Republican presidential candidate Perry Johnson told Newsmax on Tuesday that young Americans have lost sight of what's important in life.
"Keep in mind that they did a survey recently, and they found that only about 38, 39% of young kids believe patriotism is important," Johnson told "Rob Schmitt Tonight." "Only about the same number believe that it's important to have kids, and only about the same number believe that religion is important.
"The entire fabric of the entire country has changed."
Johnson finished second to former President Donald Trump last weekend in a straw poll of 2024 GOP presidential candidates at the Turning Point USA conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, even ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He said he was just as shocked about the result as anyone, but added it showed how his message is resonating with young people.
"The young people love my message," Johnson said. "Republicans have ignored the young people for a long time. The future of our country. They are the people that will determine our future in 10 and 20 years. And you know what? They really do love this country, and they want to have an opportunity for their kids, but the only way that's going to happen is if we pay attention to what's going on right now."
Johnson, a self-made multimillionaire businessman from Michigan and author of "Two Cents to Save America," is self-financing his campaign. He said he has a goal of participating in the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23. To qualify for the debate, each candidate must have secured at least 40,000 donors. Johnson said he is holding a concert Aug. 12 in Des Moines, Iowa, featuring the country music duo Big & Rich, where anyone who donates to his campaign will be admitted for free.
"I'm looking for a way of thanking the people because you need 40,000 donors to get on that debate stage," Johnson said. "Even though I'm funding my own campaign, they have these crazy rules."
Regarding DeSantis, whose campaign has struggled in recent weeks, Johnson said, "Well, obviously, it's not going the way that he wanted it to go. But DeSantis is the person that got a lot of fame because of COVID, and nobody really knows much of anything until we have the debates."
Johnson has a show "Perry Johnson Prime Time" that airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on Newsmax. It follows his campaign bus as it tours early primary states. He defended Trump being targeted by President Joe Biden's Department of Justice and believes a lot of Americans are starting to wake up about what is going on.
"You cannot use our justice system to weaponize," Johnson said. "Keep in mind that when Joe Biden and his son [Hunter Biden] had $10 million siphoned into their various companies that nobody knew about that they were trying to cover up, nothing was done. What about the cocaine in the White House? Is there a more secure building in the world? Is there a building that has more cameras per square inch than the White House? But no record. No nothing. Tells you a lot."
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