Third Party Presidential Debate Moderated by Larry King
In response to widespread blackout from both the mainstream
media and political establishment alike, RT is honored to be
presenting a platform for the major third-party candidates also
vying for the White House this election year to debate. We
offered the event live in cooperation with the debate's
Equal Elections Foundation.
The event was moderated by multi-award winning broadcast
journalist Larry King and was broadcasted live from Chicago,
Illinois. Thom Hartmann, the star of RT's The Big Picture and
noted radio host, was one of a few select journalists
hand-picked to hit the candidates with questions about their
Third-party Debate Showcases Fresh Faces and Issues
By James Rainey
October 24, 2012 "LA
Times" - - Four alternative candidates for president of
the United States debated Tuesday night in Chicago and agreed
America needs a good dose of what they could provide -- clear,
straight talk that has not been market-pasteurized.
The third-party debate, sponsored by the nonprofit Free and
Equal Elections Foundation and streamed online with host
Larry King, offered up a heaping serving of candidates few
voters have seen and issues
President Obama and
Mitt Romney have seldom raised -- including drug
legalization, climate change and indefinite holds on citizens
suspected of terrorism.
Gary Johnson of the
Jill Stein of the Green Party,
Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party and Virgil Goode of the
Constitution Party may not win huge votes Nov. 6, but they
rocked a Chicago hotel ballroom and the social media landscape,
which buzzed with commentary about their conversation.
“You’re all Don Quixotes in a way,” King, the former CNN host,
said at the end of the 90-minute session, “but the windmills
have a way of stopping and we have a way of saluting you just
for getting into the fray.”
The encounter had a quirky charm, featuring opening statements
hastily inserted after the candidates had already answered their
first question (supplied via social media). It also featured the
affable King, an eminence in this setting, who put up with none
of the filibustering that the two big-party candidates foisted
on the moderators of the major televised debates.
The four candidates were united on several issues -- their
disdain for the influence of money in politics, their opposition
to massive defense spending and foreign wars, and their
determination to cut executive power that allows the indefinite
detention of Americans in the war on terror.
Johnson, the Libertarian former governor of New Mexico, said
corporate money had gotten so bad in politics that candidates
should be required to wear
NASCAR-style jackets to show all their corporate sponsors.
On defense, the liberal Stein said she would ban all drone
strikes and Johnson said he would cut defense spending by 43%
(to 2003 levels). The conservative Goode, a former congressman
from Virginia who has the rough-boned look of a Civil War
officer, concurred, saying: “The United States should stop
trying to be the overseer of the world. That would save us
billions and billions of dollars.”
The “transpartisan” debate was not all a love-in, though.
Johnson said he would get rid of federal college loans, which he
said had contributed to the artificially high price of
education. The Green Party’s Stein said she favored free college
for all modeled on the post-World
War II GI Bill. Rebutted Johnson: “Free comes with a cost.
Free is spending more money than you take in…. Free has gotten
us to the point we are going to experience a monetary collapse
in this country.”
Goode had some of the most dramatic prescriptions. He said he
would instantly balance the federal budget with massive cuts and
not tax increases. He said he would block all green card
admissions of immigrants to the U.S. until the unemployment rate
dropped below 5%. “We need jobs in America for U.S. citizens
first,” Goode said, acknowledging that many in the crowd would
not like what he had to say.
Everyone but Goode agreed that the U.S. should legalize
marijuana. The three -- Stein, Johnson and Anderson -- said the
criminalization of the drug had led to massive imprisonment
rates that far outstrip the rest of the world's, and huge costs
that cannot be sustained. The three also bemoaned the total lack
of attention to climate change in the main presidential contest.
Anderson called it "a greater long-term risk to the United
States than terrorism."
In the last of six questions, the four were asked what one
amendment they would like to make to the U.S. Constitution. The
two small-government candidates -- Johnson and Goode -- said
they would impose term limits on Congress, assessing that the
change would get lawmakers to focus more on policy and less on
reelection. Stein advocated a change to limit spending by
corporations in elections. Anderson said he had “already
written” an amendment that -- like the scuttled Equal Rights
Amendment -- would give equal protection under the law to women,
and also to people regardless of their sexual orientation.
Campaign professionals have said that a vote for one of the four
would be wasted because it would only take away from one of the
sure winners, Obama or Romney. But Johnson disputed that notion
in his closing statement.
“Wasting your vote is voting for somebody you don’t believe in,”
Johnson said. “I am asking everyone watching this nationwide to
waste your vote on me … and then I’m the next president of the
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