Gary Johnson won’t be taking part in tonight’s presidential debate (live stream video below) owing to his scant numbers in the polls. But it turns out the highest polling third-party presidential hopeful in this year’s election has bigger plans, as he recently revealed to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on This Week his vision of colonizing other planets to save mankind from total annihilation.
“We do have to inhabit other planets. The future of the human race is space exploration.”
The ex-Governor of New Mexico, in fact, was responding to a question by Stephanopoulos about comments the Libertarian nominee had made at the National Press Club in 2011. Gary had urged that people to be more concerned about the long-term effects of global warming, claiming that the sun would engulf the Earth in the distant future.
“In billions of years the sun is going to actually encompass the earth.”
Johnson responded to the question, saying it the remark was meant as a joke.
“Can’t we have a little humor once in a while? And that is long term. Plate tectonics, at one point Africa and South America separated, and I am talking now about the earth and the fact that we have existed for billions of years and will going forward.”
Gary Johnson’s view on climate change has been for accepting science and against the use of government or international treaties to try and solve the problem. During his latest interview on ABC News, Gary also spoke in defense of the Environment Protection Agency, a view that isn’t shared among other members of the Libertarian party.
“I think the EPA exists to protect us against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm. Pollution is harm.”
This isn’t Gary’s first stint in the presidential race. He had previously participated in the 2012 race, also as a Libertarian nominee. In his 2016 campaign, Gary has portrayed himself as an alternative candidate for Americans who do not want to vote for either Trump or Clinton. But his campaign has been facing setbacks recently as the Clinton campaign has started publicizing the notion that a protest vote for Gary Johnson would be a vote for Trump, drawing comparisons to the Presidential election of 2000, where third party votes cost Al Gore the presidency, making George W. Bush the President of the United States. Gary had been vocally demanding that he should be allowed to participate in the presidential debates alongside Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. But he wasn’t invited since his numbers in the polls are short of the minimum 15 percent required for inclusion as defined by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Johnson has been critical of these standards, defined by the Commission, arguing that their formula for deciding who gets to participate in the debates is unfair to the third party candidates.
“Their panel is made up of Republicans and Democrats that just have no intention whatsoever in seeing anyone other than a Republican or Democrat on the debate stage.”
Johnson believes that it is impossible for him to win without taking part in these debates. He has said before that it would be “game over” for his campaign should he fail to qualify for the debates. But the Libertarian nominee has vowed to stay in the race, saying that he serves as a viable alternative for Americans who dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Tonight’s presidential debate will be the first in a series of four debates, this and two other Presidential debates (Oct. 9, Washington University in St. Louis & Oct 19, University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and one Vice Presidential debate (Oct 04, Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia). These debates are organized by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CoP).
You can watch PBS NewsHour’s live stream of the first presidential debate below.
[Feature Image by George Frey/Getty Images]