Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson has branded Donald Trump a “neo-isolationist” who’s racist outbursts should disqualify him from the presidency.
Johnson’s latest attack on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee and his character directly followed a vow Trump made at a town hall meeting earlier this week to explore the possibility of firing Muslim employees of the Transportation Security Administration for wearing hijabs – instead replacing them with military veterans.
Speaking with CNN‘s Brianna Keilar on Sunday, Johnson argued that Trump’s latest statements relating to Islam were totally “racist.”
“He has said 100 things that would disqualify anyone else from running for president but doesn’t seem to affect him,” Johnson said. “It’s racist.”
When asked whether he thought that Trump himself is a racist, Johnson did not hesitate.
“Based on his statements, clearly,” the former New Mexico governor said. “The stuff he’s saying is just incendiary.”
By way of example, Johnson then went on to point out that Mexican immigrants were actually less likely to commit dangerous crimes than other Americans – a clear jibe at Trump’s infamous campaign announcement speech last summer.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump told supporters. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
According to Johnson, who is running alongside former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld in November, Trump’s pledges to slash migration and bar Muslims from entering U.S. soil were “neo-isolationist.”
Johnson then went on to defend Trump’s primary opponent, arguing that he did not believe repeated attacks on Hillary Clinton for using a private email server whilst serving as Secretary of State were warranted.
According to a campaign spokesman, Clinton agreed to be interviewed by members of the FBI on Saturday in relation to their ongoing investigation.
“I’m not a stone-thrower when it comes to Hillary Clinton and her emails and her server,” Johnson said on Sunday. “I don’t think there has been criminal intent on Hillary Clinton’s part. I don’t see an indictment.”
That being said, Johnson made clear that he did not agree with Hillary Clinton on everything.
When asked about the sharp words both Clinton and Trump have spoken in relation to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Johnson said that he would be more than happy to sign the deal into action immediately after winning the White House in November.
“I’m being told that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would, in fact, advance free trade, and so I would support that document,” Johnson said.
At present, Johnson and fellow Libertarian Bill Weld are working to earn at least 15 percent support in the polls so that they will be able to qualify to participate in some of the prime-time presidential debates this autumn.
According to pollsters at NBC News, Johnson is currently polling closer to 10 percent. By contrast, the Green Party’s Jill Stein is polling at six percent – while Clinton is expected to earn 39 percent of the popular vote. Donald Trump finished the survey right on Clinton’s heels at 38 percent.
That being said, Johnson is performing substantially better in some of the country’s key battleground states. Experts at Ballotpedia are currently forecasting Johnson to earn 16 percent of the vote in Iowa.
Nationwide, Hillary Clinton is still riding high in the polls.
RealClearPolitics has given the presumptive Democratic nominee a 4.5 percent lead over Trump. Yet various studies released over the past month have given Clinton a double-digit lead over her GOP rival.
Last week, Reuters placed Clinton a comfortable 10 points ahead of Trump with 42 percent of the vote. It’s worth noting that 14 percent of individuals surveyed said they did not plan to vote for Trump or Clinton. A further six percent said they would not be voting at all.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]