ORLANDO — Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson went up against four other candidates Saturday night vying for the Libertarian Party nomination at the party’s National Convention.
The two hour debate did not see any personal attacks as in previous debates, but Johnson found himself the subject of rounds of jeers.
The crowd first booed Johnson after he was asked a question about climate change and the effects on the environment. Johnson said he wasn’t sure what the cause was, but that the coal industry was bankrupt due to free market ideals. The crowd showed their loud disapproval of Johnson’s stance that doesn’t quite fit with their ideas of Libertarian ideals.
Johnson received more boos when he advocated for forcing people to have some sort of license to drive a car and when he said he would vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1984.
In his closing remarks, Johnson said he wants to help get the party to the national stage.
“I thought my marching orders were to grow the Libertarian Party,” Johnson said in reference to his last run for president in 2012.
“I’d like to fill up your current weekly meeting in the tree house and have it in an auditorium,” Johnson said.
Topics in the debate included transgender rights, eliminating taxes and reducing government involvement in both personal issues and businesses. In terms of crowd excitement Johnson and media entrepreneur Austin Petersen seemed to get the majority of the cheers of support.
When answering a question about United States borders, Petersen took a jab at both presumtive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders.
“I’d like to build a wall around Donald Trump and make Bernie Sanders pay for it,” Petersen said.
In his closing statement, McAfee reiterated a point he’s made through the convention. He used a train metaphor and implied the party is headed down a path of statuss quo and that he intended to disrupt it.
“My goal is to derail this train and build a new track,” McAfee said.
A notable line from Dr. Marc Allan Feldman came when he was asked about his thoughts on the United Nations.
“It keeps track of what everyone’s doing and tells us who are our friends are,” Feldman said. “It’s also a waste of time.”
Delegates are scheduled to cast their votes on Sunday, which could be a lengthy process. A candidate must have 51 percent of the delegates’ votes in order to win
After each round of votes, the candidate with the least amount of support is dropped from the ballot and the process starts over.