Libertarian candidate speaks at Coffman

Gary Nolan, Libertarian presidential candidate, said he hopes to help defeat President George W. Bush in November.

Josh Verges

Libertarian Gary Nolan wants the chance to defeat President George W. Bush – even if it means putting a Democrat in the White House.

The leading Libertarian presidential candidate spoke Tuesday at Coffman Union.

He said he hopes to receive enough votes from conservatives for the Democratic candidate to win.

A Democratic president and a Republican-dominated Congress would create a gridlock and slow government growth, he said.

Nolan predicted the Libertarian candidate will gather support from enough conservatives to force Republicans to limit their spending.

State Libertarian Party Chairman Ron Helwig said he is pessimistic about the November election because the race between Bush and the Democratic candidate will likely be close.

Nolan’s main opponents are Michael Badnarik, a professor who teaches about the Constitution, and film producer Aaron Russo.

Like his opponents, Nolan has expressed strict commitment to the Constitution and limited government.

“Whatever you want, go out and get it,” Nolan told the 12 students in attendance. “Don’t wait for the government to drop it in your lap.”

Helwig said Nolan, a former Republican and talk radio show host, can bring new right-wing voters to the Libertarian Party.

He said Nolan’s strengths are his speaking ability and that he has party insider backing.

Helwig called Badnarik the “philosophical purist,” and said Russo’s Hollywood ties will help him get his message out.

Nolan said he is the best candidate because his media connections offer him the channels needed to reach a large audience.

He is scheduled to appear on CNN today and said he might be on Fox News next week.

Nolan told the Coffman audience about his plans to privatize health care and gradually phase out Social Security.

“Social Security just isn’t going to be there” for people who are now 35 and under, he said.

On national defense, Nolan said he would practice isolationism to avoid making more enemies. He said recent administrations’ meddling in other countries is the reason the United States is a terrorist target.

Nolan also spoke briefly about the Free State Project, a plan to move large numbers of libertarians to New Hampshire.

Project founder Jason Sorens has said the state will demonstrate the benefits of libertarianism.

As of Tuesday, the project’s Web site claimed 5,551 of its members – including 99 Minnesotans – were willing to make the move or continue living in New Hampshire.

Sorens estimates 20,000 libertarian activists could take over the state.

Nolan said he has signed up for the project.

Brian Feldt, Campus Libertarians president, said he expects Nolan to win the nomination, and he will vote for whichever candidate emerges.

Helwig said almost all Libertarians vote along party lines.

“Most Libertarians know it’s not worth voting for a Republican or a Democrat,” he said.