Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson doesn’t seem to think too highly of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent behavior, but he holds the same sentiments for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. On Friday, he said that the choices between the leading candidates is like having to choose between a “heart attack and cancer.”
In an exclusive interview with WABC host Rita Cosby, the Libertarian nominee, who won’t be at the Las Vegas debate on October 19, stated that if he was eligible to debate with the candidates, he’d make sure that both Clinton and Trump stayed focused on the current issues at hand, and not the back and forth mudslinging they’ve been throwing at each other.
“I think…that it’s just become mudslinging, and to a degree that we’ve never seen before.”
While zeroing in on Trump, the former New Mexico governor said that the Republican presidential nominee’s recent “meltdowns” may give him a key opportunity for his own campaign. Johnson thinks there’s now no chance for Trump to win.
“With Trump’s meltdown right now I think there’s an opportunity… to really court Republicans, because Trump’s just not going to win. It’s not going to happen. It’s in the cards, this is baked in right now.”
Clinton faced just as much criticism from Johnson. He accused her of being a “hypocrite,” pointing out her leaked speeches to Wall Street and WikiLeaks emails.
“Basically, you know, [the WikiLeaks emails] show, show Hillary being hypocritical – saying one thing in front of one group, and saying another thing in front of most of America. You know, that’s… I think that that’s the one unforgivable.”
When Cosby asked what “America is choosing between” when it comes to either Clinton or Trump, Johnson laughed a little before he compared the nominees to two major medical conditions that no one would choose if even given a better alternative.
“Well what would it be, the difference between a heart attack or cancer? What…it’s s just….really, it’s a horrible choice.”
Last month, Johnson learned that he’d been excluded from participating in the presidential debates, along with fellow competitor, Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. The decision was made by the privately-run Commission on Presidential Debates, who mandate that each candidate have at least 15 percent of the polling threshold across a number of national polls.
“With the assistance of Dr. Newport, the Board determined that the polling averages called for in the third criterion are as follows: Hillary Clinton (43%), Donald Trump (40.4%), Gary Johnson (8.4%) and Jill Stein (3.2%). Accordingly, Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, and Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, qualify to participate … The criteria will be reapplied to all candidates in advance of the second and third presidential debates.”
CBS St. Louis reports that after Johnson supporters learned that the Libertarian nominee was excluded from last month’s Washington University presidential debate, many of them protested outside of the A-B InBev. Johnson’s campaign spokesman, Terry Michael, stated that the protest took place because those who aren’t yet lined up with a candidate will only hear Clinton and Trump’s arguments during the debate.
“The big disadvantage is that tens of millions of Americans who are not aligned with either party will not have representation on the debate stage. We will just have the two polarized cage fighters, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, yelling verbal insults at each other and not really engaging in any policy-oriented debate.”
Gary Johnson himself has said a few times in the past that if he gets excluded from the presidential debates, his chance to win is doomed. In fact, along with Stein, he sued the commission last year for “violations of antitrust law and the First Amendment,” a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed by Federal Judge Rosemary M. Collyer.
[Feature photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]