Libertarian Gary Johnson: crazy election cycle entails ‘I might be next president’

The Libertarian nominee for chairperson, Gary Johnson, said on Sunday he might actually run the table on all this and win the White House in November, thanks to the polarisation of Clinton and Trump. Johnson, who prefers the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and proposes making legal immigration easier, said his candidacy represented what a lot of Americans wanted but couldnt find in either of the major-party nominees.
You know how crazy such elections cycle is, he told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. I might be the next chairperson.
A crucial obstacle for Johnson is to gain inclusion in the presidential debates, for which he needs to register at least 15% subsistence in polls. Asked by Wallace if its game over if he does not make it on to the debate stage, Johnson agreed but said he was really optimistic that he could. The Presidential Debate Commission has identified five polls, he said, referring to the surveys on which qualification with a 15% threshold will be based. Were at 10% flat on those five polls. And thats an increase genuinely of probably about 4% consensus over the last six or seven weeks. So were optimistic that were going to actually get into the debates.
Were spending money right now in many states. In five states right now, Im at 16%. So Im just really optimistic. A Morning Consult poll released on Sunday put the four-way divide at Hillary Clinton at 39%, Donald Trump at 37%, Johnson at 8% he was at 9% in the same poll earlier in August and the Green party candidate, Jill Stein, at 3 %. The realclearpolitics.com average of polls put Clinton at 42%, Trump at 38%, Johnson at 8.1% and Stein at 3.3%. The first presidential debate is envisaged for Hofstra University in New York on Monday 26 September, the second for Sunday 9 October at Washington University in St Louis and the third for the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on Wednesday 19 October. A vice-presidential debate will be held at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on Tuesday 4 October. Trump is reportedly seeking more favourable terms and has yet to formally were in favour of take part. Nonetheless, according to the Washington Post, he hosted a debate preparation session on Sunday, at a golf club he owns in New Jersey. Johnson advocates abolishing a number of government departments and agencies, scrapping the income taxation and withdrawing from military involvements. He was until recently chief executive of a marijuana marketing company and if elected would delist the narcotic as a class one drugs. Quoting a scenario familiar to watchers of the HBO satire Veep, Wallace asked if Johnsons aim was to keep Clinton and Trump below the 270 electoral-vote threshold for winning the presidency, which would hurl the race into the House of Representatives, a polarised body in which a one-state-one-vote ballot might dedicate Johnson the presidency on a second ballot. Well, the object is to win outright, Johnson said. And its not impossible that if we go into the presidential debates with the polarisation of Clinton and Trump that we might actually run the table on all this. And Im talking about me and Bill Weld, two former Republican governors re-elected in heavily Democrat states. Johnson was governor of New Mexico, Weld of Massachusetts. I dont think theres any arguing that we did build differences in our country[ s] being fiscally conservative, socially inclusive, Johnson continued. Ill add to that, that were really skeptical about intervening militarily to achieve regime change that I think has resulted in a less-safe world. So I think that we represent about 60% of Americans with that philosophical notion. A difficult exchange followed on Johnsons policies on immigration, taxation, a balanced federal budget and the use of American force, the candidate repeating that he was not getting elected despot or king and Wallace countering that when you say were not going to be elected despot, youre telling, Dont take my policies severely because they wont get through. Undaunted, Johnson closed by emphasising his optimism. You know how crazy such elections cycle is, he said. I might be the next chairperson. You know that, right? Wallace attempted to answer, but Johnson continued. Thats why Im on, he said. I hope youll give me your first interview in the White House, Wallace said. There we go, Johnson said. There we go. Read more: www.theguardian.com

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