Gary Johnson invited to join Fox News Republican presidential debate
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will be allowed to participate in Thursday’s Fox News debate in Orlando, Fla., among Republican presidential candidates, The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz reports:
The former New Mexico governor won the right to participate, according to Fox sources, by cracking 1 percent in the latest five national polls in which he was included—Fox News, CNN, McClatchy-Marist, ABC, and Quinnipiac—which was the criterion the network had set for inclusion.
Talking Points Memo reports Johnson has yet to receive final notification that he will participate in the debate, though he told TPM, “It would be good news if we get it.”
Johnson is a self-identified libertarian who differentiates himself from Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the more popular of the libertarian GOP candidates, with his support for abortion rights and his opposition to the construction of a border fence. He has attended one other GOP debate, where he was asked about his support for drug legalization and discussed his initial opposition to the war in Iraq.
According to Politico, Johnson’s inclusion in the debate came over the objection of the Florida Republican Party, which has excluded him from Saturday’s Florida straw poll.
If he does indeed receive a debate invitation, Johnson will have temporarily left the ranks of presidential candidates who have too little support to gain the valuable national airtime of a debate. These candidates include former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (R), Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) and California Republican Fred Karger.