Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says he doesn’t have a chance of being elected over President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney unless he’s allowed to join them in debates this fall — but those encounters could also give him the opportunity to “crash and burn.”
“The only scenario under which I win is if I’m actually in the debates,” Johnson told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Tuesday. “Of course, that could be crash and burn.”
But the former New Mexico governor and failed Republican presidential candidate invited people to “check me out,” as he put it, if they’re fed up with the negative campaigns of both Romney and Obama.
In order to join the debates, Johnson must break a 15 percent support threshold in national polls, which automatically would prompt and invitation to exchange his views in a shared public arena with Democrat Obama and Republican Romney. So far, he’s averaging about 5 percent nationally.
He says, however, he believes he can still break the threshold if people focus on what the really believe in and what they would like to hear from their presidential candidates.
“I’m going to take equally from both sides and then I’m going to take from a group in the middle that ordinarily don’t vote,” Johnson told Cavuto. “What I’m trying to tap into right now is the fact there are more people in this country that call themselves libertarian than vote libertarian. So I’m asking everybody in that category to actually vote libertarian with me this one time, and let’s really try and make a change.”
Johnson said if he makes the debates, he would be the only candidate on stage that “doesn’t want to bomb Iran,” wants to bring the troops home from Afghanistan “now,” and wants to repeal the Patriot Act.
In addition, Johnson said he would be the only who really wants to balance the federal budget now — including reforming entitlement programs — and replace the current income tax rate system with a consumption tax, or fair tax.
“So, I hope I’m on stage because, otherwise, I don’t know if it ends up being a debate,” he said.
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