PETER SAGAL, Host:

And now, the game where we ask important people to think about unimportant things. It's called "Not My Job." Gary Johnson built a construction business from nothing, then became a two-term Republican governor of a Democratic-leaning state, New Mexico. He cut taxes, and put the budget in surplus. He has competed in triathlons and climbed Everest. He lives in a house he built himself. And he once put out a forest fire with his feet.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Governor Gary Johnson, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So Governor Johnson, you are now, of course, a declared candidate for president for the Republican nomination. And given - since everything I just said about you is true, why aren't you winning?

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SAGAL: Well, I'm clearly not winning because I'm fodder here on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

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SAGAL: No, no, seriously, seriously...

M: Oh, you're way down the list in that field.

SAGAL: All right.

SAGAL: We looked you up, and we were amazed. You are like - if we had like, a campaign consultant draw up the ideal candidate, it would be you. You are fiscally conservative, which is absolutely essential these days. You cut taxes in New Mexico. You vetoed all these budget - I mean, you actually held the record for vetoes nationally, right, during your two terms?

SAGAL: You know, it may be a bit of an embellishment, but I may have vetoed more bills than the other 49 governors in the country combined.

SAGAL: Right. And Republicans love that. They love people who hate laws.

SAGAL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Of all the things we found out about you, maybe the most impressive - to me, anyway - was the one about putting out the forest fire with your feet. Can you tell us that?

SAGAL: Well, there was a major forest fire in Los Alamos, and I was actually in a position - when the fire was right at its inception and was burning in lawns - that we were actually jumping out of the car and putting out these fires that were actually starting up in people's lawns.

SAGAL: Right, so you were running around and jumping on the fire?

SAGAL: Yes, everywhere. And you know, the trivia: That evening, over 500 firefighters from around the state came in to Los Alamos to do that very thing all night long - and really prevented the town of Los Alamos from burning to the ground. There was very little damage, relative to what could have happened.

M: So it was fortunate that that clogging convention was in town.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I just want to say - I mean, one of the things that you hear a lot about in presidential primaries is toughness, how tough is he. And you've got this locked. You've done four or fire Hawaii Ironman Triathlons. That's the two-mile swim, the hundred-mile bike ride, the marathon. You've...

M: And that's with burnt feet.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It hurts.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You've climbed Mount Everest, plus three other of the tallest mountains on the various continents. Don't you think after all that, the Oval Office would be dull?

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SAGAL: From a personal standpoint, I think this is really one of life's great adventures, and I'm really thrilled to be a part of it. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I could do the job. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I could do a good job at doing the job. But thirdly, that personal notion of this really, I think, is right up there with regard to adventure - and maybe one of the great adventures of humankind.

SAGAL: So a lot of Republicans seem to pick and choose their whole small government thing. Some areas, they're for it; some areas, they're not. But you're like a libertarian all the way through. In fact, you even have said that you don't believe there should be stoplights, in some situations.

SAGAL: Well, you know you're a libertarian when in the middle of the night, you pull up to an intersection, there's nobody in sight, and the light's red.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So you know you're a libertarian when gee, if I run this red light, am I really putting anyone in harm's way? Aren't I being completely safe? Hey, I've found myself in that situation and you know what, I've gone through that red light before.

SAGAL: Really?

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And about speed limits you said, quote: There are times and places where it would be perfectly safe to go 140 - that would be 140 mph - and there are others where it would be reckless to go 55 miles an hour.

SAGAL: In that same space.

SAGAL: Oh I see. So you were saying that in any given stretch of road, there might be time to go slowly, there might be time to go quick. Can you tell us where and when the time was you went 140 miles an hour?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Hey, Highway 50, going across Nevada - now, there is a stretch of lonely, completely desolate highway where you can see in places six miles ahead. So that's a pretty fast stretch of highway.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. I just want to say, I've been thinking about this because you are instantly my favorite Republican candidate - because you've agreed to appear on the show.

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SAGAL: And you're up against some interesting guys - some of whom have talent, some of whom have money, some of whom have excellent hair.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Do you ever look around at the other candidates on the dais with you, or on the trail with you, and say oh, I wish I had that? Is there any characteristic of any other Republican candidate that you wish you had?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Or, do I look around and go, you know I got the best of all of that stuff?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Who are these guys? Well, Governor Gary Johnson, we are so thrilled to talk to you, and we have asked you here to play a game that this time, we're calling...

CARL KASELL, Host:

"All You've Got to Do is Put Out a Viral Video or a Sex Tape. Simple."

SAGAL: So you're trying to get noticed among the Republican presidential candidates. It's not easy. You're having a tough time. We thought we'd ask you questions about three people who found it very easy to get very famous very quickly. Answer two questions correctly, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl's voice on their voicemail. Carl, who is Governor Johnson playing for?

KASELL: The governor is playing for Vanessa Cox of Camden, South Carolina.

SAGAL: All right, here we go.

SAGAL: Vanessa, you're in good hands.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Confidence - I love that.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: First up, that doyenne of insta-fame, Paris Hilton. We all know about the sex tape and the reality shows that made her famous. But our question to you is, she has used that maybe undeserved fame to endorse which of these products? A, canned champagne; B, diet dog food; or C, Paris Hilton's LSAT preparatory course.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, it's the dog food.

SAGAL: You're going to go for the diet dog food?

SAGAL: You know what, I'm really guessing.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It was actually the canned champagne.

M: Wow.

SAGAL: Oh, wow.

SAGAL: It's called Rich Prosecco and to promote it, Ms. Hilton posed nude, covered in gold paint, holding a can of champagne.

All right, you still have two more chances.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I just want to say, look, I am not a political consultant, but America does not want its president to giggle at a challenge.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I'm just saying - because they don't want like, Mr. President, our ships have been seized in the Adriatic, what do we do? And you're like...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You got to project sort of stern concern, is what I'm suggesting. This is just me. I don't know. I host a radio show.

SAGAL: Hopefully, it's just you.

SAGAL: Oh, it's just me. All right.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Your next question: Rebecca Black - as I'm sure you know, she is the singer behind the viral video hit "Friday." Her mother, who put up the money to produce that video, said she did it for what reason? Was it A, as a bat mitzvah gift for her daughter Rebecca; B, to dissuade Rebecca from a musical career; or C, as a creative application essay for Yale.

SAGAL: A creative application to go to Yale.

SAGAL: A creative application essay to go to Yale. Are you aware that Rebecca Black is 13?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I'm just saying that.

M: I don't think he was. So what are his other options?

SAGAL: Other options were a bat mitzvah gift for Rebecca, or to dissuade Rebecca from a musical career. That's what she said - the mother said she did it for.

SAGAL: Well, I'll have to go with the bat mitzvah.

SAGAL: The bat mitzvah.

M: Oh, well.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, as you can see my thought process, I'm going to have to go with dissuade her from a...

SAGAL: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Wow.

SAGAL: Wow.

SAGAL: That was good.

SAGAL: I am fodder.

SAGAL: The team of rivals really helped that time.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Rebecca's mother said she wanted to show Rebecca that a musical career is really hard work and not very glamorous. Quote: In a way, I was hoping to discourage her, and send the message that maybe she should have a back-up plan. This did not work.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. You got one last question. If you get this, you win our little primary, as it were. Jesse James got famous on a reality TV show, and then he got more famous for marrying Sandra Bullock. And then he got really famous for cheating on her, just as she won her Oscar. Now, Jesse James has a book out, he's doing interviews, and he says what was the worst part of being married to Sandra Bullock. Was it A, having to constantly rewatch "Miss Congeniality 2"; B, listening to Sandra constantly complain about Drew Barrymore; or C, having to talk to all of her Hollywood friends about NPR?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Clearly, the answer is C. There is just no going back on it.

SAGAL: You're right, that's correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So this is what Jesse James said in an interview with USA Today about dealing with Sandra's liberal Hollywood friends. Quote: I'd just talk to them about NPR. Did you hear Diane Rehm today? I look back at who I was then, and I want to punch myself in the face.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Carl, how did Governor Johnson do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well, the governor came through, Peter. Two correct answers so governor, you win for Vanessa Cox.

SAGAL: Well done.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you.

SAGAL: May this be the first of your many wins.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Governor, congratulations.

SAGAL: OK.

SAGAL: Thanks for being here.

M: Good luck, Governor.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

SAGAL: All right, bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye, Governor.

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