“You can live your life as a social conservative and affect other people’s lives by example, but that’s how you do it — not through government policy,” Johnson told Red Alert Politics.
Wrapping up his “Live Free Tour” at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, Johnson labeled himself as “socially accepting” during his speech.
“Now, I use the term accepting not tolerant, because really I don’t give a crap on how you live your life as long as your life doesn’t adversely affect mine,” he said, receiving cheers from the mostly Libertarian audience.
The former New Mexico governor also addressed the growing student debt problem during his speech and suggested the federal government eradicate guaranteed student loans completely.
“I know a lot of you have incurred a lot of debt,” he told the room full of college students. “It’s a kind of chicken and egg thing. Why is college tuition so high? College tuition is so high, because of guaranteed government student loans…I guarantee you if guaranteed government student loans did not exist, college and universities would dramatically lower the cost tuition because they want to fill these seats.”
After concluding his speech, Johnson explained to RAP that eliminating guaranteed government students loans would only help, not hurt, students who currently can’t afford college tuition. According to Johnson, if the government stopped giving guaranteed student loans, prospective students would only have to wait one year to see tuition costs decrease.
“Wherever they would be looking to go would be lower,” he said. “I don’t know how much lower, but lower.”
“College and universities are immune from normal pricing, from a free market,” he continued. “They just keep raising tuitions because of guaranteed student loans.”
Johnson said the point of visiting college campuses during his “Live Free Tour” was to build “momentum” for liberty-minded initiatives, like ending government student loans.
Over the past month, the former governor has visited nine universities for his “Live Free Tour,” a nationwide tour funded by his political advocacy group Our America Initiative.
“If you go back three years ago, I would have been at a college or university and there would have been 5 or 7 people that showed up,” he said. “This is different.”