You might remember that I had a lunch date with Mr. Root recently. Some of you know that I became ill and was unable to make the appointment and that Mr. Root was gracious enough to answer your questions via email. I want to thank Mr. Root for his generous donation of time. I also want to thank you for your questions.
There is a lot riding on the presidential race of 2008 and the Libertarian Party has much to think about before the national convention. I hope this aids your decision making process.
Mr. Root, please provide several reasons why I should consider voting for you when your platform and Ron Paul’s are very similar?
First of all, I’m constantly accused of being “more of a Republican” than a Libertarian- simply because I used to be a well-known, outspoken Republican. Now your blog reader Mike asks why Libertarians should vote for me versus Ron Paul. I’m actually smiling as I respond. I left the GOP. I joined the LP as a “Lifetime member.” Ron Paul is NOT running as a Libertarian- he’s running as a Republican! He’s the real Republican, not me. Yet many Libertarians are supporting him. I’m perplexed. You have to maintain consistency. You can’t criticize me for being “too Republican”
because I used to be one. Then support a guy who is a Republican right now!
I’m the guy who (LOUDLY) left the GOP. I was literally born a Barry Goldwater Republican. I was a Republican supporter, activist, voter, contributor and former candidate (at age 21). I wrote a best-selling book in 2005 called “Millionaire Republican.” Yet I realized over the past two years that the GOP has changed radically from the party of smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom for the individual (the philosophy of my heroes Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan) to the party of big government, runaway spending, Big Brother and the Nanny State. I did not leave the GOP. The Republican Party left me (and millions of others). I have no doubt that Barry Goldwater would today be a Libertarian. Yet Ron Paul chose to stay in the GOP- where his anti-war ideas will never be accepted. That’s why he stands at 1% to 3% in the polls. He’s in the wrong party, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Bad decision.
On the other hand, I made the jump. It took great courage. It’s nothing to be suspicious of- afterall Ronald Reagan was a lifelong Democrat and union activist before he made the switch to the leader of Conservative Republicans. Hillary Clinton was a “Goldwater Gal” and head of her college Young Republican chapter before becoming a liberal Democrat activist for life. Smart, passionate and committed people see the light and change.
What the LP DESPERATELY needs right now is millions of disillusioned Republicans making the same change as I made. The LP needs someone like Wayne Allyn Root to help disillusioned Republicans see the light. To give former Republican voters the courage to make a big change. Ron Paul will not help make that happen. I can.
The more important point is that Ron Paul has 1% to 3% support in the polls. He is NOT winning the GOP nomination. So your choice as a Libertarian voter is only Wayne Allyn Root versus other Libertarian Presidential candidates. Ron Paul will not be a choice available in November 2008.
Unless he makes the smart move- and decides to run as a Libertarian Presidential candidate. Which I think would be a great move. He has built incredible momentum and organization. The time is ripe for a third party Presidential candidate to run a highly competitive race. I’d be willing to step aside and run as Vice President in a Ron Paul/Wayne Root LP ticket. I think that ticket would be highly competitive in the 2008 election. All the factors are in place for a third party PERFECT STORM.
I would provide great balance to a Ron Paul candidacy- I am young to his age and experience. I am a dynamic, high-energy communicator who is ideal for the TV sound-bite age. I bring moderation to Ron Paul’s message on Iraq and the war on terror- something millions of Republicans, conservatives and independent patriotic voters want to hear. I bring 10 to 20 million angry and motivated online gamblers and poker enthusiasts (who are fans of mine) to the table. I bring disillusioned “reformed
Republicans” to the table. I bring vast media and television experience, prolific fundraising ability, infomercial expertise (like Ross Perot, any third party ticket needs 30 minute infomercials to spread their message), and the ability to create high profile media vehicles for our LP ticket (TV reality show, book deals, documentary on our LP campaign). Will Ron Paul come back home to the LP? You never know. I’m planting the seed and extending an olive branch right now.
But barring that dramatic move by Ron Paul, I’m your best Libertarian choice in 2008.
You mention the Flat Tax on your website. Do you mention it simply as an example of tax reform or as a preference over the Fair Tax and others? If it is a preference, why?
First of all, I support ANYTHING that cuts income taxes and reduces the tax burden on American taxpayers- rich, poor and everyone in-between. My preference would be for a flat income tax, but I would ENTHUSIASTICALLY support a “Fair Tax” if it was up for a vote. I also support the elimination of “death taxes,” as well as the elimination of taxes on capital gains, interest, and dividends. I support dramatic cuts in government spending and entitlements to make massive tax cuts possible.
As to why I favor a flat income tax, it has been a huge success in many countries around the world- including many former Soviet Republics such as Estonia and Georgia. Taxes are dramatically down
and the result is that their economies are booming. On the other hand, many more liberal European countries have adopted VAT taxes (a national sales tax similar to the proposed “Fair Tax”)- and those countries are in an economic downfall. Why? Because liberal politicians will always find a way to add back an income tax after eliminating it in favor of a national sales tax- leaving taxpayers with BOTH.
I am also skeptical of national sales taxes because taxpayers don’t feel the pain. When I hear taxpayers complain about taxes, it is always income taxes or property taxes that they complain or protest about- because they actually feel the pain. These taxes come out of their paycheck (income tax) or arrive in the mail in the form of a bill from the government (property taxes). But sales taxes are rarely seen by taxpayers- so they don’t feel the pain or notice the rip-off by government. I want taxpayers to always feel the pain and therefore protest against excessive taxation.
Having said all that, I’d support a “Fair Tax” in a nanosecond if it would reduce the burden on U.S. taxpayers- and more importantly, if it would eliminate the I.R.S.
“This June, you were registered Republican. Are you ever going to re-register from Republican to Libertarian?”
I am a registered Libertarian. I have been for months now. Perhaps whoever asked this question was relying on old information that has since been updated. I assume you based the question on a very positive article written about my candidacy in the Las Vegas newspaper from a few months ago.
I have heard of ZERO publicity in the mainstream media about any LP Presidential candidates besides me. That is the more important issue. Don’t worry about one line in a news article about my registration (that was incorrect). Instead LP enthusiasts should be thrilled to see that one LP Presidential candidate is finally getting attention in the mainstream media. Please go to my web site www.ROOT4America.com and see the section on my homepage entitled “WAR Media Watch” to see all the many articles, interviews and media coverage I’ve attracted of late.
Interestingly, I haven’t even officially filed for a Presidential run yet. I am “the Fred Thompson of LP politics.” Fred is not an official Presidential candidate yet and he’s already a close 2nd in the GOP Presidential polls. I am not an official candidate either…yet in Stephen Gordon’s recent in-depth national LP poll (at GordonUnleashed.com)…I was the leading vote-getter for the LP Presidential nomination. I was also just invited to speak as a Presidential candidate at the most prestigious conservative political leadership conference of the year-with political activists from across the country in attendance. I am bringing unprecedented attention to the LP. That is what I’ve done well my entire life- I am a dynamic, outspoken MEDIA MAGNET. And that is precisely what the LP and Libertarian movement needs right now.
“Are you ever going to speak to the party officials in your own state?”
I have no idea where this question came from. I had dinner earlier this Spring 2007 with the two dynamic leaders of the Nevada LP. I informed them as a courtesy that I’d be throwing my hat in the ring for the LP Presidential nomination. I spoke again recently to one of the Nevada LP leaders and encouraged him to invite me to speak at a Nevada LP event in the Fall. Summers- as you might guess- are a dead time of the year in the sizzling hot desert of Las Vegas. At any one time, half (or more) of Nevada residents seem to be on vacation in July and August- just as I am right now. As soon as the weather cools down and Nevada LP members are back from family vacations, I’ll be only too happy to address my fellow Nevada LP members.
By the way, my second home is in Park City, Utah. My family and I spend much of the summer there. I love Utah and plan to retire there one day. I recently called the Utah LP Chairman to ask if I could address the Utah LP membership at any time this summer while I’m in Utah. He too felt summer was a bad time to try to get many Libertarians together at a meeting. We agreed to try again in the Fall.
My plan has been all along to get serious about my Presidential decisions and campaign starting in Fall of 2007. Summers are for family- not serious politics. Voters are out having fun at the beach and mountains right now. Only the most serious political activists are tuned into politicians and political messages in the summer 16 months before the election! To spend money, time or resources now would be a waste. Or as one of my heroes General Patton would say- “Be patient. Wait…wait…and wait some more. Don’t shoot your cannons until the last possible second- when it matters.” That’s how you win an election- hold all your resources and serious campaigning until the point where it matters- when voters get serious and they are listening. Then…and only then…FIRE AWAY!
“Are you ever going to file with the FEC?”
I think that I already covered this one in my responses above. I will make my final decision and announcement on my Presidential run this Fall. When I do, I’ll file with FEC. There was no point in raising or spending any serious money this summer. It would be wasted. A third party candidate would get completely lost amidst summer fun and family vacations 16 months BEFORE the 2008 election. Just like Fred Thompson, I’ll file and announce when the time is right. When voters are paying attention.
“Why do you think you are going to be able to raise money without spending any of your own?”
I never said that I wouldn’t be spending any of my own money. Once again, rumors run wild on the Internet. I did say on one Internet radio interview that I would not commit to any certain amount of my own money. I have no idea what amount of my own money will be necessary. But once I file, announce and commit 100% to this race, I am willing to spend some of my own money. If you look at the leading Presidential contenders- Guliani, Thompson, McCain, Hillary, Barack Obama, Edwards- none of them to my knowledge are spending their own money. Mitt Romney is the only exception to that. So spending your own fortune to get elected is not a requirement for the office. Actually it is not effective at all- those who have tried to spend their own fortunes have all lost (Ross Perot, John Kerry). Mitt Romney has injected millions into his race in the Republican primaries- yet he’s trailing badly in 4th place at this moment. Running for President is all about ideas and vision- not who is the richest candidate. Besides, I have a boss who helps me make these decisions- my wife Debra. She is the CEO of my finances. Together as a team we will make all final decisions on how much personal money I will spend for any future Presidential run.
But rest assured, I’m a prolific fundraiser. I understand that raising money is the crucial part of any Presidential campaign. Unlike your last LP nominee- who was to my understanding a college professor who had never raised money in his career- I make my living in the business world. As a CEO and entrepreneur, my entire life has been spent raising tens of millions of dollars for my various business ventures. Raising money is what I do for a living! I plan on tapping my biggest and most loyal constituency- 10 to 20 million online gamblers and poker enthusiasts who are angry and motivated because of the online gaming ban. I believe that I can raise $10 million dollars (or more) from this core constituency- that’s in addition to contributions from Libertarians and LP donors.
“Congrats on the soon-to-be-born. How are you going to manage traveling with a new child arriving on January 1, 2008?”
Well, first that is a big concern for me too. Actually not the issue of traveling with a newborn- because I won’t be doing that very much. I’ll be traveling alone. Remember I have 3 young children, plus the new baby Root on the way. My wife Debra is CEO of the Household, and should be awarded “American Mom of the Year.” So that won’t change- Debra will (for the most part) stay home with the kids.
My biggest concern is whether I will get home-sick and suffer “family withdrawl” symptoms. You have to understand my unique lifestyle. I am one of the most fortunate businessmen in the world- I run my entire business empire from my home, so that I can spend all day and night around my family. I’m sure that I’ve given up countless business opportunities and millions of dollars because I’m not out of the house at meetings or social gatherings as much as I could be or should be. But I’m also sure my kids will benefit greatly from my choice. They will grow up confident, loved and functional because of the sacrifices I’ve made to be around them 24/7 (we homeschool our kids- so they are home 24/7 too). I believe that family is far more important than money or power. On your deathbed you’ll never complain about the hours you didn’t spend at the office, but you will certainly lament not having spent more time around your family.
Having said that, there are 3 obvious answers to your question:
First, I could eventually make the decision not to run because of the time spent away from family. I hope that I don’t come to that conclusion.
Second, I could decide that my family can survive without me for a few months as I travel the country running for President. It is an “investment in America,” the country that I love so much and owe so much to. I believe the country needs what I have to offer- the perspective from a straight-shooting, Libertarian-thinking, fiscally conservative, small businessman and S.O.B. (son of a butcher). My kids can survive just fine for a few months without me around 24/7. Their mom and grandmother will shower them with love! The sacrifice is worth it, when you realize the prize- saving our country. Saving their country. When it’s over, I’ll either be in the White House with them, or back home (and back to my “homebody ways”).
Third is the compromise. I don’t think I’ll be away all that much. Times have changed. I conduct business meetings without much traveling. With laptops, cell phones, email, video conferencing and video email (I just learned about this from an exciting new company called VM Direct), we can all do business from anywhere we choose- whether from a beach in Maui or a mountaintop in Deer Valley, Utah (where I am now as I write this).
I think that applies to politics as well. In the “old days” Presidential politics was about handshakes and rallies. Well I do not think a LP candidate gets elected that way in the 21st century. We are big underdogs. We can’t do “business as usual” to beat the dominant 2-party system. Libertarians have to think “out of the box” to beat the long odds against us. My flying to 50 states to meet Libertarians that already support me and will be voting for me is not going to win this Presidential election. My flying to hundreds of LP events and meetings to address crowds of 50 to 100 people at a time makes no sense (nor is it cost effective). Not when victory means I have to reach over 100 million voters with my Libertarian message. I can never meet that many voters in person. There isn’t enough time in a day.
I am planning to raise a minimum of $10 million dollars. With that money- more than any LP Presidential candidate has ever raised- I will blanket the TV and radio airwaves with nonstop infomercials (30 minute shows, without commercial interruption, explaining my views, solutions and plans) in the weeks leading up the 2008 election. Those infomercials will reach virtually every American voter. I will also conduct an unprecedented media campaign- appearing nonstop on national TV and radio talk shows. I will send daily video emails to millions of American voters. New media will play an increasingly important part in this campaign- I was recently asked by YouTube to create my own TV channel- so my video messages will appear day and night on YouTube. So the end result is that I will be on TV, radio, and the Internet from coast to coast day and night- reaching millions of Americans- without having to leave my home in Las Vegas. And I’ll reach far more voters than if I traveled the country for 365 straight days.
Yes, I’ll make a few trips to media in NY and Los Angeles. Yes, I’ll make a few campaign swings to big cities to attract media coverage. Yes, I’ll travel to key LP events and conventions. But I’m a MEDIA MAGNET. I’ll put the LP in the spotlight like never before (times ten)- all without leaving home. It’s what I’ve done all my life. So I don’t think my kids will suffer too much. Besides, they may learn to enjoy seeing me get out of the house once in a while. LOL.
Obviously, you can’t control what is done by others in your name, but what do you think it does to your candidacy to have Eric Dondero plastering your initials on every libertarian site whilst beating the war drum? Is there anything you want to say to libertarians that might set you apart from the Liberty Caucus of the Republican Party?
First of all, I have zero control…and usually no idea what Eric or any other fan of mine is saying about me at various web sites or blogs. I’m too busy running my businesses, my political campaign, media interviews, and my family to worry what every supporter of mine is saying on the web. I’m no more responsible for what others say about me, than Ron Paul is responsible for what his supporters might be saying about him. Actually the most recent post by Eric Dondero should finally put any controversy to rest- I read that Eric has asked me to NOT run as Libertarian Presidential candidate. That’s right- he wants me to drop out of the race. He feels that I am such a talented candidate that I could attract several million votes and thereby cost Republicans Rudy Guliani or Fred Thompson the election. Obviously, Eric didn’t consult with me when he wrote that commentary. He has NEVER consulted with me. I have never even met Eric. We’ve spoken via email a couple of times. That’s it. I do thank him however for being the first person to suggest on the web that I should run for President.
Here’s my best advice. It’s as simple as this- the Internet is the Wild West. No one has any control over what’s said. That’s good- because it promotes free speech. But it’s also bad- in that it promotes and supports comments that are far off the mark, ridiculous, untruthful, slanderous gossip, or just plain wrong. I’d advise everyone in the LP to take everything you read on the Internet with a grain of salt.
Libertarians are not pacifists by any stretch of the imagination; we understand that war is sometimes an ugly necessity. Terror is an emotion that can never truly be eradicated and calling what we are in “The War on Terror” seems to give a blank check for perpetual war. What do you think the U.S. can do, as a matter of policy, to move toward the end of war and better relations with the Middle East and the rest of the world?
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First of all, the single most important thing we can do to win the “War on Terror” has nothing to do with war or violence. It has to do with oil and energy independence. We must wean ourselves off of oil sold by Arab nations that then turnaround and fund radical Islamic terrorism. If we cut off the funds for oil, those that fund terrorist activities will quickly run out of money. We win the war by starving our enemies. How do we do that? Through environmental activism? No. Through a war on global warming? No. Both those liberal models will lead to the destruction of the U.S. economy. It is environmental extremism that has already led to our current energy (and economic) problems. First, we are dependent on foreign oil because liberals and radical environmentalists have prevented us from drilling off the coasts of Alaska, California, Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. Many experts believe we have enough oil reserves located in those areas to supply American consumers with oil (or at least a large portion of our needs) for the next 30 years (or more). That’s enough time to create a new national agenda- a united American nation committed to finding alternative fuel sources.
We have the greatest economy in world history. We can achieve any goal we set for our country. Just as President Kennedy set a national mission to put a man in space within the decade of the ’60’s (and we made it happen on July 20th, 1969- my birthday). We won that “space war.” We can win the “oil war” too. Our next President should declare a national American mission statement for energy independence- a 30 year war to find alternative energy and eliminate the need for oil. That’s the kind of war all Americans will unite behind. Americans can accomplish anything if we unite behind a common cause.
But liberal radical environmentalists have also caused a second big problem- by filing lawsuits to prevent the construction of new oil refineries. No modern refinery has been built in this country in over 30 years. Can you imagine? Then we wonder why gas prices are so high. No matter how much oil we have, if we don’t have the refinery capacity to process it, the system is flawed. That leads to shortages, price increases and interruptions to our economy. Let’s unleash the power of American ingenuity. Let’s start drilling for oil on U.S. soil, cut the regulations that hinder the construction of new refineries, and support the nuclear industry (and the addition of new nuclear power plants). If we do that, we’ll win the “War on Terror” without firing a bullet.
Now to my opinion on the term “War on Terror.” It’s real. Would I wage the war the same way that George W. Bush has? Of course not. I would not take away American’s freedoms under the guise of keeping us safe. What’s the point of fighting the war in Iraq, if we’re losing our rights and freedoms back home? I would not allow warrantless wiretaps. I would not spy on American citizens. I would undo many aspects of the Patriot Act. The “War on Terror” is not an excuse to ignore or violate the constitution. So rest assured that I am a Libertarian.
However where I disagree with some Libertarians is how we should approach the “War on Terror.” It is a real threat to our national security. Ask the British- who almost had 3 horrific terror attacks in one day. It is incredibly naive to think our vicious enemies- Islamic extremists- will ever leave us alone. They murder their OWN people for minor offenses. They treat women like slaves. They refuse to allow young girls to attend school. They riot, burn, loot and murder over a CARTOON. They stone women to death for “the sin” of being raped. Yet you think we can “play nice” with them and they’ll leave us alone?
Did Adolph Hitler leave us alone? Did Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” philosophy make friends with Hitler? No, he laughed at the naivete and weakness of the West. He took advantage of weakness- and attacked aggressively. Islamic terrorists believe that anyone that does not submit to Islam or Allah is an infidel…and must be converted or killed. By the way…that is NOT what Mohammed said. If you study true Islam, you’ll find that Islam is not a religion of murder. But Islamic extremism does not care about the truth…or facts. We face a Hitler in our time.
That does NOT mean I’d intervene all over the world. That does NOT mean I’m George W. Bush. I’m not. It does mean that I will remain vigilant and aggressive- something that our enemies respect. It does mean I would secure the U.S. border- our weakest link in the war on terror. It does mean that I’d do more than talk tough to create a false sense of security- all the while only searching the cargo of 10% (or less) of the ships reaching our ports. It does mean that I’d cut foreign aid dramatically (as well as monies spent on the United Nations) and use those billions in savings to create real security for American planes, trains and ports. But I will never show weakness or take options off the table. Our enemies see that as weak. I would make it clear that we will chase terrorists all over the world- so that it is clear that if a terrorist chooses to kill even one American citizen, he will be held accountable no matter where he is in the world. But having said that, Iraq proves we cannot afford to invade nations. We cannot afford to spread Democracy (nor is it any of our business). We cannot afford to “nation build.” We cannot afford to “occupy” a nation. We cannot afford to referee a civil war. But by the way, Democrats are no better- they want out of Iraq, yet they want us in Darfur. Are you kidding?
What all this means is that I am a moderate ELECTABLE Libertarian whose views are acceptable to mainstream voters. I am the only Libertarian Presidential candidate that is fiscally conservative, socially tolerant, and strong on the issues of national defense and the war on terror. A radical 100% pure Libertarian cannot get elected. Actually past history proves that a 100% pure libertarian cannot even surpass 300,000 votes in a Presidential election- where winning requires more than 50 million votes.
Let’s talk turkey. I’m a businessman and a self-made millionaire. I did NOT achieve success by getting everything 100% “my way.” To the contrary, success is all about moderation and compromise. I’d rather win with 80%, than get things 100% my way and lose. Because 100% of nothing is nothing.
The same is true in politics. Ron Paul has 1% of the vote. That doesn’t help the LP cause. Only winning helps the Libertarian cause. You have to elect Libertarian candidates in order to make a difference. Radical Libertarianism will not get anyone elected. You will need to support a moderate mainstream Libertarian candidate who can get the support of a majority of American voters. That is Wayne Allyn Root. You’ll have to compromise a bit. I’m with the LP on 90% (or more) of the issues. That’s as good as it gets with an electable Libertarian politician.
Here’s what it comes down to. Americans hate the Iraq war, they wish we had never gone. They think (like me) that it’s a disaster. But now that we’re there, they know there are no easy answers. It’s more complicated than just “turn tail and abandon ship.” They want us out quickly. So do I. But Iraq and the “War on Terror” are two different issues. Americans support a strong stance in the war on terror. Any Presidential candidate perceived as weak will be instantly disregarded by the American public. That’s why the anti-war Democrats will almost certainly nominate Hillary Clinton (she has a huge lead in the latest polls)- someone who goes out of her way to sound like a tough-talking, pro-war hawk. That is why her closest challenger Barack Obama (my Columbia University classmate) just announced he’d be willing to attack our ally Pakistan to hunt down enemy terrorists hiding in the mountains of Pakistan. You may not agree. Obviously most liberal Democrats don’t agree either. But Democrat candidates are bending over backwards (like a pretzel) to avoid being labeled “soft on the war on terror.” That label is the kiss of death of American politics.
It’s time for Libertarians to recognize that to get elected we will need to think like winners. Sometimes that requires a little bit of compromise. We will need to nominate someone who is strong and aggressive in the way he or she speaks about national defense, homeland security, and most specifically the “War on Terror.” Ron Paul has 1% of the vote because he appears weak on those topics. John Edwards called the “War on Terror” a fraud- the result is that he is now stuck in the Presidential polls at a measly 10% among even liberal Democratic voters. There is no way to win a Presidential election by being soft on terror. Or by blaming America for terrorist attacks.
We are a proud nation. We are a strong nation. We are a positive nation. We like winners, not whiners. I bring all of those positive qualities to the table. I believe that I am the only LP candidate that can bring credibility, high-profile media attention, record-setting votes, and hope (for victory) to the Libertarian Party. I hope I’ve answered all your questions. I hope you now understand my dedication and commitment to the Libertarian cause. I hope you’ll choose to ROOT for Liberty, ROOT for Freedom, and ROOT for America. Learn more about me at www.ROOT4America.com.