The two-party system is teetering on the brink of extinction, and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson said his party’s ticket could be the one to knock it out.
“This is a two-party dinosaur,” Johnson said Thursday during a National Press Club luncheon. “We think we’re going to be the comet in this equation.”
Appearing with his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, Johnson said this year’s Libertarian ticket is in the campaign to win it. Their chances are helped, the former New Mexico governor said, by the historically unpopular Republican and Democratic candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Johnson said the GOP’s unwelcoming views toward the LGBT community and ethnic minorities have turned off voters nationwide, and he was especially critical of Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, which Johnson called “incendiary.” Likewise, Johnson said Democrats penchant for advertising their taxpayer-funded proposals as “free” puts them out of touch with the voting public.
Between two candidates with historically high unfavorability ratings and partisan gridlock in Washington, Johnson said voters will gravitate toward a third option. He dismissed the notion that he would be satisfied with enough of the vote in November that would exceed expectations but not yield a victory. Instead, Johnson said he and Weld first had to reach the 15 percent support in national polls necessary to earn a spot on the debate stage this fall. Those debates, he said, are “the only opportunity we have of winning.”