Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson quipped that Donald Trump “had it nailed” when he referred to the former New Mexico governor as “a total fringe deal, a fringe candidate and disgraceful.”
“Republican governors serving in deeply blue states, both getting re-elected by bigger margins the second time than the first time, being fiscally conservative over the top and being socially tolerant, liberal. Totally fringe,” Johnson said of himself and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.
Johnson told Fox News that to win, the ticket needs to be included in polls.
“The only chance we have of winning is to be in the presidential debate, which is 15 percent prescribed by the Presidential Debate Commission. The only way to get to 15 percent is to actually be included in all of these polls. Since my name has appeared in four presidential national polls, there have been another 40 polls where my name hasn’t appeared. So really that’s the key,” Johnson said.
He touted a new Investors Business Daily poll that shows the Libertarian ticket at 11 percent.
“I think both of our records, Bill Weld’s and myself, hold up under the scrutiny that go along with being at a recognized 10 percent, 12 percent, 15 percent. Doesn’t go from zero to 15, it works its way up,” he added.
Charles Krauthammer asked Johnson if he was still smoking pot.
“I haven’t used in probably about five weeks. And I have said that I’m not going to as president. I don’t think you want somebody potentially answering that red phone. And then going forward, not using going forward,” Johnson replied.
“But as the CEO of a marijuana company, marijuana products medicinally directly compete with legal prescription painkillers that statistically kill 100,000 people a year. Not one documented death due to marijuana. And I have always maintained that legalizing marijuana recreationally will lead to less overall substance abuse because it’s so much safer than everything else out there, starting with alcohol. The campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado was based on marijuana is safer than alcohol,” he added.
Johnson also condemned Trump’s statements on mass deportation of illegal immigrants as “just really racist.”
“New Mexico, 48 percent Hispanic, what does an 11 million person crackdown amount to in New Mexico? Well, they knock on my door, and, ‘oh, gee, you are the former governor. OK, you’re OK.’ But they move to the next door because 50 percent of New Mexico is Hispanic. Let’s see some papers,” he said.
On foreign policy, the Libertarian said, “I reject the notion of being isolationist.”
“I think that, first of all, if we’re attacked, we’re going to attack back. We need to involve Congress. They have an abdicated their responsibility to the president and the executive. And let’s have a declaration of war. Let’s have direction going forward,” Johnson said.
“…If we are attacked, we are going to attack back. You can make the argument that we have been attacked by ISIS. This is something we should engage in. Where I fall on this is the unintended consequences of our interventions, and that the unintended consequences have made things worse, not better.”