Donald Trump “is appealing to a segment I’ll just label racist,” says Gary Johnson, a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico and the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate. “It exists and it’s out there.”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with it,” says Johnson. “It embarrasses me. The electorate will paint the entire Republican Party with a broad brush as a result of Trump and it won’t be positive.” Johnson started the 2012 campaign as a Republican before switching to the LP and pulling 1.2 million votes and 1 percent of ballots cast in the general election, recent highs for a Libertarian candidate.
In announcing his presidential campaign in June, Trump asserted that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Although he allowed that “some, I assume, are good people,” NBC and other business associates cut ties the New York-based billionaire.
Going into FreedomFest, Trump was polling second in surveys of Republican primary voters. In the latest polls, Trump is leading the GOP field. At the same time, according to Gallup, 75 percent of Americans don’t consider Trump a “serious candidate.”