Disgruntled former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson says he is considering leaving the Republican slate and running as a third-party candidate in the 2012 presidential election.
“I feel abandoned by the Republican Party,” Johnson, who has been left out of most of the Republican debates, told the Sante Fe New Mexican newspaper this week, saying he might seek the Libertarian Party’s support.
“The Republican Party has left me by the wayside,” said Johnson, whose polling numbers have recently been so low that they are often not even being picked up by pollsters.
“If I’d have been included in 16 of the last debates we wouldn’t even be having this conversation,” he said.
While the Libertarians are on the ballot in every state, Johnson acknowledged that the party, which espouse freedom of expression and action, had never received more than one percent of the nationwide vote.
Johnson, 58, holds dear libertarian values such as low taxes and limited government and wants to legalize marijuana. He is also a fitness fanatic, having competed in a number of “Ironman” triathlons and climbed Mount Everest.
Ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich are currently topping the polls of Republican candidates trying to unseat President Barack Obama in November 2012.
The months-long state-by-state voting process that will decide the nominee begins on January 3 in Iowa.
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