Inside the Beltway: America's third party: Libertarians poised to 'seize this opportunity'

Polls and press coverage reveal that Americans have a real hankering for a third party as the presidential election season drags on The Libertarian Party is happy to fill the bill the national organization has revamped its website and voter outreach and will stage a splashy convention next month in Florida

Polls and press coverage reveal that Americans have a real hankering for a third party as the presidential election season drags on. The Libertarian Party is happy to fill the bill; the national organization has revamped its website and voter outreach and will stage a splashy convention next month in Florida.

Its leading presidential candidates are getting noticed. Gary Johnson, technology entrepreneur John McAfee and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen made a robust showing at an initial Fox Business Network forum last week, moderated by prime-time host John Stossel, complete with live audience.

Part 2 aired Friday night. The second confrontation featured questions from Fox personalities Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Juan Williams and Andrew Napolitano. The three candidates answered questions about nuts and bolts matters important to voters - including job creation.

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“When I was governor of New Mexico, I didn’t create a single job, Government doesn’t create jobs. The private sector creates jobs. But government can create a level playing field, and I think I contributed to that,” Mr. Johnson said.

See the conversation here

Mr. Stossel, meanwhile, agrees that the Libertarian Party is ramping up its efforts in concert with voter dissatisfaction.

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“They sure are,” he tells Inside the Beltway, citing ElectionBettingOdds.com, a website that currently reveals that the inevitable favorites are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“Both want to limit our freedom. Hillary wants to micromanage every inch of life, and police the world. Donald wants to punish me for buying things from foreigners, or having the wrong religion. I want to be left mostly free, and all the libertarian candidates want to do that, and all would be better than the major party front-runners,” Mr. Stossel declares.

“As the race heats up, more, now than ever, Americans are looking for someone who represents their beliefs,” the candidate Mr. Petersen, a pro-life Libertarian, tells the Beltway. “In rejecting the major party front-runners, third parties, such as the Libertarian Party, have an excellent chance to be more relevant than ever, and it is important that we seize this opportunity.”

FOR THE LEXICON

“Soft utopia”

— Term coined by former diplomat and author Todd Huizinga to describes the current state of the European Union. Mr. Huizinga explains all at a Hudson Institute forum Friday; yes, C-SPAN will be there at 10 a.m. EDT.

CRUZ BUT NO TRUMP AT GOP JEWISH SUMMIT

Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual spring leadership meeting this weekend begins Friday at the fabulous Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas; the site is owned by Republican philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, a man who donated $90 million to the GOP cause during the 2012 presidential race.

“A terrific weekend of politics, policy and poker. Attendees will have the opportunity to shake hands, ask questions, and be heard by some of the country’s leading politicians, policymakers and influential leaders,” organizers advise attendees.

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