Earlier this year, Wayne Allyn Root indicated that he might run in the 2008 Presidential Election as a Libertarian candidate. Many sports gambling sites picked up on the announcement as Root is well known in the gambling community. In fact British sports betting site Ladbrokes.com instilled Root at 6/5 to win the leadership of the party even though he never confirmed for certain he would run. Earlier this month Root officially announced his candidacy and Ladbrokes now has him at even money to win the Libertarian ticket. It must be noted, however, that bettors can not take the other side of that bet. While Root may not be a household name to most of America, the name is well known to Vegas residents and to sports bettors in America. Root is CEO and President of WinningEdge International, a company that handicaps and touts sports picks on a weekly TV Show, on radio and through infomercials. Root has also published several books on gambling including Millionaire Republican, The Zen of Gambling and The King of Vegas' Guide to Gambling. Root was dubbed "The King of Vegas" by many Las Vegas media type as a result of his high profile in the city, a title that has stuck and one he uses in his ads. In fact, last year Root was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.
Upon learning of Root's final decision to run for the Libertarian Party I asked him if he would be interested in providing an interview for MajorWager readers. "It would by pleasure and honor to tell my fellow Americans (especially gambling enthusiasts and poker players) about my campaign," Root replied.
Anyone who has seen Wayne Root's television show or infomercials can attest that self assurance is not a quality that Root struggles with. That self assurance certainly isn't a negative and in fact has helped him build a separate career as a motivational speaker. It also couldn't hurt when dealing with other Senators and Congressmen who have similar egos. In fact, his attitude could help sell his stance on gambling in any debates, an issue which is still an uphill battle in Congress.
Q: My first question to Wayne questioned why he wanted to be President of the United States. He seemed to have quite a good career going in sports prognostication so why would a gambler make a good president?
A: "I'm living proof that gambling is an all-American past-time. I have an Ivy League degree, I'm a professional, a family man, a high-profile corporate CEO, a TV personality quoted on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, etc. I could have chosen any business or career in the world- and I chose gambling. I'm living the American Dream because gambling has been good to me. Risk is at the heart of all success in America. If you're afraid of gambling, if you're unwilling to risk, if you see gambling as evil- you're probably an underachiever (at least financially). Risk-taking is the key ingredient to becoming successful and financially independent in any capitalist society. You must risk your money to beat the rate of inflation. If you invest in real estate, you are a gambler. If you invest in stocks, you are a gambler. If you invest in gold and oil, you are a gambler. If you invest your money in new business ideas (venture capital) you're a gambler. If you own your own business, you are a serious gambler. In all these cases, instead of keeping your money safely in a bank account or money market, you are taking great risks to increase your wealth. That makes you a gambler. Or as they call it on Wall Street, a "financial gunslinger."
Sadly, if you're afraid of taking risks, you're probably working for someone else, collecting a safe weekly paycheck, and your money is safely in the bank (failing to overcome inflation). If that's the case, you're probably going to be forced to depend on Social Security to survive during retirement (if you can ever afford to retire). You're a survivor instead of a thriver. That's not what we should be encouraging in this country. It all comes down to the famous saying, "Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever succeed greatly." Who said it? President John F. Kennedy. Or another way to say it might be "To the victor go the spoils." Gamblers are rewarded in our capitalist society. We should be teaching our citizens to value risk-taking. We are doing a great disservice to our people by teaching them to fear or dislike gambling.
To succeed big in America, you must risk big. From the pilgrims, to the American Revolution, to taming the Wild West, to inventing the automobile and the computer, to creating the Internet (the new Wild West), to investing venture capital in Silicon Valley- we are a nation of big-time gamblers. A risk-taking mentality is a good thing for society. Heck, there wouldn't be a United States without gambling- a Lottery helped to fund the American Revolution. Who gambled in that lottery? George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. So much for demonizing gamblers.
A word like "gambler" is demonized. A word like "investor" is respected. But they represent the same idea- risking your money to achieve financial success. The biggest gamblers in the world are not found on the Las Vegas Strip. They are found on Wall Street. They gamble billions on stocks, bonds, mortgages, financial instruments of all kinds. I gamble millions of dollars in the business world on my gut instincts. I put my money (and risk my money) where my mouth is. That's what powers the U.S. economy- millions of risk-takers and and gamblers and financial gunslingers like me. Risk-takers (investors in stocks, bonds, real estate, small business, venture capital) provide virtually all the capital that has created the dynamic and vibrant U.S. economy- the most powerful and successful economy in world history. We are a nation of gamblers- most of us are here because our ancestors took the greatest gamble possible to come here (they risked their lives and futures). So as Americans we literally have gambling in our blood. I'm the only Presidential candidate who understands gambling and its value to a capitalist society. I'm the only Presidential candidate who openly embraces and encourages risk-taking. A majority of jobs in this country are created by small business. As President, I will unleash the greatest economic expansion in world history by encouraging more gambling and risk-taking. I will cut the size of government, cut the reach of government, cut the scope and power of government, get government out of the way of small business, entrepreneurs and investors, dramatically cut income taxes, get the IRS out of our lives; and eliminate all capital gains taxes, so that risk-takers are properly rewarded and encouraged to dream big and build new businesses (thereby creating millions of new jobs). We're not taxed too little in this great country- we're taxed far too much. I will change all that. And with me as President, you can count on Internet freedom. What you do in your bedroom, on your computer, with your money is NONE of government's business. PERIOD. Legalizing online poker and gaming will create a perfect capitalist storm- billions of dollars of new investment, thousands of new jobs, and billions in new tax revenue (even at the lower tax rates that I desire) to lower the deficit, balance the budget and fund homeland security.
Q: A lot of people in the gaming community believe that Ron Paul would be an ideal candidate as he has similar Libertarian views. What do you have to offer that he doesn't?
A: I am a younger, more dynamic, high-energy Ron Paul. Ron Paul is great in so many ways. On fiscal issues, he is my hero. Ron Paul and I are both Barry Goldwater disciples. I began my political career in 1963 (at the age of 3) by handing out campaign literature for Barry Goldwater in my father's arms outside a supermarket in Mt. Vernon, New York. My bible of politics is Barry Goldwater's "The Conscience of a Conservative." Ron Paul and I both believe that all laws and programs passed by Congress should be based on the Constitution. If the program is not authorized by the constitution, it should not be authorized by Congress. We both believe in States' Rights- give more power to the people on the local level. But Ron Paul is going to be 73 years old in 2008. This is his last hurrah. He will most certainly lose the GOP primary and go back to Congress for one last term. I'm a youthful, dynamic communicator of the same "less government, lower taxes, more freedom" message. But I'm 46 years old with 4 young kids. I'll be around for the next 25 years to spread this message. And 25 years from now, I'll still be younger than Ron Paul is today! It took Ronald Reagan 4 terms of running for President to reach the White House. I may not win in 2008, but look out in 2012, 2016 or 2020. This is only the start of my 20 year campaign to lead the Freedom Movement, to downsize the power, scope and size of government and to win the White House. I have only just begun to fight.
I'm not hiding from my background- to the contrary, I'm screaming about it from the highest rooftops. We don't need more "business as usual" politicians in the White House. We don't need more lawyers, more bureaucrats, more career politicians, more out-of-touch, rich spoiled-brats from the lucky sperm club. Those are the people that got us in this mess. What we need right now is a Libertarian, anti-tax, small government-loving, New York born street-fighter, S.O.B. (son of a butcher) with a Columbia University degree, small businessman, professional gambler and oddsmaker from Las Vegas. That's me. That's the perfect guy to shake things up and return power to the people- where it belongs. Ron Paul is an American hero. I love him. So should you. He laid the groundwork. He got the party started. He is the "founding father" of the Libertarian freedom movement. He created the battle plan. I plan to carry it out for the next quarter of a century. I'm the general who will win the war.
The odds are strong that Ron Paul will be defeated in the GOP primary and go back to Congress. He made a huge tactical error- you can't be anti-war and run in the Republican Party. The 2-party system is a failure. It is rigged against the people. Polls show that the American electorate craves a third party alternative. The Freedom Movement demands a third party at the helm. Ron Paul has made his point. He just did it within the 2-party system- which was a mistake. The 2-party system has no interest in freedom. All they are interested in is power. Once Dr. Paul loses in the GOP primary, his fight is over. Mine is just beginning. He put the ball at midfield. I'll take it over the goal line. I'm the Ronald Reagan-like communicator that the Freedom Movement (and the gambling world) so desperately needs in the TV and Internet Age. I've spent my entire adult life on television selling my sports handicapping advice. Over two million American gamblers have called for my advice. As many as 10,000 call each Saturday morning after watching my show Wayne Allyn Root's WinningEDGE. Selling a message of smaller government, lower taxes, more rights for the individual, and more freedom is an easy message to sell. I plan to be here leading the Libertarian anti-tax, smaller government, pro-freedom movement for the next 25 years.
It should be noted that Ron Paul has also never come out as pro gambling. In fact he suggested that he considers gambling a dumb way for someone to spend their money. At the same time, because of his Libertarian background, Paul feels that Americans should have the right to spend money as they see fit, even if it is "dumb." Paul also voted against the UIGEA and similar bills.
That leads to the next question asked to Mr. Root:
Q: What is your stance on the WTO issue with Antigua and the UIGEA? What would you do as President (so much as you can) to overturn the UIGEA and allow Antigua to cater to American gamblers?
A: The UIGEA (I simply call it the online gaming ban) was one of the stupidest pieces of legislation in American political history. It is Prohibition all over again- and we all know how well that worked out. Government has no right to tell people how to live their lives. Government's job is to protect us from others, not to protect us from ourselves. If addiction is the issue, well then gambling is not the enemy. Food is. We need to immediately stop Americans from eating themselves to death. We need to close all fast-food restaurants, delis and French restaurants. Because while about 6% of the population has gambling addiction problems, about 60% are obese which makes them food addicts. Ever walk around Las Vegas? The tourists have far more problems with food addiction than gambling. It's not even close. But we believe in freedom of choice in America- so we do not police people's food choices. I think shopping is a far greater addiction than gambling. Can you imagine the uproar if we banned online shopping? I know more people whose marriages were ruined by golf, than by gambling. But we don't ban husbands from playing golf, or wives from online shopping, do we? As a matter of fact, those kind of stereotypes would get a politician in trouble. How many people have ruined their lives by getting addicted to television evangelists? I'm sure people have gone bankrupt giving away too much money to TV preachers. But we don't ban religious television, do we? I read in the news recently about a woman who was murdered by a guy she met at an online dating site. Should we ban online dating because of that one murder? Alcohol kills thousands of Americans who die in automobile accidents caused by drunk drivers. Should we ban alcohol? Close all bars? Ban Coors from being sold? Remove Miller Lite ads from NFL football games? Where does it end? 94% of people can gamble online and enjoy themselves with no problems. Why should their rights be violated because of the few people who can't control themselves. I think the issue is personal responsibility, not gambling.
Giving people freedom and choice is the American way. I don't smoke or drink. But I'd fight to the death for your right to do so. I've never smoked pot in my life- not once. But I believe in your right to use medicinal marijuana. It's a personal issue between you and your doctor. It's a states' rights issue. It's legal in California, and it's none of the federal government's business. I personally love life. I would never choose to end my life. But right to die (assisted suicide) is legal in Oregon. It's a states' rights issue- and it's none of the federal government's business.
But unlike smoking or drinking or right to die, online gaming is more than a personal choice issue. It's a fair trade issue. If the United States expects other countries to stand by their WTO fair trade agreements, then so should we (sic). If we ban online gaming emanating from Britain or Antigua or Costa Rica, we will have to accept it when China bans our products because they no longer feel like playing by the rules. We will have to accept it when the European Union bans beef products from America because of what they call "moral grounds." After all, while I love a good steak, we all have to admit that beef clogs arteries and leads to heart disease. Perhaps Europe will decide to suddenly ban our beef on moral grounds "to protect the health of their people." Of course, if they still allow their people to buy European beef, they'd be guilty of hypocrisy. They'd be openly violating free trade. That's exactly what we're doing with UIGEA.
Perhaps Britain will soon decide to ban McDonalds on "moral grounds." Or perhaps China will decide to ban American casinos from doing business in Macau. Would we agree to let them violate a WTO agreement over what they call a "moral issue?" Should any of our trade partners be allowed to break an agreement over a sudden change in moral philosophy? Where does it end?
If we allow online gaming in the United States for horseracing...for state lotteries...for tribal casinos...for fantasy football...then don't we have to allow other countries to offer other forms of online gaming to our citizens? Damaging the economy of Antigua or Costa Rica or UK based on "morality" is pure hypocrisy. What morality? You mean it's okay to bet on horses or lotteries online, but not poker or sports? It's okay to sell Lottery tickets at over 150,000 locations across the country? It's okay to allow tribal casinos to sprout across the USA, but making a wager online will destroy the moral fiber of the country? Give me a break. Worse, this hypocritical and ignorant new law has the potential to cause an economic disaster for the United States. We are on the hook for billions of dollars in WTO fines for trade infringement. Worse, other countries will suddenly decide to no longer honor our trade agreements. What's the solution? First, we need to overturn the UIGEA. Then we need to legalize online gaming, base it in Nevada (where we have the rules and licensing procedures already in place), tax it and regulate it- thereby producing billions in much needed revenue and thousands of new jobs. Or we could consider it a States' Rights issue (as it should be). If Alabama or Utah find (sic) online gaming objectionable on moral grounds, they can ban it. But other states (like Nevada and California) will undoubtedly embrace it and legalize it. Perhaps a combination of the two is the right compromise. We could legalize online poker nationally as a game of skill (which it is)- just like Fantasy Sports. Then leave the rest of online gaming choices to the states to decide. There are much smarter people than me who can figure out the details. The real issue is- Does government have the right to play Big Brother and legislate morality? The answer is no. I do not support the Nanny State. I believe it is un-American. It is a violation of our freedom. It is a violation of everything this country is about. If you agree, then I'm your man for President.
Q: How would you deal with Senators and Congressmen like Kyl and Goodlatte who clearly have different agendas and objectives than yours?.
A: Yes, Goodlatte and Kyl have different agendas than me. But so do most Congressman and Senators. Their agenda is expanding government and adding to their power. Their agenda is bribing voters to stay in office. My agenda is to give the power back to the people- as is mandated by the constitution. Goodlatte and Kyl believe in bigger government and "government knows best" when it comes to online gaming. But there are far worse legislators when it comes to big government. Most if not all Democrats stand for bigger government when it comes to fiscal issues. Democrats want to confiscate our wallets and literally steal our hard-earned money to support their big spending habits. They have forgotten it's our money in the first place- not government's. Republicans support the "Nanny State." They want to listen to our phone calls (without warrants), tell us what to do in our own bedrooms, on our own computers. The 2-party system is a failure. It is a disgrace. The 2 party system quite simply screws the American people. Both parties stand for the same thing- bigger government, more spending, more government programs, so that they can bribe the voters. That's what has created bigger and bloated government. Both parties stand for more power over our lives which makes them more powerful. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Electing a third party candidate like me makes sense- I'll be the VETO President! The best thing that can happen to our country politically is gridlock. When no one gets along and nothing gets done- we all win! As long as our Congressman and Senators can't pass anything major, no damage gets done to the American people. I will veto virtually everything that expands government, raises spending, raises taxes or violates our freedoms. I love the smell of vetoes in the morning. If that message appeals to you, than I am your candidate for President of the United States.
Q: Ideally who would be your running mate if you won the Libertarian Presidential nomination?
A: First of all, the Libertarian Party is unique in how they choose the VP. Libertarian delegates choose the VP nominee at the convention in Denver (next May 2008), not me. But I would prefer that they choose a small businessman like me. Two small businesspersons running on a platform of cutting government, cutting spending, cutting taxes, and increasing freedom would be quite a powerful message. By the way, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, one of the greatest professional poker players, has expressed interested in joining my Libertarian ticket as VP. Greg and I together would certainly be a maverick team representing freedom and individual rights. But it's a bit premature to be talking about [who] the VP will be. First, I have to earn the votes and the nomination of my fellow Libertarians.
Q: Will you continue to be involved with WinningEDGE.com if you win the Libertarian leadership?
A: Yes, I'm not planning on going anywhere. I am a small businessman and entrepreneur at heart- and always will be. I just sold my company to a UK-based public company. My company will expand globally. I am no longer the lone CEO running the company or producing our TV shows. I now have a global support team behind me that will allow me to go out and change the world. I've always pursued many different roles- I've authored 6 books with number 7 on the way. I've created and produced national TV shows ("King of Vegas" on Spike TV); I've founded and invested in numerous business ventures; I'm currently working on creating and starring in TV infomercials involving vitamins, fitness and nutrition, a passion of mine, and education, my wife and I home-school our children. I've always accomplished a lot in my typical high-energy 16 hour days. My wife calls me a human Energizer Bunny! Now I've got a team behind me to allow me to pursue the true love of my life other than family- fighting the battle for freedom.
Q: Will your campaign be well funded by potential online bettors (as Ron Paul's seems to be)? How can people contribute to your campaign if they wish to do so?
A: I just officially filed only days ago. But my goal is pretty simple. Ron Paul has started a firestorm. I love it. He's sparked passion and interest in freedom and limited government- the roots of this country. The GOP and Democratic primary season has been front-loaded. Everything will most probably be decided by the end of February for the major party Presidential candidates. Ron Paul is locked out of the system. Ron Paul has raised all that money, all that support, all that passion. But then he will quickly go back to being a Congressman, or if he retires from politics, a baby doctor. And who's left to mind the store? All that support and all those contributors and volunteers have to go somewhere- and it won't be Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani that gets them. The Libertarian Party is the natural place for all of Ron Paul's support and supporters to go this coming fall 2008 if they want to keep the message of freedom alive.
My campaign is also the natural place for all the support of millions of poker players and online gaming enthusiasts. People who believe in less government, lower spending, lower taxes, and more freedom can count on me to continue the fight, to lead the revolution. What better guy to lead a revolution, than a gambler named WAR. This is one war you can support with confidence and pride. My website is www.root4america.com. .
Root was willing to admit that his chances of actually winning the Presidency at this stage are extremely remote, considering he is a third party candidate and considering the fact that the campaign is new. However, that isn't deterring him.
I may not win this time. But this is just a very early start of my campaign to wake up the American people (and voters). We are losing our freedom (ban of online gaming and poker), our rights (Patriot Act), our property (Eminent Domain), our privacy (warrantless wiretaps), and our money (high taxation without representation). Capitalism has won the battle versus Socialism. That was an overwhelming victory. But there is a new war to be won- the battle of liberty of the people versus the power of big government. The voters may not understand what's happening just yet- but they will. I will help them to understand. Whether it's in 2012, 2016 or 2020, I hope to wind up in the White House to make dramatic changes "back to the future." Back to following the strict guidelines of the constitution. Back to the brilliant foundation laid by our Founding Fathers. Back to the country we envisioned when we decided to fight and die for freedom against all odds in the American Revolution.
Has everyone forgotten that the American Revolution was fought over individual liberty, freedom, and high taxes? Those tax rates imposed by the British by the way...are low by today's standards. Our ancestors were willing to die over tax rates that we now willingly accept. History repeats itself again and again. It's time for a 21st century Boston Tea Party. I hope to lead it. Even if Libertarians don't win this time, we can have a great influence on this election. We can push the national dialogue towards more freedom and less government. We can force the GOP to become more Libertarian, and less a party of the big government religious right. Most importantly, we can create a powerful and influential third party movement for freedom. Do you realize that Libertarian Party candidates won 17% of all local races that we entered in the 2007 elections? 17% nationwide is remarkable. Who says freedom doesn't resonate? Who says the 2-party system can't be beat[en]? As Bob Dylan once said, "The times they are a changin!" The Libertarian Party is going to surprise the media and the Beltway political "experts" in 2008. It's going to be the start of something big. The D.C. crowd is about to find out that there's a new sheriff in town. Competition is the key to the success of capitalism. The two major parties are about to get some serious competition. I'd bet the underdog!
Root ended the interview with a diatribe against the main contenders for the Presidency in 2008.
What does Hillary Clinton know about running an economy- she's never created a job. She says she's experienced. Really? At what? Being the wife of the President? Last I checked the wife of a CEO doesn't get to inherit the CEO job of a major company.
What does Rudy Giuliani know about business? He spent virtually his entire life as a prosecutor. The closest he's come to understanding business is standing in court next to a CEO he's prosecuting.
What does Mitt Romney know about the problems of working people? He was born to the Governor of Michigan and CEO of one of the biggest auto companies in America. Tough start, huh?
What does John Edwards know about running a country? He's a lawyer who made his fortune by suing the people who know how to make money and create jobs. Now he gives speeches about the dangers of hedge funds and offshore trusts- while he works for hedge funds and invests his fortune in offshore trusts. A real "man of the people," huh?
What does Barack Obama (my college classmate) know about creating jobs? He calls himself a "community activist?" What's that? A professional protestor? Just what America needs. If the people who spend their lives complaining and protesting would spend a little more time actually working for a living- they'd have nothing to protest about. Obama has never risked a dime of his own money to create a job, never made a payroll, never paid anyone else's health insurance. Those should be job requirements for the position of President of the United States. Obama fails on all counts.
And then there's Fred Thompson. He plays lawyers and politicians on television. What job has he ever created? What business has he ever built? Those are our choices folks. Same old, same old. The same career qualifications that have led to politicians screwing up our country for a hundred years. I say it's time to try something fresh, new, exciting and different. Time to give a shot to a small businessman, S.O.B. (Son of a Butcher), and world class gambler. The odds are long, but I've earned a small fortune betting on longshot underdogs. My underdogs pull off outright upsets all the time..
We at MajorWager wish Wayne Allyn Root all the best in his run for President. While he may be a billion to one shot to actually win the Presidency, one thing is for certain, if he loses it won't be due to a lack of self assurance.
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