“Are you all excited? We’re going to have fun tonight,” a production manager shouted while rushing back and forth across Huddleston Hall’s ballroom minutes before the filming of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and his vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld were asked questions by both Matthews and audience members during the taping.
Huddleston Hall, where the filming took place, was filled with three rows of seats. The only sounds before the show’s airing consisted of high-heels clapping on the wooden floors and murmurs of conversation.
Between every commercial break, an “Are we having fun?” shout echoed through the tight room.
The audience ranged from students wearing Nike t-shirts and Old Navy jeans, to individuals with five-inch heels and slick suits and suit-dresses. The audience roared with political ecstasy before every commercial break.
Questions to Johnson and Weld were asked on stage by Matthews, as well as off-stage in the front row of the audience by various UNH students.
Matthews, having the liberal standpoint he has, instantly mentioned the non-political comments that have come up from presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Johnson responded by stating how irrelevant it was for Trump to comment on Clinton’s weight in regard to the discussion of the previous presidential debate.
“It’s just B.S.,” Johnson said.
“I don’t think he [Trump] knows when the curtain is up and when it is down,” Weld said.
Johnson compared himself with Senator Bernie Sanders when explaining why UNH students should vote for him
“On the social side, I took the website quiz of who I side with (Clinton or Sanders), and I sided with [Sanders] 75 percent of the time,” Johnson said. “The part where we come into a ‘T’ in the road is economics, but I would argue that equal opportunity is possible and that it is something government can provide. And so, 75 percent I agree with [Sanders], and the other 25 percent, if you believe that all we’re after is equal opportunity, I can deliver on that one.”
Johnson answered questions in a more casual manner in comparison to Weld. One point that stood out was when Johnson was asked who his favorite foreign leader was; he clumsily couldn’t come up with any names.
Matthews asked Johnson which one of the two candidates he trusts most with nuclear weapons. “Me,” was his answer.
Weld followed up the response by stating that Trump should “go into the laundry business.” Weld continued to describe Trump as someone who has solid personable skills and that he got to where he is today because he’s a great businessman, but that his greatest flaw is that he is too obsessed with becoming the U.S. president.
In reference to a student’s question about pro-choice versus pro-life, Johnson said that he believes the government shouldn’t be involved with such decisions, keeping with his Libertarian values.
“The choice should be made by the women involved,” Johnson said. “Period.”
In regard to the Iran War deal made by Secretary Clinton, Johnson said that we shouldn’t have gotten involved and that the war isn’t anyone’s fault.
Matthews quickly shifted gear into the legalization of recreational drugs, such as marijuana.
“It’s safer than anything else, especially alcohol,” Johnson said, admitting to recreationally using the drug in the past. “I’m saying the same things about recreational drug use as I did in 1999.”
Johnson gave the audience a reason to roar after he described his distaste for government regulations on choices such as drug use, gay marriage and abortion.
“We need to put an end to it,” he said. “[And be] able to make choices on our own. Period.”