Ex-Gov. Johnson may run as Libertarian

Nov. 26, 2011 at 2:14 PM
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SANTA FE, N.M., Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a long-shot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, is considering running as a Libertarian.

"I feel abandoned by the Republican Party," Johnson told The New Mexican of Santa Fe in a phone interview. "The Republican Party has left me by the wayside. If I'd have been included in 16 of the last debates we wouldn't even be having this conversation."

The Libertarian Party has had more staying power than many minor parties and plans to run in all 50 states this year. But Johnson acknowledges its presidential candidates have generally received no more than 1 percent of the national vote.

While Johnson did better than former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and tied with businessman Herman Cain in a CNN poll in August, he has not been included in more recent polls. He blames the national news media for deciding who the candidates are and the Republican National Committee for giving the press that power.

"They certainly don't want anything to do with ideas, only protecting the status quo," he said.

Johnson filed a complaint last week with the Federal Election Commission about his near shutout from the many Republican debates. In response, the RNC's chief counsel, John R. Phillippe Jr., pointed out 21 candidates have filed for the New Hampshire primary.

"We simply have to have some minimum criteria in order for candidates to participate in these debates," Phillippe said. "Otherwise, the debates would be utter chaos and unhelpful to Republican voters as we select our nominee."

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