DETROIT — “Be libertarian with me.”
That was the theme of presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s rally at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan on Friday. The Libertarian Party nominee jogged onto the stage in his jeans and sneakers to highlight key issues such as immigration, gay rights, abortion, Black Lives Matter, taxes, and health care while also jabbing at his opponents.
“I think Trump is toast,” Johnson said. “And Hillary was cruising along until today. We have an opportunity to win.”
Johnson, who described himself as the “honorable alternative to Trump,” challenged his supporters to recognize that he is the most qualified candidate for the presidency based on principle and experience. In a direct strike against Republican and Democratic presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Johnson announced he believes he is the only honest presidential candidate.
“If there’s one thing in life that resonates all the time, it’s telling the truth,” he said. “If there’s one unforgivable, it’s hypocrisy.”
When discussing the economy, Johnson promised taxes would not go up if he is elected. He also encouraged supporters to engage in entrepreneurship and promote the sharing economy, because it is the future of the free market.
“Apply whatever you know, whatever you do, entrepreneurially,” Johnson said. “There will never be anything better you do than create your own job and jobs for others.”
Johnson also condemned Trump’s immigration policy and said we should be embracing Mexican immigrants and making it as easy as possible for them to get work visas. Because Mexico is our neighbor, Johnson said he thinks the U.S. should develop economic ties with Mexico.
He ended his speech by reminding voters that as president of the United States, he would have an “open door after four,” referring to a policy he enacted while governor of New Mexico in which he welcomed constituents and heard their opinions and complaints.
Johnson then personally greeted and conversed with supporters, who chanted, “We love Gary.”
“Johnson represents what we believe in, which is minimum government and maximum freedom,” said Jim Wallace, the Great Lakes Region Director for the campaign.
One couple from Pontiac, Michigan, Randy and Debbie Warnick, said they didn’t vote in the Republican primary and have been supporting Johnson since he announced his candidacy in January.
“I like him because of his honesty,” Debbie Warnick said.
Johnson reminded supporters that regardless of the election’s outcome, no one will be able to ignore the discontent that has erupted from voters this election cycle.
“Our job as libertarians is to present a third choice,” Johnson said. “We won in this election. Take that away from tonight.”