The American people haven’t seen a third candidate in the presidential debates since 1992 when Ross Perot
squared off against Governor Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush. Will it happen this year?
Former two-term New Mexico Governor and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson is determined to debate President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney in next month’s debates.
Johnson has filed an anti-trust lawsuit in federal court where he charges that the Commission on Presidential Debates and the Democratic and Republican parties are conspiring against him to prevent him from taking part in the presidential debates, which start on Oct. 3. This, according to Johnson, is a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act because the collusion limits competition and excludes the Libertarian Party.
Furthermore, in an attempt to gain a spot in the debates, he has asked the United States District Court in Washington, D.C. to provide a restraining order against the debates to prevent them from taking place until all “constitutionally eligible” candidates can be permitted to speak, reports Russia Today
“Someone has to stand up and call this what it is—a rigged system designed entirely to protect and perpetuate the two-party duopoly,” said Ron Nielson, Johnson campaign spokesperson, in an interview with U.S. News
. “That someone will be the Johnson campaign.”
According to presidential debate rules
, a candidate must be constitutionally eligible, have ballot access in enough states to achieve majority of the electoral college in the election and maintain at least 15 percent in national polls conducted by five polling firms. Johnson has everything, including ballot access to 47 states
, except the polling numbers.
Most polls have Johnson averaging in the single digits
, but many argue that he is also being excluded from the surveys. It is known that he is not listed as an option
in many polls and when a respondent selects someone other than Obama or Romney they are put down as “undecided” or “other.”
Johnson appeared in only two of the GOP debates when he ran as a Republican in the primary cycle. He became disenfranchised and frustrated with the Republican National Committee with not helping him take part in the debates and later ran under the Libertarian ticket
The former governor will run with California Judge Jim Gray
as his running mate.
In 2000, Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader sued the commission
in order to appear in the debates, but the lawsuit was not successful.