The anti-endorsements of Libertarian Party presidential candidates

Over the last few days, people have been commenting about various endorsements for Libertarian Party presidential candidates. While one can learn something about a candidate by these endorsements, one can also learn from who is criticizing the candidates.

Former Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate Chris Bennett provides the latest published criticism of Wayne Allyn Root I’ve seen:

Next is the oh so arrogant Wayne Allyn Root. I dislike him; he’s like a used car salesman selling a lemon. He’s just another conservative trying to hijack the LP. A Root nomination will effectively destroy the LP. Mr. Root can not see that the LP is NOT a wing of the “Torture” party. Libertarians aren’t conservatives and if you can’t see that, just leave the party-wait I’ll help you pack your bags.

If you think Bennett doesn’t like Root, check out how the Moderate Voice feels about Bob Barr:

However, some of his more recently adopted platform planks from the Libertarian party will likely give pause to that same group of people.

reduce the cost of the occupation of Iraq by beginning the process of removing the security blanket from the Iraqi regime: This is not even a thinly veiled message. It is a clear statement that Barr intends to begin pulling us out of Iraq. McCain and the Republicans are too heavily invested in the Iraq war to show any sign of support for this, and it will have the scent of the Democrats on it. That’s a big non-starter right there in terms of stealing a lot of McCain’s votes. The anti-war Republicans are probably already supporting Ron Paul and will likely shift over to the Democrats in November.

return respect for habeas corpus; reinstate the rule of law: This one takes a bit more parsing, but not much. It ties into the entire “war on terror” mantra among GOP supporters, and suggesting that Habeas Corpus is important is most always translated into “going easy on the terrorists.” This, again, will be spun up as being a Democratic initiative, turning off the base.

stop the warrantless surveillance of American citizens; and remedy the abuses of the Patriot Act: Again, this ties into the war on terror. Republican supporters are married to the full enforcement of the Patriot act, often displaying an attitude of willingness to trade personal liberty for national security, much to the dismay of the Democrats. It’s a talking point straight out of the playbook of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and will not endear Barr to the national security Republicans.

And from a different part of the interview:

I believe it’s important to turn that decision [marijuana laws] back to the states. If California voters decide in a referendum to recommend the use of medical marijuana, it should be respected by the federal government.:

The war on drugs, much like the war on terror, is strictly a GOP stomping ground. It ties in strongly to the old “pot smoking smelly hippy” pictures which conservatives like to paint when speaking of liberals. This is another non-starter for Barr in terms of sniping McCain’s November supporters.

Here’s an additional anti-endorsement
of Barr.

Here’s HuffPo on Mike Gravel:

Mike Gravel may not have ended up contributing too much to the Democratic primaries, but if there was one achievement where Gravel led all comers by a million miles, it was the production of amazingly insane campaign videos. Delightful in direct proportion to the extent to which they were ill-advised, no one quite hit the vein of surreal, madcap agitprop quite like Gravel. Well, now that he’s officially dumped the Dems for the Libertarians, the guy is free to continue his tradition of making the most retina-searing YouTubes in history.

Chuck Muth (on a variety of websites) provides his thoughts about Mary Ruwart:

Back in 1999, Ruwart wrote a book titled “Healing the World.” In it she responds to the following question: “How can a libertarian argue against child pornography?” Here’s Ruwart’s “thoughtful” response:

“Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life.”

So children lured into the world of kiddie porn are simply making “poor choices”? This woman is nuts. However, that book was written long ago, so maybe Ms. Ruwart has had time to reflect on her stupidity and now embraces a more sane position on this issue. So she was asked about it again at the April 26 Indiana Libertarian Party Convention. Ruwart’s response:

“(B)ans on child pornography are like bans on drugs and prostitution. They don’t work. They only make a bad situation worse.”

How in the hell do you make child pornography “worse”? It’s one thing to defend the right of consenting ADULTS to engage in various activities which many in the population find objectionable, but CHILDREN? What a loon!

UPDATE: Tom Knapp just weighed in on this general issue here.

Last, but not least, (presumably) Christine Smith just lost the potential endorsement of L. Neil Smith:

Another potential candidate has already sacrificed my possible endorsement by congratulating these two cretins on their press release.

For additional criticism of additional Libertarian Party presidential candidates, be sure to read Chris Bennett’s article.

39 Responses to “The anti-endorsements of Libertarian Party presidential candidates”

  1. Steve Newton Says:

    My problem with this post is that from a Libertarian perspective the segment on Barr (the most extensive) actually reads like and endorsement, whereas the others are at least Libertarian critiques of Libertarian candidates, whether one agrees or not.

    To be honest, the whole post reads like a puff piece for Barr.

    In addition, I’m sure (given the comments I’ve seen on TPW) that there are also plenty of criticisms of George Phillies out there. By leaving him (and to some extent Kubby) out of the article, this essentially relegates them to second-rate status. I don’t think either one deserves that treatment.

    Finally, the Ruwart segment is really problematic. Everyone reading TPW already knows about the age of consent issue and has an opinion. At this point (even though she’s not my candidate) this treatment merits the term “smear,” especially as she now has out papers on education, health care, terrorism etc., that should all be fair game.

    All in all I found this disappointing.

  2. Stephen Gordon Says:


    I tried to find the most recent criticisms I could of all of the candidates. For your sake, I just linked another recent one of Barr. :)

    Other than Bennett’s piece, I didn’t find any recent criticism of the other candidates—which is why I linked it twice.

    There was some old stuff about Phillies and Gene Chapman, but it was very old news.

    Did you expect me to link something negative to all 20 gazillion LP hopefuls? :)

  3. Trent Hill Says:

    Steve Newton,

    If Mary’s “age of consent” problem is a big enough issue—it should be returned to time and time again.

    And it is.

  4. NewFederalist Says:

    Stephen Gordon- any word on when (or if) Rep. Barr is going to make it official?

  5. ElfNinosMom Says:

    Ah yes, my favorite nemesis Gene Chapman. Apparently my old blog on his wacky LP campaign has entered the realm of “performance art”, according to Susan Hogarth. Perhaps one day, libertarians will gather in smoky bars and coffee houses across this great land, for midnight readings of the anti-Gene blog. ;-)

    More seriously …. Gene suddenly and without warning nuked his campaign blogs and dropped out of the race over a year ago – coincidentally due to comments on my blog (and probably his as well) accusing him of behavior not dissimilar to that discussed in the controversial Ruwart statement – so he’s no longer a candidate (and never was a serious candidate anyway). For that reason, you are very unlikely to find anything current about Gene’s campaign

  6. Steve LaBianca Says:

    From Chuck Muth’s article
    “Libertarian Fringe Comes Unhinged

    Chuck Muth

    (It’s pretty apparent that MR. MUTH has come unhinged)

    But just like the Democrats and Republicans this year, the Libertarians simply will not be satisfied unless it blows its opportunity not to blow its opportunity. (True, if the party nominates a “non-libertarian”)

    In addition to Barr, the LP faithful will have a number of other candidates to choose from at their convention in Denver later this month. One is Wayne Allyn Root, an exceptionally telegenic and energetic personality who has captured the imagination if not the full support of party regulars who see the opportunity presented by Barr heading up their ticket. It’s a long-shot, but Root could still win the nomination. If so, at least the party wouldn’t be embarrassed by his candidacy. (full support my . . . elbow!)

    (I guess if for the general election, which includes “conservatives” who are less than satisfied with McCain, W.A.R. turning up the “islamo-fascist” rhetoric wouldn’t be embarrassing at all to Libertarians!)

    I mean, it’s not like the guy embraces kiddie porn. (But, allegedly Mary Ruwart does)

    Alas, the same can’t be said of an old LP warhorse radical named Mary Ruwart who is also seeking the LP presidential nomination. Back in 1999, Ruwart wrote a book titled “Healing the World.” In it she responds to the following question: “How can a libertarian argue against child pornography?” Here’s Ruwart’s “thoughtful” response:

    (First, someone so well researched as M. Muth (LOL!), you would think that he knows that Healing Our World was first published in 1993, then revised in 2003, and “Short Answers was first published in 1998, which the passage is taken from – pg 43 . . . nice, accurate research Chuck)

    “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life.” (Is there anything in this passage about child porn? No, but Muth has his mind reading skills honed today!)

    (Ms. Ruwart has clarified this extremely well, in that pre-pubescent “children don’t “willingly participate in sexual acts”)

    If Ms. Ruwart is guilty of anything here, it is for not clarifying in a SHORT ANSWER that the word “children” encompasses a wide spectrum of young people from newborn infants, up to the legal limit of “minors”, 18 years of age. Shame on you Mary! How dare you espouse that fully (physically, and many psychologically so) developed young adults have the right, no less MAKE THE DECISION to have sex at the age of 15, 16 or 17!

    Chuck Muth ought to get off his high horse of social conservatism morality. I wonder if he chastises any friends or family for even considering having sex before the state says OK? Maybe Mr. Muth had his “juices flowing” before he was 16. If so, that’s OK, in the world according to Chuck Muth.

    And though Mary doesn’t excuse child pornographers, the reality
    (as she points out) of any black market industry IS the fact that the risks cause the prices to go way up. This passage has been totally misunderstood by Muth and many others as an support for something which, frankly is subject to market forces just like everything else.

    Muth goes on to say:
    “How in the hell do you make child pornography “worse”? It’s one thing to defend the right of consenting ADULTS to engage in various activities which many in the population find objectionable, but CHILDREN? What a loon!”
    (Just invoke the word “children” and all rationality goes out the window)

    So, Muth thinks that a black market in child pornography, with all the trimmings associated with “illegal” activity, the murders, the turf wars and all the associated violence that goes with it, isn’t “worse”? Just like backalley abortions isn’t worse than clean facilities to perform them? Just like all the violence which is a direct result of the war on drugs isn’t worse than the drugs themselves?

    If he thinks it’s the same, then he is simply a social conservative who wants the state to regulate all behavior if it doesn’t fit his mold of proper, Muthlike behavior.

  7. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. Trent Hill Says:
      May 5th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Steve Newton,

    “If Mary’s “age of consent” problem is a big enough issue—it should be returned to time and time again.

    And it is.”

    Since Mary has clarified her position several times, Trent, you and those who want to return to the issue “time and time again” will only make the “Beating a dead horse” advocates (like yourself) look bad. So, I say keep it coming!

  8. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    I’m beginning to think the best way out of this whole attempt to blackmail the LP using Ruwart’s “age of consent” writings is some good old Cold War logic—Mutual Assured Destruction, LP-style.

  9. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Steve (and some others),

    It’s not always very clear when you are quoting and when you are adding original comment – especially when you intersperse comments within a longer quote.

    There are a few basic tags you can use to make your replies (with the quoted bits) much more effective. A short intro can be found here:

  10. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear

    Bobarr is not going to announce until AFTER the convention so he can get this one right. Then he will run away with Christine Smith. see below.

    George Phillies has his hand up Ruwarts backside moving her mouth while not moving his. His act (fake debates) plays well in Arkansas. Dr. Phill has small hands.

    Wayne Root has great hair, smiles a lot. Root’s mouth does move a lot, an awful lot. Talks so fast no one can understand what he’s saying if anything. Harmless talking head. American’s will probably love him.

    Ruwart: Fun date, bad president..Thinks Root and Smith are prudes.

    Kubby: who? Nolan’s hand is getting tired moving Kubby’s mouth on those video’s. It’s Nolan’s voice on the video’s. They play it real slow so you won’t know Kubby died months ago from an infection caused by Nolan’s hand. Think weekend at Bernies.

    Gravel: What’s the guy on? High on life. While he has it.

    Jingoszian: Real Buzz Kill. Secretly loves Imperato. They go everywhere together. Very poor, makes campaign staff dress out of Goodwill and eat left overs off his plate.

    Imperato is disgusted with Jingozian’s advances and foot worship. He worships the feet of the pope. Loves those little white slippers with the sparklies on them.

    Smith: Openly loves Root, wants his kids. But will settle to be Barr’s fourth try. They already have a trailer tucked away on blocks on Gordon’s farm.

    the Nolan: forgot to file his paperwork. Will settle for ED job and will be fired within a week for failing to clear his rants about the Nolanites failure to tiithe. Will dig up Kubby to have someone to spend time with.

    Jim Burns: Moses wandering the desert. He’s only in year one of the Exodus. Long walk talking to himself.

    Robert Milnes: certifiable nut case without money would take the ED job but Nolan already claimed it. Will probably be drafted to be Ruwarts vp.

    Shane Cory: will return as LNC chair and fire Nolan.

    Steve Gordon: Found a sole mate with Barr. Smith has wrecked his dream ticket with the Barr scandle. He secretly loves Bobarr.

    If we have left anyone out please feel free to work you fingers to the bone ranting all about it. We will make clarifications as required.

    the committee. ...that was fun… I loved the Kubby stuff…me too.

  11. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I know, I just haven’t had (taken actually) the time to get this right. Thanks for the link Susan.

  12. Susan Hogarth Says:


    Just learn one tag – the italics one. You – and we – will be much happier! You’ve seen how carelessly some folks read, so anythign you can do to make it obvious to them what you’re trying to say is all to the good :)

  13. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear
    Susan spanks LaBianaca and he likes it.

    Tom, “cold war” Knapp, gets it’s but too late; the war is over. He wants to be the Nolan. But denies it of course. He’s a meanie.

    the committee. That Susan is being very firm with Steve…yes she is…hmmm.

  14. David F. Nolan Says:

    Ummm, like him or not, I don’t think it’s even close to being true to say that Barr is “steamrolling his way to the nomination.” The “conservative” wing of the party is split between Barr and Root, and Root is showing surprising strength. And whoever wins that contest will have to face off against someone (Ruwart? Kubby?) on the final ballot. Right now, I’d give Barr about a 1/3 chance of winning the nomination. Of course, as we’ve seen from the events of the past week, things can change in a hurry!

  15. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    There is no Nolan but the Nolan, and I am not his prophet. However, if I can profit from being his prophet, I will certainly submit a resume and make myself available for an interview pursuant to filling the position.

    However, deep in my heart of hearts I am holding out for the election of a Libertarian president and my subsequent appointment as governor of American Samoa. I’ve already purchased several white linen suits and a pith helmet so as to be prepared for a quick move to the palace, and have alerted the staff to stock up on quinine, Old Crow and retired Vegas showgirls in anticipation of my arrival.

    Everyone likes being spanked by Susan, especially when she wears the PVC Catwoman suit.

    Yrs vry sncrly,
    Rev. Thomas L. Knapp, D. Litt.

  16. Committee for Clarity Says:

    To be clear

    The Knappster has a sense of humor! Yea!

    the committee for clarity is smiling.

    ...does Susan really have a cat woman suit…too terrible to imagine…sorry.

  17. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear

    The Nolan speaks.

    Very impressive, insightful and forgive us not really clear your imaginative one. Does the Nolan have a source for this insight or is this speculation from the sweat lodge magnificent one?
    We will be challenged by the mulitude of Nolanite-novitiates for more clarity.

    the committee. it when the Nolan talks mean politics…no dirty… whatever.

  18. Doug Craig Says:

    I do not think Root and Barr are battling out for the same people. If you like what Root brings to the table (press,money, ablitilty to debate ) you get alot more of that with Barr. I believe It will be Barr versus Ruwart. I could be surprised by Phillies ( who I believe has one the best organized campaigns actually I would say the best).

    Who on this list that is going considers Root thier guy ? I believe a Barr/ Ruwart would be a great ticket. We would have some one that get us the Press we need and we would have a “pure ’ as VP to preach the hard core stuff.

  19. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear

    Doug writes
    “Who on this list that is going considers Root thier guy ? I believe a Barr/ Ruwart would be a great ticket. We would have some one that get us the Press we need and we would have a “pure ’ as VP to preach the hard core stuff.”

    poor choice of words regarding Ruwart working with Barr as “pure” VP to preach the “hard core stuff”. LOL!

    We agree! a Barr Ruwart ticket sounds like best idea we’ve seen. What a combo that will make…lol But BoBarr won’t announce till after the convention. Don’t you read Doug.

    the committee
    ... i’m laughing so hard I can’t think straight…neither can Doug…where’s this guy been? probably smelling Hogarth’s cat suit… I get it like cat nip…yeah like cat nip…geesh.

  20. Brent Burk Says:

    Admin, did you delete my post?

  21. comedy man Says:

    Robert Milnes: certifiable nut case without money would take the ED job

    Milnes has erectile dysfunction??

  22. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    If “Moderate Voice” can find any democrat that is opposed to torture, or stupid wars, I have yet to hear of them.

    Does the “Muth-er” really believe anybody would be better off if Miley Cyrus and her parents weren’t allowed to make their own decisions?


  23. Gene Berkman Says:

    I don’t expect the Libertarian Party to follow my advice and reject all these would be candidates, each with their own specific problems. But NOTA means to me that I can be an active Libertarian, and refuse to vote for someone if by doing so I show that I have no standards that are worth upholding.

  24. Dylan Waco Says:

    In defense of Mr. Gordon, the second anti-Barr piece was written by yours truly, and it was in no way positive.

  25. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Uh, Gene, that last part of the last sentence didn’t make any sense. The rest did, but it got lost at “if by doing so I show that I have no standards that are worth upholding.”

    The way that’s written, that implies that a NOTA vote shows you have no standards. I really don’t think so, but to be clear, is that what you are trying to say?

  26. Bill Says:


    Obama will get out a lot sooner than HRC or McBush (Though not NEARLY as soon as I would like. And McBush Flip flopped on Torture. That one scares me, as he went through h*** due to it.

    A Democrat against torture and the war? Steve…Steve..Steve. How could you forget Ohio’s Own

    Dennis Kucinich.

  27. Bill Wood Says:

    Maybe its just me, but, we’ve watched Phillies, Root, Kubby, Smith, Milnes and others work hard to campaign, trying to win our support and to spread the word about the Libertarian Party. They have spent time, money and have been assaulted with attacks from everywhere. I guess I feel they at least have tried to earn the nomination. I feel Bob Barr has waited to long to seek our nomination, its 7 May, and he is not thrown his hat in the ring. I know life isn’t fair etc, but I feel we need to support someone who has worked at earning the nomination.

  28. Gene Berkman Says:


    What I am saying is that I wont’ vote for someone if by voting for them I show I have no standards. Sorry if the antecedent was not clear.

  29. Stefan Says:

    I fully agree with your observation that Root and Barr do not represent the same voter block if you study both of them in detail. Root seems to me very “neolibertarian”: very hawkish in military way and he still believes in the “doctrine” spread by the Bush admin, that terrorists attack the US because of “freedom and prosperity”. He is also pro-choice and much more social liberal than Bar, who is pro-life and Barr would make a much stronger appeal to social conservatives, in the GOP especially (who feel disaffected by McCain). Barr, who grew up in Tehran, Iran among others, has a much better understanding of the Middle East, also with his CIA experiences. He condemned the arrogance of US foreign policy, while one has not not heard such criticism by Root. Root’s beef witht he GOP is more with domestic issues, think they were too much influenced by the “religious right” etc. Barr would be much more non-interventionist and pro-peace than Root.
    On a personal level they seems quite different also: Root seems like a friendly, dynamic guy, but he works as arrogant and can react emotionally and over hastily at times and people either like him or not at all. He seems to be more a divisive figure, not such a team player. Barr again seems more serious, but behind that he has a good sense of humor also and is likeable and nice, as he is open, not dominant and not arrogant in any way. He also seems to be more like a team player, that would like to involve all and work towards the good of the party, not himself in the first sense, not that he has not persona ambitions as well (which is also needed, motivating power).

    Root may have good connected with millions of power players etc. one expects actually a strong fund raising potential, as the poker players are often affluent people and he has small business contacts.. One wonders how much money he has raised. Root has mentioned that Barry Goldwater was his idol and that he father co-founder the COnservative Party in NY. (Well, the CP in NY supports only conservative candidates the GOP fields and they are staunchly pro-life, as far as I know, not pro-choice like Root. One wonders where Root’s father stood on this issue. Being from New York and having lived in California and Nevada, Root probably has good contacts in these areas and would attract most support

    Barr has very good political contacts again and also very good political experience. He was born in Iowa, studied at Berkleley and then active in Georgia. During his student years he was active with the young Democrats. One wonders whether has has been acquainted with Reagan during this time already. Barr has experience running campaigns for congress as well as for the senate. He seems to be much more articulate than Root. Barr would be able to make a better appeal to “middle America”, in the southern states but also in others.

    Personally, I also fully agree a Barr-Ruwart ticket would be optimal for various reasons, both to unify the LP as well as attract new voters to the LP form all sectors. They both have a strong bound to the philosophy of Ron Paul as a common denominator and think on a personal level they would also work well as a team. Ruwart-Barr in the same way, but perhaps it is the best to have Barr on the top of the ticket as he can deliver more a forceful, strong campaign while Ruwart is more mild mannered and very intelligent and smart on the issues. She could answer to the details of libertarian philosophy with practical examples, while Barr can “sell” the theoretical underpinnings of the LP.

  30. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Stefan: “I also fully agree a Barr-Ruwart ticket would be optimal”

    I think a Gravel/Phillies ticket may be a good compromise.

    Root and Barr appeals to liberventionists (more so Root than Barr). Ruwart and Kubby are the purists. Gravel/Phillies might be acceptable to most.

    Though I can be happy with Ruwart or Kubby, as well as with Gravel or Phillies.

  31. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Gene, that makes better sense. It didn’t at first.

  32. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Hey Thomas, I think you forgot a couple of combinations as being acceptable there! :)

  33. mdh Says:

    You quote “the moderate voice” as saying “The anti-war Republicans are probably already supporting Ron Paul and will likely shift over to the Democrats in November.”

    This shows that those folks have a clear misunderstanding of Ron Paul’s supporters, only a tiny minority of whom would vote for a socialist like Obama or Clinton. My guess would be that the percentage of Ron Paul supporters voting for the democratic nominee will be about the same as the percentage voting for McCain, and that both groups won’t equal 1% of Ron Paul’s supporters.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    I’d prefer a Kubby/Ruwart ticket, but in the interests of big tentism, I’m certainly willing to compromise far enough to support a Ruwart/Kubby ticket. Anything beyond that range begins to strain my ecumenicalism.

  35. Becky Says:

    I DO NOT want Mike Gravel as President he has stolen from me & my family. He owes me $1000.00 & chooses to fly around America promoting his book rather than pay me. Not a good choice for an honest Candidate right?

  36. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Becky, I don’t know anything about Gravel stealing $1000 from you. But your claim is dubious unless you identify yourself (full name) and provide some link or other means to verify your identity.

    I don’t give much credence to anonymous posts.

  37. James Babb Says:

    Half of the batch aren’t even vaguely Libertarian. Drug warriors, war mongers, central planners and mental cases. WTF?

    Bob Barr voted for the Patriot Act for gods’ sake!

    None of the current batch can hold a candle to Michael Badnarik. Who was a great candidate and is a fantastic former-candidate.

  38. Thane Eichenauer Says:

    I don’t think many Libertarians are likely to be choose to cast their vote for Mike Gravel. However should anybody have an interest in Becky Isais’ claim ElfNinosMom has a post here.

  39. Alex Peak Says:

    Ooo, anti-endorsements! :)

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