Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is eyeing a spot in the presidential debates this autumn between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Is it 1992 all over again? In that year, American voters heard that “giant sucking sound” being uttered by Independent candidate Ross Perot. He made history that election cycle by facing off against Republican President George H.W. Bush and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and even carried 20 percent of the vote.
Twenty years later, will Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson make the presidential debates a three-way between himself, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney?
Appearing in an interview with Politico, Johnson admitted that the key to victory is to appear in the ever important presidential debates this autumn. Something that is very difficult to do if a candidate does not have a lot of resources or name recognition.
“Anything can happen. That could be crash and burn. It could bring attention to what it is I am saying, my resume,” stated Johnson. “I think a lot more people in this country describe themselves as libertarian as opposed to voting libertarian. I think my voice is representative of the fastest growing segment of American politics today, which is libertarian.”
In order for the ex-Republican presidential candidate to appear in the debates, he must adhere to certain criteria established by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD): age, nationality, appear on enough state ballots and to generate at least 15 percent support in selected polls.
The latest poll that included Johnson, which was conducted last month, showed that the Libertarian candidate, who is taking on a fiscal conservative, anti-war and socially liberal stance, has 5.3 percent support, a figure that is well below the 15 percent threshold.
“The majority of Americans are fiscally responsible, socially accepting. I’m in that category. That said, I’m different than the other two in several categories,” said the two-term New Mexico governor, who then iterated his stances on the positions:
- Does not want to bomb Iran
- Wants to pull out of Afghanistan “tomorrow”
- Marriage equality
- End the War on Drugs
- Repeal the Patriot Act
- Would never have signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
- Balance the federal budget
- Abolish the IRS and end the income and corporate taxes
- Institute a federal consumption tax
According to U.S. News, the Johnson camp is “optimistic” he could appear in the very first debate scheduled for Oct. 3 at the University of Denver. If voters would vote based on the issues, Johnson would win in a landslide, at least according to ISideWith.com, an online application that shows the candidate that sides most with your stances on the matters at hand.