March 31, 2016

Gary Johnson in nationally televised debate

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson speaking at the Nullify Now! event in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore cc

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson will appear as part of the first nationally televised Libertarian Party debate Friday.

The debate, moderated by libertarian host and TV personality John Stossel, will air in two parts on the Fox Business Network, a lower-rated sister channel of Fox News.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Compfight cc

The two-hour debate was recorded on Wednesday and featured three candidates: Johnson, John McAfee and Austin Peterson.

In a phone interview on Thursday with NM Political Report, Johnson seemed optimistic if somewhat vague about how the debate went.

“You just do as good as you can,” Johnson said.

Johnson also looked forward to possible general election debates. Johnson sued the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)over their rules on participants. He called the presidential general election debates “exclusionary” and that the commission, along with Democrats and Republicans work together to keep third parties out.

“They collude with one another to exclude everyone else,” Johnson said.

The CPD requires candidates to poll at 15 percent nationally in approved polls before they qualify to take part in a national debate. Earlier this month, a poll showed Johnson getting 11% of the vote, when pitted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Johnson said he is confident that he can get to 15 percent if his name continues to appear in national polls and is imperative for the road to the White House.

“There’s no way in the world that a third party wins the presidency without being in the general election debate,” Johnson said.

The three candidates only represent one-fifth of the current candidates vying for the Libertarian Party nomination.

Johnson said that the debate will be edited and he is not sure what exactly will air, but remains positive.

“I’ll have to believe the point will get across that this is a different kind of debate,” Johnson said.

Johnson received attention in a previous debate after he called Donald Trump a “pussy.” He later repeated the insult after saying he wished he hadn’t said that during the debate.

Johnson served two terms as governor in New Mexico. Johnson was then a Republican and even ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

Johnson dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination, in part because he was unable to appear on the televised debates.

After switching parties, he won the Libertarian Party nomination in 2012 and received 1 percent of the vote nationwide in the general election.