Libertarian Gary Johnson bids farewell to the GOP: ‘This is the demise of the Republican Party’
Libertarian Gary Johnson sees GOP nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy as a nail in the coffin for a party that has seen nothing but losses at the national level for the last two elections.
In a Q&A with CNBC, Johnson touted his background in New Mexico politics as a qualification for the presidency and took some digs at the Republican party. When asked where the party would go were there to be a large support for his candidacy and a lowered showing for Trump, Johnson said it would be the final blow for Republicans.
“This is the demise of the Republican Party. This is an opportunity, I think, for the Libertarian Party to become a major party,” he said.
His largest barrier to the election, however, is that his candidacy isn’t included in most of the national polls.
“None of the polls being conducted right now have us on the top line,” he said. “None of ’em. It’s always Trump and Clinton and then second question, third question, ‘Well, what if you add Johnson-Weld?’ And then 99 percent of the media just reports line one.”
But he says that new polls out of Colorado show him at 15 percent. It backs up what Johnson is seeing on Facebook and Twitter.
“All of our analytics, all of our social media analytics suggest that we’re going to continue this,” he said. “We have not topped out in any way. And right now today, 60 percent of Americans don’t even know who we are. So back to if we were just on the top line, and I recognize that a lotta that has to do with just how polarizing the two of them are. But people don’t realize that there is another choice.”
The way Johnson hopes to bring more name identification to his campaign is through the presidential debates. If he doesn’t make it into the debate, he acknowledges he has zero shot at winning. But if he can reach a national threshold of 15 percent in the polls and score a podium on the national debate stage, he says he’ll win.
Johnson touts himself as a sensible Libertarian, not as many before him who have promoted a completely “hands off” style of government.
“I don’t agree completely with the platform of the Libertarian Party,” he said, talking about how Social Security doesn’t exactly need to be scrapped as his party’s platform says.
He also doesn’t agree with them when it comes to the environment and climate change. Instead of a complete “free market” approach that his party supports, Johnson wants to tax carbon emissions and then and only then let the “free market” take care of it after the tax. He cites the coal industry as an example of the market working because natural gas is more inexpensive, so the market is taking care of the environment by encouraging fracking over burning coal and thus increasing carbon emissions.
Check out the interview below: