Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson is ramping up the attacks on Republican nominee Donald Trump — and he is doing so in a manner which is as caustic as it is funny.
Johnson, whose poll numbers have shown a remarkable increase ever since the Republican National Convention drew to a close in late July, is hoping to make deeper inroads into the conservative voter base that has traditionally been a forte of Republican Party candidates. Trump’s recent antics of berating a Gold Star mother, coupled with his almost constant bashing of minorities, women and the Republican leadership, have meant that he has managed to isolate even sections of this conservative voter pool further away from him. And Johnson is making sure that he is at hand to benefit the most.
As the Inquisitr reported on Friday, Gary Johnson is now commanding 23 percent of millennial votes in a new McClatchy-Marist poll, while the same poll showed that Trump has a meager support of only nine percent among young Americans below the age of 30. The next step for Johnson would be to reach 15 percent in national polling, which would enable him to stand alongside Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in televised debates.
“I saw last week where they were projecting there is going to be more viewership for the first presidential debate than the Super Bowl,” Johnson said on Friday.
“If we’re in the Super Bowl, anything can happen.”
While the reasons for Johnson’s surge in popularity — and poll numbers — may be varied, it appears his sense of humor is one tool that is helping him win a lot of admirers.
For example, whenever tackling Trump’s ideas on immigration, Johnson has used jokes to get his point across through to voters. Just before a Friday campaign stop outside the Joe Crowley Student Union in Nevada, Johnson took a dig at Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border, reports the Reno-Gazette Journal. While a number of leaders have already attacked Donald Trump for what is essentially believed to be a ludicrous idea in political circles — logistically and otherwise — Johnson did so in a manner where the humor was not lost in the criticism.
“I hear that Donald Trump is watching the Olympics tonight. He’s seeing how high the Mexican pole vaulters go.”
The statement, funny as it is, is also a scathing criticism of the idea that building a wall could help curb illegal immigration. Gary Johnson makes certain to pepper his speeches and interviews with statements that highlight the uselessness of his rivals’ policy proposals — in this case, Trump’s — while at the same time emphasizing how his platform is different from theirs.
“Look, the deportation of 11 million undocumented workers starts with misinformation,” he went on to add.
“They are hardworking people that have come into the Untied States and they have to come in illegally because the government can’t provide them an easy way to get in legally.”
It appears this causticity is going to be a tool that both Gary Johnson, and his running mate William Weld, are going to put to optimum use on the campaign trail. For instance, when Weld was asked if he thought that #BlackLivesMatter was a legitimate movement, this is what he had to say.
“When the question is put from the leaders of that movement do black lives matter, the answer comes back loud and clear from the Republican Party, ‘All lives matter.’ Well they might as well say, ‘Up against the wall.’”
In another interview with CNN, Weld even said that Trump had a “screw loose.”
“He’s a showman. He’s a pied piper. He’s the music man,” Weld said of Trump. “More recently, it’s gotten more serious, and the noun that comes to my mind is a ‘screw loose.’”
That is not all. To show just how bizarre some of Donald Trump’s stances have been on immigration, Johnson’s campaign released a statement on Thursday, promising not to deport the real estate mogul’s Slovenia-born wife if he’s elected president, reports The Washington Examiner.
“While Donald Trump is running on a platform to deport 12 million people, apparently including his own wife, Johnson-Weld stands for allowing people in Melania’s circumstances to stay and, over time, become citizens if they learn English, pay their back taxes and pay a fine.”
The statement went on to add that the Johnson campaign would welcome “other glamour models from around the globe to come to America and make it an even more beautiful country than it already is.”
There is little doubt that disillusioned Republicans — and even independents — are now looking for options beyond Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and while Green Party’s Jill Stein also continues to make inroads in progressive circles, Gary Johnson would hope that his — and his campaign’s — quirky sense of humor will hold him in good stead in the presidential race.
Will he be seen on the national debate stage?
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]