Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal attends Libertarian convention


Full Frontal with Samantha Bee covers the dysfunction surrounding the recent nomination of Gary Johnson at the Libertarian Convention in Orlando.

The Libertarian Party is suddenly receiving an increased amount of attention this election cycle thanks to the dissatisfaction with the two major parties’ nominees. Gary Johnson, who was recently selected as the party’s presidential candidate at a convention in Orlando, is getting a second look from voters in part because he’ll be one of the only other names on the ballot in the majority of the country come November. This prompted Samantha Bee to interview the former New Mexico governor-turned-cannabis entrepreneur in last week’s episode of Full Frontal. In this week’s installment, the TBS late-night series traveled to the Libertarian Convention to document the chaos revolving around the nominating process, showing that there’s just as much divisiveness and infighting as seen in the Democratic and Republican parties.

As Johnson told Bee, the gathering of the small government conservatives includes a mix of “well meaning, wonderful, well spoken people,” as well as “people that are just batsh*t crazy.” It didn’t take long for Full Frontal to find the latter group of folks among the group of candidates, including boot-hatted activist and performance artist Vermin Supreme, businessman and accused murderer John McAfee, and a bearded man who decided to strip naked after he failed to secure the nomination in a clip that quickly went viral.

Meanwhile, Johnson staked out a more moderate position on the issues in the final debate leading up to the nomination, rankling some of the members who felt he wasn’t libertarian enough because he supported requiring driver’s licenses, favors adopting a fair tax and said he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act.

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“This is what happens when you sell out to big DMV,” Bee joked.

Another candidate took issue with his contention that Libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, as evidenced by Johnson’s chief rival Austin Petersen, who describes himself as pro-life.

“I like to live in a world where gay married couples can protect their marijuana fields with fully-automatic machine guns,” the 35-year-old candidate said of his platform. He later added that the government should stop trying to combat global warming, and compared himself to the Marquis de Lafayette and the Founding Fathers when criticized for his lack of qualifications for being president.

After receiving boos from the crowd throughout the debate, Johnson still managed to make it to the second ballot after none of the candidates received a majority of the votes. Despite fiery opposition to Johnson’s nomination, including an opponent shouting that “We’re cutting our throats if we elect Johnson,” the 2012 Libertarian candidate secured the nomination once again on the second ballot with 55.8% of the delegates.

“In the end, it was the silent majority of boring, besuited moderates who crushed the party Cirque du Soleil understudy demographic,” Bee concluded.

Watch the entire segment below:

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Johnson selected former Republican Governor of Massachusetts William Weld as his running mate, setting up a contest in which he could potentially take votes away from the Republican nominee, a brash billionaire that’s never held elected office, who beat out several current and former governors during the primaries to secure the nomination. A recent Fox News poll showed Johnson getting 12% of the vote nationally, close to the 15% required to get into the presidential debates.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on TBS.