On August 29th, 2016, at 8 PM CST, Constitution Party presidential candidate Darrell Castle held his first live stream Q&A session with his supporters over Facebook. The livestream allowed supporters of Castle to ask questions directly in the comments underneath the live video. The first question Castle answered was from this ATPR editor with regards to his ballot access situation in Tennessee. Castle said that he and his wife, Joan Weil Castle (who serves as his campaign manager) handled Tennessee ballot access for the Constitution Party for six straight election cycles, but this year they turned it over to volunteers and they unfortunately fell short in their efforts (by just 39 signatures -ed.). Castle said he’s sadder about this setback in home state than anyone else. His campaign will be working to secure official write-in status.
At the 21:53 minute mark of the 50 minute video archive of the live stream (uploaded to YouTube earlier today), Castle was asked about Murray Rothbard and anarcho-capitalism:
Murray Rothbard and anarcho-capitalism. Well, I’m a von Mises person, I believe in the free market, so I read Murray Rothbard’s stuff and I generally like it.
At its peak moments, over 110 people were viewing the livestream. Below are some PARTIAL highlights of the livestream (all of them appear before the Rothbard question in the video).
The issue of theocracy was one of the first questions to be asked:
Well, I’m a Christian. I make no apologies for that, but we don’t call ourselves the Constitution Party for nothing. We understand what the first amendment says, and we believe that people have a right to religious freedom – to believe what they want to believe, and we would upload that as best we possibly could.
Castle was then asked about his stance on the constitutionality of the War on Drugs:
Well I’m against the War on Drugs. I don’t like it at all; I think that sometimes the federal government doesn’t want the competition but I’m in favor of stopping it, I think it does more harm than good.
The following question concerned Castle’s ballot status in Ohio. Castle replied that the Constitution Party submitted over 8,600 signatures in the Buckeye state, which has a requirement of 5,000; Castle said that the state counted only roughly 3,600 signatures as valid. The Memphis area attorney hopes to qualify for formal write-in status in the state.
Castle said he isn’t a Ted Cruz “birther” (a pejorative term used to describe those individuals questioning the Texas senator’s constitutional qualifications in regards to his failed presidential run) and that he also isn’t a “Bircher,” referring to the John Birch Society, whose leaders have spoken at various Constitution Party meetings in the past.
A few questions later, someone asked Castle if he was confident that he would be on enough state ballots to mathematically have a chance of winning the election (a total ballot access to 270 Electoral College votes). Castle replied that he believed his campaign would very likely not achieve enough success to meet that symbolic threshold for third party candidates.
When asked if he would want Ron Paul’s endorsement, Castle replied that he would very much like to have it.
Castle reiterated his opposition to mandatory vaccinations in a response to a subsequent question and said,
“Right now, if I had a child, and my child is 32, so it’s not an issue, but if I had a child I would not have her vaccinated, and if they tried to forcefully vaccinate her, which actually happened when my daughter was younger, they told me she couldn’t go to college if she didn’t have a hepatitis vaccine, I said, ‘well, you’re gonna get sued,’ and that’s the last we heard of it. It didn’t happen.”
Castle then tackled a question regarding education:
“Can we get rid of the Department of Education and Common Core? Yes, absolutely. That’s a fundamental principle of mine. Education should be handled by states and local people, it takes a family to raise a child, not a government – that’s my view, so local folks can handle it themselves and there’d be no more videos appearing, hopefully, of the federal government teaching six-year old girls how to put on dildos and things like that. I heard of something like that just the other day and it’s horrible and needs to stop.
When asked about transgender bathrooms, the Constitution Party standard bearer replied:
Well, I don’t shop at Target anymore, that’s my thoughts. I don’t think that’s something the federal government needs to be involved in, certainly no orders from the White House to do it, it’s ridiculous and so forth.
A few questions later, Castle was asked why he is a better choice for libertarians than Gary Johnson:
Well, I’m a better choice if you’re pro-life. If you believe in secure borders and so forth…if you value those things then I might be your man.
When discussing Supreme Court appointments, Castle said he would love to appoint “his old friend” Herb Titus and consider him first, as well as the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore.
To an inquiry about how he would deal with ISIS, Castle replied:
Dealing with ISIS or any other terrorist group starts with a secure border in my opinion. If we’re going to let people walk across the border unimpeded, how can we say we’re fighting terrorism? As far as going abroad looking for monsters to slay – only if it’s absolutely necessary. But right now I don’t think it is.
Castle then said, regarding free trade:
No, I am not opposed to free trade. I like free trade. For example, the free trade deal that we have with Chile, were they ship us their fresh fruits and vegetables -it’s summer down there when it’s winter up here, so we have that kind of deal with them. They buy our Boeing aircraft and machine parts and things like that, so I’m all for that. I’m just opposed to free trade agreements for reasons that I have stated many times, they transfer authority over trade to international bureaucracies, not accountable to the American people, things like that. So I’m opposed to those things.
A bit later, Castle was asked if he planned to organize a third party debate; he replied:
Well, if Gary Johnson and Jill Stein wanted to debate me, I’m all in, but I don’t want to debate the other people necessarily, without them. So I’m happy to do that if they’re ready.
Castle was eventually asked who his favorite president was. He answered:
Well, probably you disagree with me about that, but I like to say who is my favorite president post World War II, and that would be John Kennedy because he tried to dismantle the CIA, he tried to do something about the Federal Reserve, he tried to bring troops home from Vietnam. I know the other things he was, but those things are meaningful to me.
Castle then answered a rather humorous question:
Getting a fake ID so you can vote for me twice? No, don’t do that. That would make you a Democrat.
Castle was asked about Virginia’s ballot access situation. Castle said that it wasn’t likely that he would make the state’s ballot, and that an effort to get official write-in status would begin. ATPR: Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party’s 2012 nominee, is from Virginia and was on the ballot that year; in fact, he received his highest percentage of the vote county-wise in Franklin County (2.58%), which was part of his former congressional district that he represented for twelve years.
Castle was asked at a later point if he sings; he replied:
Well, I’m told if I get a couple of drinks in me, I do a pretty good Elvis, but other than that, no.
Castle was asked about how well he knew Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North:
You know, we weren’t friends, I served under him, and that doesn’t make you friends, but I respected him a great deal as an officer at the time.
A question about marijuana was asked of Castle:
What’s my personal stance on marijuana decriminalization? I’m in favor of it. I think it should be decriminalized, I just don’t see sending people to prison for possessing that substance – it’s a liberty issue, it’s a moral issue to me.
Regarding the FairTax, Castle said:
No, I don’t support the FairTax. I have my own tax program, and I certainly think the tax program is better than what we have now, and I think it would be better than the flat tax because the flat tax admits that the government has a right to take our income, and I certainly reject that.
Theocracy came up again:
Well, I already talked about theocracy, we’re not a theocracy, I’m not a theocracy, I believe in the Constitution and in the First Amendment and I believe people have a right to practice their own faith, or no faith if that’s their choice, you know the Bible even talks about those, it says ‘the fool said in his heart there is no God’. So, people have a right to that if that’s what they want.
Thoughts on Ted Cruz?
In all seriousness, I think he was the best Republican candidate, were I Republican, I would have voted for him, so you know, I hope he’s reelected in 2018 if that’s what he wants, and I would love to see him somewhere on the Constitution Party ticket, but we’ll see.
Who would Castle’s Secretary of Defense be?
I don’t know, maybe Allen West. I like General Mattis too, I don’t know if he would accept that, but I like him a lot. He’s a Marine, you know.
Castle said towards the end of the stream he and his campaign are open to conducting more Facebook livestreams in the future.