Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is mounting a concerted effort to be able to participate in the televised debates.
The former New Mexico governor will speak Saturday at the P.A.U.L. (People Awakening and Uniting for Libery) Festival on Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. It’s being billed as “the largest gathering of Paulites… EVER!” and a three-day celebration with bands and speakers to honor Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
On Monday, Johnson wrote the executive director, the co-chairmen, and the board of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates to ask that they “reconsider …current – and exclusionary – requirements for participation” in the debates.
“While I respect and understand the intention to provide a reasonable and theoretically nonpartisan structure for the presidential debate process, I would suggest that the Commission’s founding, organization and policies are heavily skewed toward limiting the debates to the two so-called major parties. That is unfortunate, and frankly, out of touch with the electorate,” Johnson wrote. “You rely very heavily on polling data to determine who may participate in your debates, yet your use of criteria that are clearly designed to limit participation to the Republican and the Democrat nominee ignore the fact that many credible polls indicate that a full one-third of the electorate do not clearly identify with either of those parties.”
“Requiring a certain level of approval in the polls has nothing to do with fitness to serve, experience, or credibility as a potential President. Rather, it has everything to do with the hundreds of millions of dollars available to and spent by the two major party candidates, the self-fulfilling bias of the news media against the viability of third party candidates, and an ill-founded belief that past dominance of the Republican and Democrat Parties should somehow be a template for the future,” he added.
Johnson is also holding a fundraiser tomorrow night in Tampa.
In a new ad, the former governor asks voters to “Be Libertarian with me for one election.”