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Oct. 23, 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate - Transcript

Third Party Presidential Debate

Held on Tuesday, October 23, 1012 at Hilton Hotel, Chicago, IL.

Debate Moderators: Christina Tobin of Free and Equal Elections Foundation and Larry King.

Presidential Candidates: Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party), Rocky Anderson (Justice Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Virgil Goode, Jr. (Constitution Party),

KING: OK. We’ll be starting. Thank you for coming. I think this is a noble cause.

TOBIN: Good evening to our live audience here in Chicago; our viewers watching and listening on line; to our candidates, moderator, partners and sponsors; to every individual taking the time and the care to watch this historic debate tonight.

No matter where you are tuning in; no matter what party or group to which you belong, this debate is for individuals—the voter, the taxpayer, the hard-working middle class worker, the struggling single parent on minimum wage, the small business owner, everyone.

I’m Christina Tobin of Free & Equal Elections Foundation, and I welcome and thank all of you for being here tonight.

Tonight we are all taking part is something good and real and honest and open, without debate contracts and private interests controlling [cheers] without them controlling the questions we ask and the answers the candidates deliver—free, open and fair.

Free and Equal works to improve the electoral system of the United States by bringing the elections back to the people where it belongs. We do this by opening the debate, improving ballot access laws and forming non-partisan coalitions to unite people and organizations across the political spectrum, who also want free, open and fair elections.

Tonight’s debate is the first of its kind, and our sponsors represent a diverse group of media, businesses, musicians, radio personalities, organizations and individuals representing all types of political ideologies. I imagine our audience is just as diverse.

Tonight you will meet four Presidential candidates. Two of them lean to the left, while the other two lean a little more to the right; giving us a perfect balance of ideas and viewpoints on how to fix our broken nation. These candidates secured enough ballot [lines?] to be here today.

In the future, we hope to have enough resources so we can open the debate even further so we can open the debate with more debate, more candidates at every level of government. [Cheers & applause].

Ultimately, we the people are responsible for our government. If we don’t pay attention, if we don’t vote, if we don’t protest or discuss important issues with friends, co-workers and classmates, then we get more of the same—the same corrupt, dysfunctional system no matter who’s in charge. But. if we turn off the distractions and listen and learn and read and question more about who’s really benefiting and educating ourselves on how we got here and figure out how each of us can make a positive impact, that’s the way to change a system—knowledge sharing, truth seeking open debate, fresh ideas and discovering a common ground amongst each other.

No matter what your political persuasion, we are at a critical time in our nation’s history. It is time to take our country back from the private interests who control our beliefs, our opinions and our lives. [Cheers & applause].

Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Our moderator this evening is award-winning broadcaster and media personality, Larry King. [Cheers & applause]. His new online home is OR TV and he is the host of Larry King Now. Welcome Larry.

KING: Thank you. And welcome everybody. I’m happy to be doing this. I think all voices should be heard.

A few notes about the format for tonight’s debate—really easy job for me because it’s a rather simple format. Each candidate will have an opportunity to make a two-minute opening statement. The order of these statements have been randomly determined. Six questions will be asked in all in the 90 minutes. The questions have been selected from submissions made via social media.

After a question is asked, each candidate will have two minutes to answer it. Each candidate will have a total of six opportunities in all. Once all four candidates gave their two-minute responses, they’ll each have an additional one-minute to expand or not expand. They can choose to respond or not. Candidates can use their additional minutes or save their time to use it later.

We will wrap up with a two-minute closing statement from each candidate.

And with that, let me introduce these four independent candidates.

First, Jill Stein, mother, physician, long-time teacher of internal medicine, and the Green Party nominee for President—Jill Stein.

[Cheers & applause as Stein proceeds to separate podium].

KING: As you can already tell, we are permitting audience participation. We are in downtown Chicago by the way, at the Hilton Hotel.

Next is Rocky Anderson, the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah—the Justice Party nominee for President.

[Cheers & applause as Anderson proceeds to separate podium].

KING: Next is Virgil Hamlin Goode, Jr., a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Constitution Party nominee for President.

[Cheers & applause as Goode proceeds to separate podium].

KING: And the final independent candidate is former Governor Gary Johnson, businessman [cheers], and Gary is the Libertarian nominee.

The first question for tonight’s topic is our electoral system. The question is from the Free and Equal Foundation hosting this debate, and will be asked by Christina Tobin. Christina…

Top Two Primaries

TOBIN: Well thank you. We’ll start from the left to the right, and here’s our question.

A top-two primary is an election in which party labels appear on the ballot, but parties do not nominate candidates. Instead, the candidates choose their own ballot label. All candidates run in the primary, but only the top-two vote getters appear on the ballot in the November election. This system is currently used in Louisiana, Washington state and California. It is now a ballot measure in Arizona—Prop 121—with other states interested in adopting the system.

What is your position on the top-two primary system, and why?

KING: We’ll start with Jill Stein.

STEIN: Thank you, and again, thank you so much to Free and Equal and to all of you for being here.

Yes, I think that top-two does not enlarge our democracy. In many ways, it confuses things more. It puts many candidates onto the ballot altogether, and it arbitrarily attaches party labels to them. Any candidate can choose any label they want. So it really degrades the meaning of our political parties where they have meaning. And I know they don’t always, but there are some that do have meaning; that aren’t bought and sold to the highest bidder. And the Green Party is one of those parties, and I know that there are some other parties here as well—the independent parties where the party actually represents real values.

The top-two obscures the meaning of those parties, and it essentially puts everyone together so that you really can’t tell who’s representing you. And whoever has the biggest budget stands to win that primary. It essentially becomes another way that big money can control our elections.

So, I oppose top-two, as the Green Party does, and we actually support a whole variety of election reform for the purpose of enlarging our democracy; not increasing the sell-out of our democracy.

We are calling for getting money out of politics through public financing. We’re calling for opening up the airwaves [applause] to all qualified candidates. We are calling for…

KING: Ten seconds, Jill...

STEIN: …money is not speech and corporations are not people [cheers] to take back our constitutional rights.

KING: All right, Jill. Thank you. The next two minutes, Rocky Anderson. Rocky…

ANDERSON: The top-two system is simply a continuation of the degradation of our democracy by this duopoly of the Republican and Democratic Parties. Our electoral system has been so constricted; our democracy so degraded by these two parties from the very beginning in terms of ballot access—even getting on the ballot so you can give people choices.

This top-two option would simply tell the duopoly, you just go ahead raising all your money. You put our own candidates out there. You could even have just two people from the same political party, and that means no choice for the voters. [Applause]

Last night, and all these Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates: Look how constricted the debate has been when you have two parties there, the Republicans and the Democrats. They’re arguing about who is going to spend more on the military budget? Barack Obama last night bragging that he’s increased the military budget every year that he’s been in office? They’re both trying to outdo each other in terms of who’s going to drill more, both offshore and on public lands, and neither of them even dares to talk about getting rid of this disastrous war on drugs [applause], neither of them talks about this catastrophic climate change [applause], and neither of them talks about poverty when we’ve got the worst poverty in this country since 1965.

So we need to open up the choices.

In South Africa, the world rejoiced at their democracy following apartheid. I’ve got the first ballot in the Presidential election. It had eighteen people’s names on it. That’s real democracy, and that’s giving the voters real choice. [Cheers & applause]

KING: Ah, Rocky, just one quick question. When you were mayor, what party were you in?

ANDERSON: Well, I was in the Democratic Party, but it was a non-partisan office. I was a Democratic candidate for Congress in 1996, but I have had it with the Democratic Party. [Cheers]

KING: Virgil Goode, what party were you in?

GOODE: I was an Independent, Democrat, Republican and now the Constitution Party—always conservative.

KING: Okay. You’re response for two minutes to the initial question.

GOODE: Thank you, Larry.

First, I want to say thanks to you for being here, for lending your name and your prestige to this event, and to thank Free and Equal for their hard work in bringing a much broader vision to the American people so that they will know that they’ve got more choices than just Obama and Romney.

I do not favor the top-two, ah, system. I agree with Jill when she said that money is not speech and that the top-two system enhances those that have the most money. However, I am not for public financing. I was not in favor of $100 million for the Democratic National Convention; taxpayer money, a hundred million dollars to the Republican National Convention of taxpayer money. [Cheers & applause].

The top-two system is primarily a state issue. I would not be in favor of federal legislation repealing what Louisiana has done; telling Virginia or telling Maine or telling Arizona or New Mexico; any state what they should do. We’ve got to at every state and every legislature and oppose Prop 2. In my view, it’s a hindrance to true democracy; for grass roots Americans that don’t want to be controlled by Super PACS. [Applause]

KING: All right, and our final speaker on this topic, and I know that you were a Republican as Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, your response?

JOHNSON: Well, running for Governor of New Mexico as a Republican, I ran completely outside the political system—completely! I mean I went and introduced myself to the Republican Party two weeks before I ran, and they said, ‘You know what? We like you and like what you’ve got to say. We’re completely inclusive. You can go and you can make your case to all Republicans in this state. You know, take part in the debate; take part in the discussion.’ Well, that’s the way that politics should be.

I was able to make that presentation. I was able to make that case. And, by the way, the Republican Party Chairman at that time said, ‘Now you can do all this stuff, but you just need to know that you’ll never get election because it’s not possible to get elected governor in this state, if it’s 2-1 Democrat.’

Well, I did get elected.

So, as governor of New Mexico, completely outside of the political system, I’ve always been pro-choice regarding everything, okay? So, should this be top-two voting system? This should be something that gets ferreted out at the local level. This should be something that gets ferret out at the state level; not the national level.

Look, there is only a couple of voices being heard here, and it’s tweedle-dee and it’s tweetle-dum. [Cheers & applause] It’s two weeks ago it’s two candidates talking about who’s going to spend more money on Medicare when Medicare is a system that you and I pay $30,000 into and get a $100,000 benefit. It’s a three-to-one what you pay in and what you get out. It’s not sustainable. Yet, it’s indicative of our federal government today, which is on an absolute unsustainable path, the results of which are going to be a monetary collapse unless we actually bring this under control, and…

KING: Ten seconds…

JOHNSON: …as a third party, I’ve been given the opportunity to make the case that’s not being made by either of the two major candidates.

KING: Thank you, governor. [Cheers & Applause] By the way, here’s a quick personal—a lot of people asked me why I consented to do this. One, I like moderating. Two, I like asking questions even though I didn’t ask these questions. They were submitted, and three, I these people deserve a lot of credit. They’re the ones coming forward. It’s easy to sit back and watch. These people stand up. They many not be counted on November 6, but they’re counting today, and they deserve to be heard. [Applause]

We have a, each is entitled to a one-minute response if they care to use it. Jill?

STEIN: Yeah, thank you. Ah, I just want to mention. Talking about how all of us need to stand up and demand real democracy and demand free and open, inclusive debates.

I just want to mention that my running mate and I went to the doorstep of the Commission on Presidential Debates at Hofstra University last week, and that we were arrested. We were tightly bound with plastic restraints and tied to chairs eight hours for daring to stand up and demand open debates. But, this is what all of us need to do.

I encourage all of you to go to my website,, and sign the petition there for opening debates and for challenging the Commission on Presidential Debates. We should not let them do this again.

KING: Rocky, you have one minute.

ANDERSON: A top-two system is a sign that these two parties; this political duopoly in this country, is trying to put their stranglehold on our democracy. We have to stand up together, and federal elections, it is a federal matter. We shouldn’t leave it to the states.

The corrupting influence of money in this country is at the root of every major public policy disaster. That’s why we don’t have healthcare for all, as in the rest of the industrialized world [applause]. That’s why we aren’t providing international leadership on the climate crisis because of all the corrupting money coming from the fossil fuel industry. And that’s why we have this enormously wasteful military budget with this military-industrial complex putting pressure on Congress and the White House.

KING: Five seconds.

ANDERSON: So we need public financing of elections for our democracy. We need free and equal access to public airwaves.

KING: Okay, Rock. Virgil, one minute.

GOODE: Thank you. The top two system, as others have indicated, favors the Super PAC and political action committees. There are political action committees not just of businesses but of unions. I’m for no political action committee—individual contributions only and no super PACs. I believe that Congress can craft legislation with Presidential leadership to stop political action committees. Big money that funnels through the PACs is the greatest hindrance, in my opinion, to free and open elections and freedom and democracy in this country.

We threw off the King in the time of the Revolution because of heavy handedness. We need to throw the PACs out now and vote for third parties that will stand up for America. [Applause].

KING: I’m reminded that this is a rebuttal one minute. You can use it or not use it. Governor…

JOHNSON: Well, I think that when it comes to political campaign contributions that candidates should be required to wear NASCAR-like jackets with patches on the jacket commensurate [cheers] so what’s really needed is 100% transparency.

I will tell you that regardless of whether or not Romney gets elected or Obama gets elected three things are going to happen. We’re going to find ourselves with a continued, heightened police state in this country. We’re going to find ourselves continuing to militarily intervene in the world, which results, has resulted in hundreds of millions of enemies to this country that wouldn’t otherwise exist. There’s a reason why we shouldn’t be using drones. It’s because we don’t just take out the target, we take out a lot of innocent civilians [cheers & applause] in these countries where these drones attack.

KING: All right…

JOHNSON: And then lastly, we are going to find ourselves in a continual state of uncontrolled spending or borrowing to the point that we are going to experience a monetary collapse unless we fix this.

KING: I thank you governor. [Cheers & applause].

Tonight’s second question—all questions submitted by social media—was submitted by Jeff Tanguay of Colorado via Facebook. The question is in what way does the War on Drugs impact Americans, and how could these effects be reduce? Is there a more efficient way to deal with the issue of drug use in America?

Two minutes, Jill Stein.

STEIN: Rocky, actually. Rocky you go first on this one…

KING: Oh, Rocky. I’m sorry. Thank you for correcting me.

STEIN: You’re welcome.

ANDERSON: Thank you. The War on…

KING: Hold it. Just so we understand. As each question comes up, a different person…

JOHNSON: How ‘bout opening statements?

KING: Did we have opening statements?

TOBIN: Unfortunately, no.

KING: We didn’t,

TOBIN: No. Grassroots! [Laughter]. Let’s do opening statements. My apologies.

KING: I didn’t know we had opening statements. I thought we were right to the questions, so…

TOBIN: Two minutes, so let’s start on the left there, and then our second question, starting with Rocky. Opening statements, two minutes each…

KING: Okay. This will be opening statements, then we’ll go to the second question. Thank you.

TOBIN: So Jill Stein, please. Thank you Gary.

Opening Statements

KING: Go ahead Jill.

STEIN: Okay. Great. Always glad to lead. [cheers and applause].

The American people are in crisis. We are losing our jobs, decent wages, our homes by the millions, affordable healthcare and higher education. The climate is in meltdown and our civil liberties are under attack.

The wealthy few are richer than ever, rolling in more dough than ever, and the political establishment is not only not making it better, they’re actually making it worse—imposing austerity on everyday people while they continue to squander trillions of dollars on wars for oil that we don’t need, on Wall Street bailouts, and tax breaks for the very wealthy. [Applause].

The American people are at the breaking point, and we need to turn that breaking point in this election into a tipping point to take back our democracy and the peaceful, just, green future that we deserve. And we do that by standing up and making sure that everyday people have a voice in this election and a choice at the polls that is not bought and paid for by Wall Street, and by advancing the critical solutions that the American people are clamoring for by large majorities.

Our campaign is calling for a Green New Deal [applause] to create 25 million jobs, end unemployment, jump start the Green economy, and that means putting a halt to climate change and making wars for oil obsolete. We’re calling for healthcare as a human right through Medicare-for-All, and for bailing out the students, not the banks; making public higher education free.

KING: All right Jill. By the way, it was not in my notes to make an opening statements, so I apologize, because I follow my notes.

TOBIN: My apologies.

KING: I’m a Jewish guy from Brooklyn. We do what we’re told. Rocky, opening…

ANDERSON: More people are here to listen to you than us. Thank you for being here and giving us this opportunity.

KING: Rocky, two minutes.

ANDERSON: We are at a pivotal moral point in our nation’s history. We’ve all suffered through the sell-out of our government to Wall Street. Young people are burdened with crushing, record, tuition debt. Millions of families have lost their homes. Retirement accounts have been decimated while Wall Street fat cats, who are buying our elections, have made out like bandits.

We’ve never had the disparity between income and wealth that we see the very wealthy and all the rest of us since the 1920s. Our poverty rate has never been so high since 1965. Child poverty and infant mortality rates in the United States are next to the worst in the industrialized world, and among 50 nations, the United States has the worst rate of women dying in connection with pregnancy and childbirth. And under Obamacare, there will be 30 million people without essential healthcare by the year 2022.

And, during the Bush and the Obama years, our constitution has been shredded while the imperial Presidency has expanded with Presidents who think they can unilaterally take us to war; often on a pack of lies. With Presidents who think the federal government should have the authority to round anyone up, including U.S. citizens and imprison them up to the rest of their lives without charges, without trial, without legal representation, and without the right of habeas corpus. [Applause]

And our elected officials are sound asleep when the Pentagon is warning that climate change is a greater long-term security risk to the United States than terrorism.

KING: Okay…

ANDERSON: So, if you like the way things are going, vote Democratic or Republican. If you want real change, vote your conscience; vote Justice—economic justice, social justice, environmental justice.

KING: Okay, Rock. Back to our opening after the first question; opening statement from Virgil Goode…

GOODE: Thank you, Larry. I want to say thanks to Jill, Gary and Rocky for being here. On the four issues I’m going to address right now, you can deduce the positions from what I say. But I’m going to name four positions that I’m very different from Obam…Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

First, Obama and Romney both claim that they were and still are for a balanced budget. Reality: The Obama budget this year was one trillion in deficit. The Paul Ryan budget, which passed the U.S. House, was $600 billion in deficit. I have the courage to submit a balanced budget if I’m elected President right after I’m inaugurated.

Secondly, I am for jobs in America for American citizens first and the only candidate that has called for a near complete moratorium on green card admissions to the United States until unemployment is under five percent. [Scattered applause] It makes no sense to bring in foreign workers when unemployment is so high in this country.

Third, we need to end Super PACS and political action committees. That would be one of the best things to open up our country and a more democratic process and voice by the people.

And, lastly, we need term limits. It’s time to focus on doing the best job in Congress instead of the next election and the next fundraiser.

KING: And now an opening statement from Gov. Johnson…

JOHNSON: The country is in really deep trouble. We should not bomb Iran. [Cheers]. We should get [More cheers & applause]. We should end the war in Afghanistan tomorrow. Bring the troops home tomorrow. [Cheers & applause].

Marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right on par with the civil rights of the 60s.

Let’s end the drug wars. Legalize marijuana, now! [Cheers & Applause]. Let’s repeal the PATRIOT Act. [Cheers & Applause]. I would have never signed the National Defense Authorization Act, allowing for you and I and U.S. citizens to be arrested and detained without being charged. That’s the reason we fought wars in this country. [Cheers & applause].

I promise to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013. That is a $1.4 trillion deduction in federal spending. If we don’t do this now, we are going to find ourselves in a monetary collapse. And a monetary collapse, very simply, is when the dollars we have in our pocket don’t buy a thing because of the accompanying inflation that goes along with borrowing and printing money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar we spend.

I’m the only candidate who wants to eliminate income tax, eliminate corporate tax [applause], abolish the IRS, and replace all of that with one federal consumption tax—the fair tax. I think it reboots the American economy. It’s the answer…

KING: Alright governor…

JOHNSON: It’s the answer to exports. It’s the answer to American jobs…

War on Drugs

KING: Okay, two minutes, all right. And now…Thank you, Gary. We’ll now get to the second question. I’ll repeat it. We’ll start the go-round with Rocky, and what ways does the War on Drugs impact Americans? How could the effects be reduced? Is there a more efficient way to deal with the issue of drug use in America? That was submitted by Jeff Tanguay via Facebook.

ANDERSON: The War on Drugs has been catastrophic for our country, a waste of national treasure and unbelievable human tragedy.

I remember when Burt Stringfellow came to me and told me about his son, Corry, who had been sentenced on his first drug offense to 15 ½ years in a federal penitentiary. When I became mayor, I worked hard with the Clinton White House, and on the day that President Clinton left the White House, he signed a Presidential pardon, saving Corry Stringfellow a decade in a federal penitentiary. [Applause]

Weldon Angeles is sitting in a federal penitentiary today with a 55-year sentence for selling marijuana on three occasions because the informant said there was a gun around somewhere—not that he’d used it; that there was a gun present. There was a gun enhancement, mandatory gun enhancement from the judge who had to enter the sentence and said it was an outrage. It was unjust, but 55 years. This is the kind of human toll in this country.

We don’t just need to legalize marijuana. We need to end drug prohibition just like we ended alcohol prohibition, and treat drug use and abuse as a public health and education issue [applause] get it entirely out of the criminal justice system. [Cheers]

KING: Thank you. [Cheers continue]

ANDERSON: We have the largest incarceration rate in the world by far. We have five percent of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population. We have more people in prisons and jails in this country on drug offenses than Western Europe has in their prisons and jails on all offenses.

KING: Ten seconds.

ANDERSON: This has to end. We the American people need to come together right, left. It doesn’t matter about partisanship. We need to demand immediate an end to this insane War on Drugs. [Cheers & applause].

KING: Virgil Goode…

GOODE: Thank you. I am an advocate of a balanced budget now, not ten years down the road, and I would cut federal spending on the War on Drugs. However, drug use is primarily a state issue, not a federal issue, but there are federal laws. I am not, and this is not going to set well with most of you, I am not for legalizing marijuana use or other drug use.

If we cut back on the War on Drugs, that would be a minor part of the federal budget; about $12 billion is being spent this year out of $3.8 trillion budget, on the War on Drugs.

But there are a lot of small things. I’m not for funding Planned Parenthood. I would take that to zero. [Smattering of cheers and boos.]

I’m not for funding Public Broadcasting…

KING: We’re on drugs…

GOODE: I know, but I’m just pointing out that how small the federal War on Drugs money is in terms of the entire budget, but I am for reducing it because we’ve got to reduce nearly everything that’s generally funded in order to get to a balanced budget.

KING: All right. Governor Johnson, the War on Drugs…

JOHNSON: Ninety percent of the drug problem is prohibition related, not use related. And that is not to discount the problems with use and abuse, but that should be the focus. So let’s legalize marijuana now. [Applause]. And right now in this country, we are at a tipping point on this issue.

Fifty percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. Why is this the case? It’s the case because we’re talking about it. It’s because debates and discussions are raging at dinner tables that haven’t been raging at dinner tables in the past.

So, let’s regulate it. Let’s tax it. It’s on the ballot in Colorado in November. Coloradans have the opportunity here really to change drug policy worldwide. Coloradans get it. Citizens of Denver six years ago voted to decriminalize marijuana on a campaign of marijuana being safer than alcohol.

I am not a hypocrite on this issue. I have drank alcohol. I’ve smoked marijuana. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke marijuana. But I can tell you categorically, that in no category is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol. [Cheers & applause].

And yet, we are arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country on drug related crimes. We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world—2.3 million people. Half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts and the prisons is drug-related, and to what end?

Look, this is not about advocating drug use. Fifty percent of kids graduating from high school have smoked marijuana. That’s an issue that belongs with families, not in the criminal justice system. [Cheers & applause].

KING: All right, thank you governor. That’s time up. Jill, your…

TOBIN: Does anybody have any rebuttal?

STEIN: I have to make my statement first, and then the rebuttals. Thank you.

TOBIN: Okay.

STEIN: As a medical doctor, previously in clinical practice for about 25 years, I can say with a real understanding of the science and the health impact that marijuana is a substance that is dangerous because it is illegal. It’s not illegal on account of being dangerous because it is not dangerous at all. [Sustained applause]. It is well understood the health impacts of marijuana are mainly the public health and safety impacts from the illegal drug trade associated with marijuana prohibition.

So the most important thing we can do to get rid of the health problems associated with marijuana is to legalize it. [Applause]. And on day one, a President, if she wanted to, could instruct the DEA to do a really, really radical thing. And that would be to use science in determining what substances will and will not be scheduled. Because the minute science is used, marijuana is off the schedule. [Applause]

And the same goes for hemp, which is a substance for which there are no bad health and safety effects. Yet, there are very important economic benefits.

Both of those substances should be legalized. Marijuana should be regulated, but in a way that does not create another tobacco monopoly, but permits all businesses to actually flourish.

KING: Okay, Jill. Now anyone who wants to rebut, raise your hand. You want to rebut, Rocky?

ANDERSON: I’m not sure it’s rebuttal, but I’m in total agreement on all issues that Jill just raised. But really, why is that illegal, except for those monied interests control our Congress. We need to rise up as one, and say, legalize industrial hemp now.

KING: Anyone want to rebut?

ANDERSON: My time isn’t up yet.

KING: Okay.

ANDERSON: I don’t mean to quibble like the President and Romney do. Less than 40,000 people in prison on drug charges in 1971 when this War on Drugs began. Now we have over a half million of our people in prison? I would entertain as President a Presidential pardon for everyone who didn’t commit other crimes that’s in our federal prison because of drug offenses.

KING: Okay. Anyone want to rebut? Remember, we have…there are six questions in all, we’re only finishing the second one. Anyone else want to rebut.

JOHNSON: When I was governor of New Mexico, I met with judges in Portland, Oregon that asked to meet with me. Um, the meeting started. I didn’t know what to expect, but they said was, ‘Hey, we’re here to support you. We’re here to support what you have to say, but we would like to share with you a story here that perhaps you could pass onto others to let others understand.’ They said that methamphetamine is the boogieman drug. People who use methamphetamine, ah, do bad things. They’re behavior is altered. They said we’re not suggest…and by the way, it disparagingly falls on the poor. It’s the best example we can thing of a prohibition drug. It’s cheap. It’s easy to make. So the consequences fall disparaging on the poor.

They said that we’re not suggesting the following, but that if cocaine were legal these people would be using cocaine without the negative behavioral impact.

Now, what I will tell you about cocaine, and it would be wonderful if the government told the truth. Cocaine puts holes in your heart. Really, people who use cocaine their entire life…

KING: We’re out of time, Gary.

JOHNSON: …die from a heart attack. Whitney Houston is the best example…

KING: All right. Gary we’re out of time…

JOHNSON: …uses cocaine, all…

KING: Gary…One minute rebuttal, go ahead Virgil.

GOODE: Let’s be clear about my position on this. Unlike Gary, unlike Rocky and unlike Jill, I’m not for legalizing drugs. If you want that, vote for one of them; don’t vote for me.

Military Spending and Foreign Policy

KING: Okay, now. [Applause]. Well said. We remind you that tonight’s debate questions were submitted via social media. I’m presenting them exactly as they were received.

The next topic, and we’ll start with this one with Virgil, concerns foreign policy. It comes from Greg Salazar of Los Angeles via Reddit. Do you think that an annual military budget of nearly $1 trillion is absolutely necessary to keep us safe? And in a broader sense, what do you think should be the role worldwide of the United States military?

Two minutes, Virgil Goode…

GOODE: As I’ve said, if I’m elected President, I’ll balance the budget and part of the cuts have to be in the Department of Defense. We cannot do, as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan suggest, increase military funding by $2 trillion over the next decade.

I support a strong defense, but we need to retrench rather than trying to be the policeman of the world. We have too many soldiers, too many troopers scattered around the world. Our bases need to be reduced around the world, not increased and the United States should stop trying to be the overseer of the world. That will save us billions and billions of dollars. [Cheers & applause].

KING: All right. Governor Johnson…

JOHNSON: Let me start with a premise here. We need to provide ourselves with a strong national defense. That’s one of government’s fundamental responsibilities, but the operative word here is ‘defense,’ not offense and not nation-building. [Applause].

The biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we’re bankrupt; that we’re borrowing and printing money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar we spend. So, I am promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013 that would include a 43% reduction in military spending.

How does that go down? Well, the 43% reduction in military spending takes us back to 2003 spending levels. It’s getting ourselves out of all the military engagements that we are currently involved in. Stop with the military interventions. It’s reducing the military footprint worldwide—it’s bases, it’s troops that we have stationed in Japan, in South Korea and in Europe, it’s intelligence and research and development, ah, all of these components go into a 43% reduction when it comes to the military.

We have to stop our military interventions. We have to stop with the drone strikes. [Cheering]. We have to stop with a policy that has us with hundreds of millions of enemies to this country that, but for these policies, would otherwise not exist.

It’s a recognition that when we talk about foreign aid to other countries, it’s propping up foreign dictators that are on our side as opposed to the other side? We pick winners and losers, and there are a whole lot of consequences that go along with this.

Right now, we’re funding the Syrian insurgents, and they’re made up Jihadists?

KING: Five seconds.

ANDERSON: Did we not learn anything in Afghanistan where we funded Osama bin Laden? [Applause].

KING: All right…military spending, Jill…

STEIN: Yes, I want to agree with Rocky and with Gary, and I guess, not with Virgil in this instance. To say that a foreign policy based on militarism and brute military force and wars for oil is making us less secure, not more secure. We need to cut the budget and bring the troops home. And we need to end the drone wars. Not bring the drones home because they are already coming home. We need to put an end to the use of drones and actually lead. Not to lead this development of a new arms race, but to lead in an international treaty and a convention to permanently ban the use of drones as a weapon of war and as a means of spying on the American public. [Applause].

Five trillion dollars spent on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars; thousands of American lives; hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians: This has not made us more secure. In fact, what we’re seeing is the blowback against this policy. Because dropping bombs on weddings and funerals—which is what drones do with an incredibly high civilian casualty rate—that is not a good way to win the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East. [Cheers & applause].

KING: Thirty seconds.

STEIN: We need a foreign policy based on international rights, on international law, on human rights and on climate change, which should be the war that we are all fighting; not this war for oil. [Cheers & applause].

KING: Alright, and now the…also on the question of military spending and we’ll have rebuttal raise their hands if anyone wants to, again we have a few more questions coming. Rocky…

ANDERSON: President Eisenhower, in his last Presidential address, warned this country about the military-industrial complex. When he first wrote that speech he termed it the military industrial Congressional complex, and for very good reason. These folks vote for massive funding for completely wasteful projects, like the F-22 that the Department of Defense said that we’re never going to use it. It’s outmoded.

Why would we spend billions of dollars on it? And because the contractor had other contractors or subcontractors in 44 different states, and they do that very strategically, these people, the Republicans and Democrats alike, voted for additional funding. That is treason against our country when our treasure is being wasted,[applause] when we need that treasure to go towards education, jobs and the biggest challenge facing our planet, and that is climate change. We need to focus on where the real public interest is, rather than where those who are benefiting from this corrupt system. Our, have their state.

Now there are two fundaments when it comes to military engagements. I think our leaders have completely either forgotten it, or are ignoring it. First, no wars of aggression. If you haven’t been attacked, or you’re not imminently going to be attacked, to attack another country like we did in Iraq is an illegal war of aggression. Its against the Kellogg-Briand pact, under the United Nations Charter, against the Nuremberg principles. At Nuremberg, we prosecuted and convicted people for those same crimes. And secondly, our constitution requires the decision whether to go to war is Congress’ alone. They have the sole prerogative. You cannot delegate it to the President as Congress has so cowardly done… [Applause].

KING: All right…

ANDERSON: …with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and [illegible] Use of Force Resolution against Iraq…

KING: Anyone want to rebut? You want to rebut, Virgil…

GOODE: Very briefly. Rocky is correct about following the Constitution. I would not be in Syria unless Congress makes a declaration of war. We will not stay in Afghanistan if I’m elected President unless Congress makes a declaration of war. Only by going through that Constitutional process can we insure that the will of the American people is addressed when we have issues like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

KING: Okay, now this has to be rebuttal. You want to rebut something, Gary?

JOHNSON: I was opposed to going into Iraq before we went into Iraq. Ah, I did not think there were weapons of mass destruction, and I said in 2003 that if there are weapons of mass destruction, we have the military surveillance capability to see that happen, and if that happens, ah, we have all sorts of options. But if we go into Iraq, we’re going to find ourselves in a civil war to which there would be no end.

Afghanistan, I thought initially that that was totally warranted. We were attacked. We attacked back. But, I would argue that after having been in Afghanistan for six months, we wiped out al Qaeda. It was eleven years ago. We should have got out of Afghanistan eleven years ago.

So here we now on Iran: The largest demonstration in the world in support of the United States after 9/11 was in Iran by over one million citizens who should up in support of the United States. And we’re going to bomb Iran? We’re going to bomb the citizens of Iran? We’re going to find ourselves with another hundred million enemies to this country that we wouldn’t otherwise have. [Applause]

Education and Student Debt

KING: I think that both candidates said that they would not bomb Iran. I would like the questions to be rebuttal so we can move along.

This is our fourth question. The economy is the topic for this fourth debate question. The question was submitted by Nico Turino via Tout. Since this was done via Tout, let’s go to his question on the video.

TURINO: Some estimates of the cost of a college education by 2030 of nearly $400,000. Is college really worth it at that point, and if so, how do we provide the opportunity to everyone?

KING: The question if you didn’t hear it was, some estimates give the pricing of college education in the year 2030 at nearly $400,000. I don’t know if that’s correct, but his question was, is college even worth it at that point? If so, how would you provide the opportunity of college for everyone? And this question should begin with Governor Johnson.

JOHNSON: Well, first of all, as governor of New Mexico, we established lottery scholarships, which allowed really any graduating high school student from New Mexico to go to college with those costs paid.

So, what’s the federal role when it comes to education, and what’s the primary reason in this country why college tuition is so high? Well, it’s because of guaranteed government student loans, no one has the excuse for not going to education. And so, because of that, institutions of higher learning, colleges and universities, are immune from pricing that if kids would take a harder look at it. Gee, I don’t think I can afford $15,000 a semester. I think I’ll just sit this one out.

When that happens in mass, I guarantee you, the cost of college tuition will drop dramatically. [Applause]. But, today, that is a situation that doesn’t exist. I can’t afford $15,000, and yet friends and family will say, look you can get a guaranteed government student loan.

That is another one of government unintended consequences that have college tuition at such a high rate. [Cheering & applause].

KING: Jill Stein…

STEIN: So, I think it’s time to make public higher education free, as it should be. [Cheers & applause]. We’ve done this before. When our troops came home from war, we provided a free higher public education through the GI Bill. And we know that it paid for itself. For every dollar we invested as a taxpayer, $7 was returned to the economy, including more than enough revenue to cover the full costs of those tuition payments. [Applause].

This is something throughout the 20th century. Throughout the 20th century we provided a high school education for free to our younger generation. Why? Because it was essential for economic security, and we owe it to our younger generation to give them a secure start into their economic lives.

But in the 21st century, a high school degree won’t cut it. You need a college degree in order to have economic security. So it is only right that we should now be providing that for free. [Applause].

And while we’re at it, it is time to, instead of bailout Wall Street for the fourth time, which is what the Fed is doing right now with QE-3 $40 billion a month to bailout Wall Street banks again. Instead, let’s bailout the students and do something really useful with that bailout. [Cheering & applause].

KING: Okay, times up. On a question of college, ah Rocky…

ANDERSON: Well, thank you. Our forbearers had the wisdom to set up a system where everyone in this country would have a free secondary education. And that may have been enough then. But for our nation to regain its global competitive edge, we must provide higher education. Either college education or technical education, but its for the future of our country, and to meet the ideal in this nation of equality of opportunity that we should provide a free and equal educational opportunity in colleges and technical schools and do the right thing for the future of our country and our young people. This is not a radical idea. It’s done in many parts of the world and it pays a huge dividend.

As to those students who are saddled with this enormous tuition debt now—it’s reached over a trillion dollars; more than the entire credit card debt in this country?
And what did Congress do for their fat cat contributors? They made student debt non-dischargeable [sic.] in bankruptcy. You can go charge a Maserati on your credit card and write that off in bankruptcy, but somebody that went out and did what they could to get a decent education can’t get a new start.

So we need to demand that Congress allow the dischargeability in bankruptcy of student debt now. [Cheers].

KING: Thank you, Ah, Virgil…

GOODE: You might not get what you want to hear from me, but you’re going to get straight talk. [Laughter].

We can’t afford more federally subsidized student loans, and we can’t afford more Pell Grants. [Applause]. I wish I could stand here and tell you: yes we could give you more. No one’s going to have to pay for it. A debt of $16 trillion is bearing down on us, and, as Governor Johnson said, we could well be like Germany after World War I.

I do not support—and the person that asked the question on the Internet is not going to like it—but we can’t afford more Pell Grants and more federally subsidized student loans; certainly not at this time. We’ve got to balance the budget and decline the debt. [Applause].

KING: All right, anybody have a rebuttal?

JOHNSON: Rebuttal.

KING: Rebuttal. Governor…

JOHNSON: Free comes with a cost. Free [Applause] very simply is spending more money than what you take in. Free is simply accumulating more to the $16 trillion in debt that we currently have. Free has gotten us to the point where we are going to experience a monetary collapse in this country due to the fact that we continue to borrow and print more money than we take in.

We’re printing and borrowing money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar we spend. Free, the Federal Reserve System in this country. The Treasury, they print money, they give it to the Federal Reserve. Do they give it to you or I? No, they buy up Treasuries in a closed loop, making profits off you and I with no risk whatsoever.

This is what has to stop in this country is the notion of ‘free.’

KING: All right. [Applause]

JOHNSON: There needs to be a level playing field for everybody.

KING: Any other rebuttals?


KING: Rocky…

ANDERSON: I so disagree with both Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode on this. [Cheers]. We cannot afford not to provide a great education and equality of opportunity for all of our young people in this country. [Cheers & applause].

We need to insist on prosperity, not austerity, and in a recession, it’s not time for these massive spending cuts as called for by Bowles Simpson and the people running for President of the major parties. We need to get behind our workers and our young people and provide what’s going to build this nation in the future—great jobs and a great first class education.

KING: Jill will go and then Virgil. Jill, rebuttal Jill…

STEIN: I’m agreeing with Rocky here that we cannot afford not to educate our students. Our younger generation is the greatest resource we have, and their participation in our economy is not just good for them, it’s good for all of us.

Every generation, the economy needs to be rebooted by fresh imagination and by the fresh genius of a new generation. That doesn’t happen when a generation is lost into being indentured servants. That’s what our students are now.

We [cheers & applause] need to bail them out and create free higher public education.

KING: Virgil, rebuttal…

GOODE: Simply point out, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the last debate. Romney said, I’m for expanding student loans and Pell Grants. You’ve got four candidates you can look to, if that’s your big issue.

Civil Liberties

KING: [Moderator chuckles]. All right. The fifth question for tonight’s debate centers on civil rights. Like the previous questions, it is being submitted via social media and is being presented exactly as it was sent to us.

The question comes from Melissa Farley on twitter. This is for the candidates—and this go around will begin back with Jill. Where do you stand on NDAA section 1021: the ability to detain Americans indefinitely? Where do you stand on that and why? Jill…

STEIN: It’s an outrage that 1021 of NDAA was ever passed to start with. It’s an incredible betrayal of our civil liberties that the President has assumed dictatorial rights to put us in prison at his pleasure without charge or without trial. This is unallowable and is against the very foundation of American liberty. And, it should be repealed. [Cheers & applause].

And, while we’re at it, we must also repeal the President’s interpretation of the, ah, Enforcement Act in 2001. The Military Use Act that said that assassinations are in the power of this President. We need to put an end to assassinations. We need to put an end to the FISA Act, which retroactively legalized unwarranted wiretapping against U.S. citizens. [Cheers]. We need to repeal the PATRIOT Act, and [cheers & applause] we need to stop the persecution of whistleblowers, who blow the whistle on crimes by our government. [Sustained cheers & applause].

KING: Ten seconds Jill.

STEIN: As Benjamin Franklyn said, “If we sacrifice our liberty for security, we will wind up loosing both.” So let’s take back our liberty. That is the foundation of true security. [Cheers & applause].

KING: Rocky. The question of detaining Americans indefinitely…

ANDERSON: Well, I went to law school because I believed as deeply as one could believe in the rule of law, in justice, in the fact that our system of justice can provide, ah, for everyone. And, what we have seen with, through the Bush years, and now, with President Obama, has been so absolutely subversive and anti-American.

There’s been no more anti-American Act in our history than the NDAA. And, President Obama—don’t be fooled about this—in 2009, he asked for the power to indefinitely detain people without charges, without a trial, without legal assistance, and without the right of habeas corpus.

We are on the road towards totalitarianism, and that’s not an exaggeration. [Applause].

Take a look at this. Just one person, one person, can determine against whom and under what conditions, laws passed by Congress and our Constitution are going to be applied. That spells tyranny. It is the very definition of tyranny.

So, what happened when President Obama came into office? He said, ‘Oh, about our international treaties and our domestic laws absolutely forbidding torture, let’s forget about those war crimes and move forward; not look backwards.’

What about those people who committed countless federal felonies by illegally spying on American citizens? He said, ‘Let’s forget about it.’

And he did the same thing when he was in the United States Senate, and after he promised just the opposite to everybody before he got the Democratic nomination, he voted for retroactive immunity, criminal immunity, for the Telecom companies that participated in the illegal surveillance program.

KING: All right.

ANDERSON: That shows such utter disregard to the rule of law. We need to demand more of our leaders or we’ll never [Cheers & applause]

KING: All right. Question for Virgil Goode

ANDERSON: We’ll never meet the promise—

KING: Rocky. All right Virgil—

ANDERSON: of our Constitution.

GOODE: One sentence answer, Larry. If I were President, I would have vetoed NDAA.

KING: Why can’t we all be that simple? Governor…

JOHNSON: Well, because Larry, this is like shamelessly pitching one’s self to vote for me. So I going to try to take advantage of shamelessly pitching myself here.

Um, I would have vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, allowing for you and I, as U.S. citizens to be arrested and detained without being charged.

I think that is what’s really significant is that last year, last December, the ACLU came out with the report card on all of the Presidential candidates, and I apologize to the three others on stage that weren’t in this report card. But they came out with a report card on all the Presidential candidates—ACLU: ACLU, a group dedicated to civil liberties, a group dedicated to the Constitution, a group dedicated to the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights.

I think this is really important. Twenty-four liberty torches was a perfect score. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum had zero liberty torches out of 24. Newt Gingrich had four liberty torches out of 24. Barack Obama had 16 liberty torches out of 24. My hero, Ron Paul; 18 liberty torches out of 24, [Cheers & applause] and Gary Johnson had 21 liberty torches out of 24. And I’m very proud of that.

Ideal Amendment to Constitution

KING: Okay. Any rebuttal? [both moderators laugh]. I guess you all agree on that.

All right. We go to question number six—we will, by the way have discussion on this and we’ll have closing comments as well. To begin this round, we’ll start with Rocky.

The sixth and final debate question was selected by my editorial team from the many questions submitted to us via social media.

In a post Facebook, Russell Haight, Russ Haight asked the Presidential candidates this—have to think about this, and we start with Rocky.

‘If you had the opportunity to write one Constitutional Amendment with an absolute guarantee that it would be approved by Congress, and following that, by three fourths of the state legislatures, what would you amend?”

ANDERSON: I’ve already written it. Please take a look at our website

The new equal rights amendment promising that equal rights under the law will never be abridged on account of gender or sexual orientation. [Cheers].

It’s time that we had federal protections for members of our GLBT community and absolutely prohibit any discrimination on account of gender. That amendment without the sex orientation provisions failed by not getting the approval of only three states in this country. It’s high time we revive it, add sexual orientation and gender identification, and make that statement, as a nation, that we’ll never allow discrimination on those grounds again. [Sustained cheers & applause].

KING: Do you, before the others respond. Do you think, Rocky, that would pass today?

ANDERSON: I do think it would pass if the people made it clear that we insist upon it, and there will be a heavy political price paid by anybody in Congress or in the White House who opposes it.

It’s really up to us. Major social movements in this country always started at the grassroots level. We are the leaders. Let’s make them follow it. [Cheers & applause].

KING: Virgil. What would, how would you amend the Constitution?

GOODE: Term limits! If we don’t adopt term limits, you’re going to continue to have a Congress that is always worried about the next election, instead of what’s best for the country. And let me say this. If we could get it through Congress, and you might have to grandfather all the members of Congress that are there right now—which I wouldn’t want to do, but you might have to. I’m for term limits between six years and twelve years. I don’t care what it is, whether its six, eight, twelve. It would enhance Washington so much because, I was there twelve years, it’s a constant worry about the next election. Where’s the next fundraiser going to be? Who are the PACS going to be there giving me money so I’ll be able to outspend my opponent?

You watch the Chicago television. It is constant advertising. The PACS are the biggest contributors to that for Congressional elections.

I will tell you this. If we could get it through the House and the Senate, it would go like a knife through hot butter of the state legislatures. Term limits now. [Cheers & applause].

KING: Are they, as a follow up, Virgil, you think they’d vote themselves out of office?

GOODE: No, that’s why I said you would probably have to grandfather those, and I thin you could grandfather now. At least, by giving them, if it was a twelve year, give ‘em twelve more years. That would get it through.

KING: Governor, what’s your Constitutional amendment?

JOHNSON: Term limits! The root of all evil are politicians that beat their chests and, in the name of electing me or re-electing me—we’re going to end the war on terror, we’re going to take care of illegal immigrants, we’re going to take care of healthcare, we’re going to have free education for everybody, we’re going to end the drug wars—you name it, elect me or re-elect me, I’m going to save the world.

And Congress gets elected. We need to balance. I hear Congressional ads running all the time. We need to balance the federal budget. The next ad that runs is here’s the bacon that I brought home to my state amounting to billions of dollars, and if you want the bacon to continue to be brought home, vote for me.

I think that I’m living proof that term limits work.

Look, I really enjoyed being governor of New Mexico. I really enjoyed it. But I was term limited. I had eight years. Did I push the envelope as much as I might have pushed it if I’d had four years as opposed to eight years? I don’t think I did. I think I pushed the envelope just far enough to get re-elected, and I got re-elected in a state that was 2-1 Democrat. And then it was, man, this is all about doing the right thing. I do not want to leave office thinking, coulda, shoulda, woulda.

So term limits, in my opinion, really is the silver bullet. Politicians would get elected and do the right thing, as opposed to whatever it takes to get elected and re-elected. [Cheers & applause]

KING: And, ah, Jill, how would you amend the Constitution?

STEIN: My concern is that, even with term limits—unfortunately with corporations and big money can still buy what they want and are still buying our candidates. [Applause]. Because they get them into office any how, whether it’s for four years or eight years.

So, I want to pass the amendment that will clarify that money is not speech and corporations are not people. [Sustained cheers & applause]. Because, in stealing our rights of personhood, corporations have done exactly that. They have gotten the rights of personhood and have basically taken away our rights of personhood.

So, corporations can fight and stop and block the laws that we need to protect our air, and our water, and our climate, and worker safety, and public health and campaign finance. These are not Constitutional issues that belong to corporations. These are political questions that should be decided by communities through the political and legislative process. We should not be precluded from forming the laws that we need because corporations say that our forming such laws and protecting ourselves is against the Constitution. That is a violation of what the writers of the Constitution intended. And I will support that Constitutional amendment to clarify, to get our Constitutional rights back from the corporations that have seized them. [Cheers & sustained applause].

Closing Statements

KING: Ah, this has been a very lively evening. You will each have two minutes to, ah, close, is that correct?

TOBIN: That’s correct.

KING: All right. Do we start the way we started or do we go round about?

TOBIN: We’re actually going to go next in line to Virgil.

KING: Okay. This is two minutes, closing statements. You don’t have to rebut them. You say anything you like.

GOODE: Again, thanks to Free and Equal, thanks to Larry King, thanks to Gary, Rocky and Jill.

Open up the process. Give broader views to Americans and we will have a better and greater country.

Four things that we’ve got to do right away. I repeat. Balance the budget now; not ten years down the road like Obama and Romney are talking about. Jobs in America for American citizens first. I am the only candidate that has advocated an almost complete moratorium on green cards, foreign worker admissions into this country until unemployment is under five percent. It makes no sense to bring in so many foreign workers when we need jobs in America for U.S. citizens first. [Applause] Thirdly, I agree with Jill on Super PACS and PACS and defining speech, but I don’t think you need a Const…I think it can be done with legislation with enough whereas and a sense of the House and a sense of the Senate in it. I want to see political action committees eliminated; individual donations only, full transparency, and we need to end the Super PACS that are totally just [illegible] controlling federal elections. It’s time for grassroots candidate like Virgil Goode to be President, and he’ll work for term limits, too. [Applause]

KING: Governor.

JOHNSON: I would not be standing here before you right now if I didn’t think I could do a really good job as President of the United States. And I am basing that on the resume that I have. I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. Ah, I started a one-man, handyman business when I was a junior in college, and actually grew that business to employ over a thousand people in Albuquerque. It’s amazing what can happen when you say you’ll, when you do what you say you will do and when you show up on time. It’s just amazing.

Now, I sold that business in 1999. Nobody lost their job. Business is doing better than ever.

As governor of New Mexico, I ran completely outside of the political system. I was elected governor in a state that was 2-1 Democrat, and made a name for myself vetoing legislation. I may have vetoed more legislation than the other 49 governors in the country combined. I vetoed 750 bills. I had thousands of line item vetoes. It made a difference when it came to billions of dollars worth of spending. It made a difference when it came to laws that told you or I what we could or couldn’t do in the bedroom.

With regard to immigration, which I think is really a hot button issue and it kind of highlights differences between me and everybody else. Let’s start off with the premise that immigration is really a good thing. [Applause]. Let’s make it as easy as possible for somebody who wants to come into this country and work to get a work visa—not a green card, not citizenship but a work visa, so that applicable taxes would get paid and that we would have no criminals working in this country.

Look, we hear about wasted votes right now. Wasting your vote is voting for somebody that you don’t believe in. That’s wasting your vote. [Sustained cheers and applause].

Um, I’m asking everybody here. I’m asking everybody watching this nationwide to waste your vote on me. Vote fore me, Gary Johnson. And you know what happens? I’m the next President of the United States, and I guarantee you, nobody will regret that. You’ll find somebody with no quit. You’ll find somebody who will wake up every single day and take on the debates and the discussions that need to be happening in this country, and aren’t happening today because of a lack of leadership.

KING: Thank you, governor. [Cheers & Applause] Jill Stein. Jill, two minutes.

STEIN: There’s a famous saying from Alice Walker that the biggest way that people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with. [Applause]. In fact, there are 90 million voters who are not coming out to vote in this election—that’s one out of every two voters. That’s twice as many as the number who will come out for Barack Obama and twice as many of the number who will come out for Mitt Romney. Those are voters who are saying “no” to politics as usual and “no” to the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Imagine if we got word to those 90 million voters that they actually have a variety of choices and voices in this election.

And I want to focus, especially, on those 36 million students and young people and recent graduates who are effectively indentured servants because of the high unemployment rates and the draconian, unforgiving loans that have been customized, especially for students, lacking any consumer protections. If those students decided to stand-up and go to the polls and come out and vote for a free public higher education, for ending student debt, for bailing out the students and breaking up the banks instead of the other way around, which is what they are doing. We could turn politics in this country on its head on November 6.

I encourage you. Go to my website. Get the word out. There is a choice in this election to take back our democracy, to create jobs for everyone through a Green New Deal that would put an end to climate change and make wars for oil obsolete. We can do this now by standing up and making it so. [Cheers].

KING: Now thank you, Jill. And finally, Rocky Anderson…

ANDERSON: Imagine if there had been a candidate included in the Obama/Romney debate to challenge our plutocracy, our government that is run by and for the benefit of monstrous corporations rather than in the interests of the people of this country.

We know that the Republicans and Democrats have some differences, but both of them have morphed into a militarist, corporatists, anti-democratic force that has betrayed basic human and civil rights. We know that both of these major candidates have been bought and paid for. That’s why neither of them stands for healthcare-for-all, as in the rest of the industrialized world. That’s why neither of them ever talks about breaking the stranglehold of the military-industrial complex has on our government. And that’s why neither of ever talk about providing the essential leadership on the climate crisis—the greatest tragedy facing earth’s inhabitants.

Obama and Romney have refused to discuss the corrupting influence of money, flowing from Wall Street banks, from the insurance companies, pharmaceutical industries or military contractors because they are the recipients of that corrupting money. And neither of these dominant party candidates will have called for federal protection of marriage equality. Neither of them have called for an end of poverty and an end to the insane War on Drugs, or for the implementation of a WPA-like initiative that would hire millions of workers.

So, thank you to Christina Tobin and Larry King and Free and Equal for providing this opportunity [applause] to present democratic solutions in the public interests on which we can all work together far beyond this election. [Cheers & applause].

KING: First of all, ah, as a moderator and a host for 55 years, I’ve always believed in free speech and the right of people to throw their hat into the ring and to the right of people to be heard, going back to years ago when I introduced Ross Perot to the public, and got to hear his thoughts, and John Anderson before that in Illinois, and Ralph Nader and the others, who have come forward to, ah, go to the battle. You’re kind of Don Quixote’s in a way, but the windmills have a way of stopping. We have a way of saluting you, just for getting into the fray.

I thank you for your efforts and all you’ve done. I also want to salute Christina and what she does. How did, ah,

TOBIN: Thank you. Thank you.

KING: Since she is going to wind things up, but how did Free and Equal start?

TOBIN: Well, it came from my dad. You may recall him, Jim Tobin. He ran for governor here back in 1998. And so today’s his birthday,. Happy Birthday, Dad. It’s my legacy ah through him and Taxpayers United of America.

I live through him. So now we have Free and Equal Elections as a non-partisan organization, uniting the grassroots movement across the spectrum to break the stranglehold of the two-party system, to bring the power back to the people. [Cheers & applause].

KING: I know, ah, Christina has some closing remarks. I want to thank Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson and Virgil Hamlin Goode for participating in this. It was my pleasure to be here. I thank you all very much, and thanks to the audience, as well. [Cheers & applause]. And I’ll, ah, I’ll turn it over to Christina Tobin for the close. Christina…

TOBIN: I to thank Larry King for a dream come true. Larry, please. [Cheers & applause]. Of course, my executive producer, Marcy Fargrave and producer Gary Franchi, the whole crew of people. Thank you to them, and the candidates and we the people. And I have some good news for you.

How many people enjoyed this debate tonight?

[Sustained applause, cheers leading to standing ovation].

TOBIN: Wow! [laughs]. How many people want to see a second debate? {Cheers & Applause] Well, here at Free and Equal, we’re a non-partisan organization. All the donations go to create things like this, and big things after the election, but we are holding a debate, next Tuesday in Washington D.C., 9:00 P.M. Eastern time.

And thanks to one of our sponsors, Rob Ritchie with, we’re going to implement instant run-off voting. And you can go on our website tonight to vote for the candidates that you want, the two candidates with the highest votes, that’s Free and Equal, Free and They’re instant run-off voting, the same as the Grammys. Rick gets rid of the spoiler effect. You have 24 hours to vote. Go on line tonight to vote when you go home today to vote and on Thursday morning we will announce the two candidates with the most votes, who will be in Washington D.C. to debate international issues. Please vote tonight. Free and

So, thank you Larry.

KING: Thanks you, thank you very much. Always love coming to Chicago.

TOBIN: We the people.

KING: Good night, everybody.

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