Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Libertarian presidential candidate says voting for Democrats, GOP is a waste

Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr slammed Sarah Palin during a visit with University of Denver students Oct. 17, saying that she showed “arrogance of the highest order” when she refused to address certain questions during the vice presidential debate earlier this month.

By doing so, he said, she “thumbed her nose at the American people.”

Not directly answering questions has unfortunately become a common theme for both major parties during this election season, he said.

“The candidates don’t like forums where they have to explain themselves,” Barr said. To even be qualified for president, they must be able to reach out of their comfort zones, something no one did during the debates. Third-party candidates have not been invited to the debates, “making it very difficult to break through the status quo of the two major parties,” he said.

Sen. John McCain “rambles on” about being a maverick, and Sen. Barack Obama is no different with talking about hope and change, Barr said.

Barr did not directly explain his solutions to America’s economic and war woes, but did go into some of his basic beliefs.

As a Libertarian, the Constitution “means something,” he said, adding that the president and vice president of the U.S. must at least “have a passing formality with the Constitution.”

He believes in strong defense, a market with minimal regulations and says it is the government’s role to investigate and prosecute banks and investment firms who do not manage people’s money lawfully.

But he urged about 40 students and other community members in Sturm Hall not to always turn to the government to solve problems because it often makes problems worse.

“Voters deserve better than having to choose from the lesser of two evils,” he said. Although Barr admitted his chances of winning the presidency are “not likely,” he said as president he would not only protect liberty, but expand it.

“Voting for the right thing for the right reason is never throwing your vote away,” Barr said. “[You’re] throwing your vote away when voting for the Republican and Democratic party.”

Although he cited disorganization as a cause for the slow momentum of third parties, he showed optimism in his and other campaigns. “I see a real and very positive future for third parties. [They’re] behaving like a real political party and prioritizing issues much better than in the past.”

A recent Denver Post poll found that Bob Barr has four percent of the Colorado vote. McCain and Obama each have 44 percent.

Other presidential candidates visiting DU in recent months were John McCain, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ralph Nader and former candidate John Edwards.

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