbon emissions. Eliminate that uncertainty and I think that you’re looking at hundreds of thousands of jobs, just in being able to build coal fired electrical generation facilities.
Gary Johnson on the future of space exploration
I don’t want to trivialize this response, but long-term – and by long term I mean over the course of millions and billions of years – the sun is going to get closer to the Earth and at a point the Earth will not be inhabitable. So the long-term survival of the human race depends on us being able to go to other planets, to actually inhabit other planets.
So in that context, but given the budgetary consequence, I’m believing that government needs to be cut by 43 percent, because that’s the amount of money we’re borrowing and printing for every dollar that we’re spending. In that context, the space program at this point needs to be reduced by 43 percent.
Gary Johnson on food safety
Look, things happen in this world and when it comes to food safety, we’re going to have incidents of food safety. We’re going to have incidents where people get sick or die from food in the system.
That the FDA, that we spend millions and millions and millions of dollars on the FDA, the notion that they are going to prevent these kinds of things from happening across the board. I think that’s government. That’s the fear that we have, that if we don’t spend money on these issues that we’re going to have these issues. And the reality is that we do have these issues.
Government should be setting standards. Government should be providing an oversight or enforcement for those companies that would be bad actors in this environment. But so much of what happens isn’t bad acting. It’s genuinely accidents that do occur. So the notion of adding more money is not going to do away with these problems in the future.
Gary Johnson on the ethanol tax
I support abolishing ethanol tax subsidies. To my knowledge, it takes more energy to produce ethanol than what it produces. And if that’s not the case, then it ought to be able to stand on its own two feet in a free market system…