Wayne Root

Wayne Root leaves Libertarian Party, backs Romney

Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential nominee and political commentator, resigned this morning from the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) to, according to his resignation letter, “elect good people and change the direction of this country outside of a third party.”

In the letter to the LNC, which is available at Independent Political Report, Root explains that his decision much is not unlike those of previous Libertarian Party presidential candidates, including Ron Paul and David Koch; both of whom left the LP to become prominent Republicans.

When I asked if he was now backing Mitt Romney, Root responded, “I am,” adding, “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist.”

“The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses,” said Root. “There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”

Root, who lives near Las Vegas, noted in his resignation letter that he “plan[s] to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.” It’s obviously too late for him to run this year. It would 2016 before Root could make a run, presumably against Sen. Harry Reid; though Root told me that he believes the Democratic leader will retire.

Bob Barr, a former Republican Congressman from Georgia and the 2008 Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, backed Newt Gingrich during the GOP primary. Barr has indicated that he will support Romney in 2012.

Disclosure: I served as campaign blogger for Barr/Root in 2008.

Wayne Root sells out Gary Johnson

Wayne Allyn Root, who served as Bob Barr’s running mate on the Libertarian Party’s Presidential ticket in 2008 and now sits as a member of the Libertarian National Committee, raised more than a few eyebrows late last week when he essentially said on Bill Cunningham’s radio show (podcast here) that he’s supporting Mitt Romney for President this year instead of the nominee of the party he purports to represent:

I think the important thing now is to make sure Obama is not elected,and that means in my mind, I would love for a libertarian like Gary Johnson the two term governor of New Mexico would actually get elected President, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen so therefore it’s got to be Romney there is no choice.

Let’s leave aside the merts of Root’s argument for the moment. It is possible that someone who considers themselves a libertarian might decide in November that it is more important to keep Barack Obama from winning re-election by voting for the candidate most likely to beat him, even if that person is far from being a libertarian and isn’t likely to govern in a way very much different from George W. Bush. I happen to disagree with that conclusion, but I can understand why someone might beleive it, and that’s their right.

But Root isn’t just some libertarian off the streets. He ran for the party’s nomination in 2008, ran as Vice-President that year, and has said on more than one occassion that he intends to run for President against in the future, although apparently not in 2008. And he holds office on the party’s National Committee. It’s the equivalent of a member of the RNC saying that Republicans may as well just vote for President Obama in November.

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