Tags: third party | candidates | gary johnson | jill stein | evan mcmullin

After Gaffes, Can Third Party Candidates Work Their Magic?

Image: After Gaffes, Can Third Party Candidates Work Their Magic?

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

By    |   Friday, 09 Sep 2016 12:27 PM

While America and the world have been mulling over the US presidential candidate choices — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — third-party nominees don't look too promising either.

They have, however, managed to stay in the limelight.

Green Party's Jill Stein is wanted by police, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson flubbed when questioned about Aleppo, and independent candidate Evan McMullin naming a "placeholder" running mate, have turned out to be embarrassing build-ups to the third-party campaign trail.

Their mistakes though might help them in the end. Despite their unforced errors, which may ruin their chances to making it to the presidential debate, the leaders have had their share of media glare and national attention.

Stein made headlines Wednesday after a North Dakota judge issued an arrest warrant against her and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, for spray-painting the words "I approve this message" on a bulldozer during a protest Tuesday against an oil pipeline.

Instead of lamenting over the bad news, Stein's campaign contrarily distributed multiple press releases alerting reporters of Stein's alleged misdeeds. The Green Party also ignored the fact that the imprisonment could turn ruin her chances of appearing on the debate stage.

According to the Washington Examiner, when the party was asked about the effect of the criminal charges' on Stein's bid, Scott McClarty, the Green Party's media coordinator said, "The obstacle to Dr. Stein's admission to the debates is the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by leaders from the Democratic and Republican parties."

"The CPD has rigged the debate rules to privilege the Democratic and Republican candidates and exclude others. Polls continue to show that most of the public want Dr. Stein and Gary Johnson to participate in the debates," McClarty said.
Johnson, who is eyeing debate stage, made an unforced error on a television interview when he failed to recall where Aleppo was.

He offered an explanation for his gaffe later in a statement, saying, "[Hit] with 'What about Aleppo?', I immediately was thinking about an acronym, not the Syrian conflict," he said."I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign."

He was quick enough to subsequently comment that said it was "absolutely" a big flap and he need to "get smarter". He also went on to say that the mistake only proved he was human.

When the Libertarian Party was asked about the effect of Johnson's remark at the debate stage, Wes Benedict, executive director, said, "It's the policies, not the geographic trivia, that matter."

"The people who care whether or not Johnson knows how to find Aleppo on a map are the same people who care more about which email account Hillary [Clinton] used, as opposed to what Hillary's actual foreign policies are. Gary Johnson has a great foreign policy of non-interventionism that applies to Aleppo and everywhere else," he added.

Chances are bleak for Independent candidate Evan McMullin, who's running as an anti-Donald Trump Republican. If he makes it to the debate stage, he will have a tough task in hand to explain why he named a running mate he has no intention of keeping.

McMullin has named Nathan Johnson as a "placeholder" running mate, to qualify for state ballots.

"Mr. McMullin's electors may simply vote for the person that Mr. McMullin selects as his running mate [regardless of the name appearing on the ballot]," the McMullin team wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. "Even if that was not an option and Evan wins the White House, Vice President Johnson may simply resign. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides the mechanism for President McMullin to then nominate a replacement."

While Stein and Johnson have their debate stage hopes alive, repeat of gaffes will destroy their chances to making this elections a rewarding one.

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While America and the world have been mulling over the US presidential candidate choices - Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - third-party nominees don't look too promising either.
third party, candidates, gary johnson, jill stein, evan mcmullin
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2016-27-09
Friday, 09 Sep 2016 12:27 PM
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