Guy Who Backs Abortion, Pot Legalization, and Gay Rights Running for GOP Nomination

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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

None of this "testing the waters" or exploratory committee bullshit: Gary Johnson, who served as New Mexico's governor from from 1995 through 2002, has announced that he's running for president. If, like most people, you aren't familiar with Johnson, a rundown of some of his beliefs might convince you he's a liberal Democrat: He supports legalizing marijuana, abortion rights, and civil unions; opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; wants to slash defense spending; and doesn't go to church. But Johnson is a Republican. His positions are rooted in a stringent libertarian philosophy that, unlike many Republicans, extends to social issues as well as economic issues. Still, it's hard to get tougher on government spending than Johnson: As governor, he earned the nickname "Governor Veto" for vetoing more bills during his time in office than the other 49 governors combined. That record would be pretty attractive to GOP primary voters if it didn't also happen to be wrapped in the body of Dennis Kucinich.

Gary Johnson announces presidential run [CBS News]