In Mich., Gary Johnson talks auto industry & Flint

Liberartian presidential candidate speaks to Detroit Economic Club

Gary Johnson
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaking in Detroit on Sept. 14, 2016.


DETROIT (WOOD) — While Donald Trump visited Flint Wednesday, another presidential candidate was also in Michigan.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson spoke at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel to the Detroit Economic Club, touching on a number of issues.

He had tough criticism for the automotive industry, saying he would not have bailed out Chrysler and General Motors in 2008. He said the companies should have gone into bankruptcy.

“They made horrible choices. They should have been rewarded for making those horrible choices by having gone bankrupt,” Johnson said. “We do have a mechanism for restructuring and it is bankruptcy. I don’t think that Michigan, the auto industry would have died at all. But I think that government interjecting itself in business does, in fact, pick winners and losers.”

Johnson also discussed the Flint water crisis, saying that though he believes in less government as a libertarian, he thinks the water crisis is a case that needs to be addressed by our nation’s leaders.

“It’s absolutely a situation that the government should be involved in,” he said. “Government, I think, has a fundamentally responsibility against those that would do us harm — in this case, pollution. And I support the EPA.”

Many are looking to third-party candidates this election, driving Johnson’s numbers. Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, boasted Wednesday that he and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, are the only third-party candidates who will be on the ballot in all 50 states.

Still, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polling, he has only 9.2 percent of the vote nationwide. He needs at least 15 percent to participate in upcoming presidential debates.

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