Do You Want to See Gary Johnson in the CNN Republican Candidate Debate Forum?


He climbed Mt. Everest on a bum leg but former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-N.M.) is being excluded from CNN's June 13 debate among the Republican presidential candidates.

That's a bummer, especially since the video above makes a decent case that the two-term GOP governor (in a Democratic-heavy state!) meets CNN own criteria for deciding who gets in and who doesn't.

So check it out and if you think Johnson deserves to be included every bit as much as folks such as Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, you might think about calling CNN at 404.827.1500 to let 'em know.

Johnson's campaign has put together this short vid that shows eventual nomination-winners Carter, Dukakis, and (Bill) Clinton were pulling 1 percent around the same time in their runs. Check it out:

Disclosure: I've interviewed Johnson more than a few times and have shared a stage with him too. I won't be voting in any Republican primaries (or any other, for that matter) but I'd love to see him in the mix on June 13 and beyond.


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      1. Maybe?

        1. If he wears a silly hat.

  1. yes. Johnson is my favorite. He gets my vote, even if I have to write it in.

    1. Damn splitter!

  2. Not if he thinks those icky gay people should get married.

  3. Johnson should be in there even if his support is barely registering, especially with Gingrich’s campaign already going into total meltdown.

    But no, I’m not going to call the losers at CNN to beg them to do something they’re not going to do.

  4. I like Johnson’s ideas, but he came across as such an inarticulate dweeb during the first Republican debate that it isn’t a surprise that CNN doesn’t take him seriously. Right, but unelectable — a true Libertarian.

    1. You know, this is nonsense that we’ve grown to accept. Johnson aside, if we’re gauging public speaking and televisions skills as the primary criteria for presidents, we’re gaming the system to end up with bullshitters and empty suits. Communication is important, yes, but it’s purely secondary to making good decisions and influencing things behind the scenes.

      While we’re capable of great stupidity en masse, we’re also capable of voting for someone who has good ideas and, in a time of economic trouble, one who is willing to abandon the clearly deficient status quo.

      By anointing candidates as “worthy” this early in the race, the media is doing us a major disservice, and is, once again, working hard to ensure we have the weakest slate possible.

      Even if Johnson were another Romney, I think a two-term governor of a state should get an automatic bid this early in the process. Personally, I think they don’t want too much libertarian message presented, especially since they can’t risk excluding Paul.

      1. I agree. Our standard for “good communicator” is well-spoken bromides and vapidity. Certainly, having and being able to communicate a vision is an important part of an executive’s job description. I’m not sure if having a more complex vision that is more difficult to honestly communicate is worse than having a simplistic, unobtainable vision that can be expounded by platitudes.

        1. Let’s put it this way: A president could be insanely great without doing any TV at all during his presidency. At all. He can’t be good if he can’t make good decisions about the people he appoints or about policy.

          One of the reasons voting for Obama was so dumb is that we had no idea what his capacity for office was. It was all about “electability”, which the media defines as, for the most part, “looking and sounding good on TV.”

          1. The first person to promise to end the State of the Union kabuki play in favor of an emailed document simultaneously published on whitehouse.gov gets my vote. No matter what their positions on other issues may be.

            1. I’d be cool with the whole thing being presented by a virtual avatar.

            2. I read your horoscope this morning and it said, “Please tell brett to watch the hyperbole today.”

              1. I’m not sure I’m exaggerating. At least such a person would probably be the least “Cult of the Presidency” susceptible.

            3. That’s pretty much what Jefferson did, minus the email.

              1. If I’m ever president, I’ll deliver the State of the Union via the Star Wars: Old Republic MMO, which should be out by then. I’ll insist that each member of Congress and the Supreme Court select their avatars as either being or Dark Side. To help sort things out, you know.

                1. ProL: You could get a pretty nice kickback for that from LucasArts, methinks.

      2. …if we’re gauging public speaking and televisions skills as the primary criteria for presidents, we’re gaming the system to end up with bullshitters and empty suits…

        Yeah right. If that were the case, we’d already have bullshitters and empty suits in off?oh, I see.

        1. Funny how that works, huh? We need to tell the media to piss off when it comes to preselecting candidates or measuring their worth. Frankly, I think they’re worse than useless at that task.

          1. Well, they’re in touch with the “insiders”, elites, and party establishments, who prefer bullshitters and empty suits (easier to control), and thus only consider those types for their support. We’re obviously moving more and more away from that, but we aren’t quite to the critical mass needed to completely render the old media obsolete. Soon though! Ron Paul has shown it’s possible to get people excited enough to donate their own small funds to a cause, which, in aggregate, can match the funding of the Anointed Ones.

    2. Right, but unelectable — a true Libertarian.

      He lacks the right PR. He needs to capitalize on his goofiness, and not run away from it. He could be a star if he were handled correctly

      1. Worked for Obama

    3. Oh yeah Look what the smooth talking Obama did! Gary Johnson would be one of the best President to sit in office. This guy will get the job done. Look at his track record. CNN CNN “Do the right thing”

    4. You are kind of ignorant, aren’t you. GOVERNOR Johnson was elected twice in a Democrat state. Why don’t you go back and blog with your compatriots at CNN. Your level of intelligece deserves them.

  5. GJ didn’t have the greatest debate performance but if you’ve followed him for the last few years, you know what he is about. Why do you think there are more than just one debate? He’ll get better and just one recommendation for any candidate who gets a fucking stupid question like “what reality tv program best suits you?”.

    Answer, well Chris, I think your question is fucking stupid and I can’t believe you are wasting time asking about reality tv when the country is going down the toilet. we are building infrastructure in afghanistan and taxing you to do it. we are taxing you to give money to farmers to turn fricking corn into fuel. we are setting up a bureacracy to tax you if you don’t buy the insurance policy we demand that you buy. And you want to talk about reality tv shows? reality tv shows? cmon man, reality tv shows? cmon, man, we are talking about reality tv shows. cmon man.

  6. Johnson’s campaign has put together this short vid that shows eventual nomination-winners Carter, Dukakis, and (Bill) Clinton were pulling 1 percent around the same time in their runs.

    I would think that this is more of a reason for him not to be included.

  7. Only 13 comments so far shows what a loser Johnson is. If Ron Paul was excluded the comments would hit 1300.
    Cosmotarians don’t care about their candidate. Who ya gonna principley not vote for NOW?

    1. Piss off.

      There, now there’s 15 comments. I wasn’t going to, but I think I’ll call CNN.

      1. Lord, please let me have a problem like picking between two libertarian candidates.

        1. Right? I don’t get those who don’t get how valuable it is to have two different candidates saying close to the same thing one a national stage. Especially since RP could give the more principled stance, while GJ could give the pragmatic one.

        2. In the same vein, I would like to see a national race between a libertarian and a green candidate.

          The problem with republicans and democrats is not about where the disagree, but where they agree. Greens and libertarians may be far apart on many issues, but that intersection of agreement (say, ending the drug war and reduced appetite for overseas intervention) would be a good start.

    2. Maybe cosmotarians have better things to do than yell into echo chambers.

  8. Johnson in that debate is like McCartney in Wings. He’s better off on his own.

  9. below is my email exchange with one of the debate organizers yesterday. I don’t expect any further response from him…


    Dear Mr. Perkins,

    I wanted to be sure that you were aware that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson does in fact meet the criteria for inclusion in the June 13 GOP debate sponsored by the Union Leader, WMUR and CNN.


    As the link above demonstrates, Gov. Johnson has polled an average of 2% in at least three national polls released in May by the organizations on the list provided.

    Based on this information, it is imperative that you reconsider your decision to exclude Gov. Johnson from the June 13 debate.

    Thank you in advance for rectifying this situation.


    Your interest in the debate is appreciated, but Gov. Johnson did not qualify for an invitation. The “poll results” cited are a sidebar to the key surveys, which included a wider field of potential candidates.

    Charles Perkins, North Village Media
    (for the New Hampshire Union Leader)


    Mr. Perkins,

    I don’t see anywhere in the criteria that candidates must poll an average of 2% in the “key” surveys (whatever that means) as opposed to the “sidebars.”


    “2. A candidate must have received an average of at least 2.00 % in at least three national polls released between May 1 and May 31 that were conducted by the following: ABC, AP, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, FOX, Gallup, Los Angeles Times, Marist, McClatchy, NBC, Newsweek, Pew, Quinnipiac, Reuters, USA Today and Time.”

    Can you please clarify what you mean by this?

    The CNN poll question where Johnson polls 2% is pretty straightforward:.
    “29. Next, I’m going to read a list of people who may be running in the Republican primary for president in 2012. After I read all the names, please tell me which candidate you would be most likely to support for the Republican nomination for President in the year 2012, or if you would support someone else. (RANDOM ORDER):”

    The Gallup 3% results are described as follows, which is certainly appropriate since Sarah Palin is not an announced candidate and has not even formed an exploratory committee:

    “Re-allocating Palin supporters’ votes to the candidate who is their second choice gives a sense of where current preferences would stand without Palin in the mix.”

    And the Quinnipiac question is simply:
    “If the 2012 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachman, Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum, John Huntsman, and Donald Trump, for whom would you vote? ”

    How can you possibly interpret this as anything other than Gov. Johnson meeting your stated criteria by receiving “an average of at least 2.00 % in at least three national polls released between May 1 and May 31 that were conducted by the following: ABC, AP, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, FOX, Gallup, Los Angeles Times, Marist, McClatchy, NBC, Newsweek, Pew, Quinnipiac, Reuters, USA Today and Time”.

    I look forward to your response and appreciate your consideration.

    1. The person excluded from the “sidebar” poll was Palin. CNN and Gallup published polls that included her as well as polls that excluded her, based on their reasonable assumption that she may not run. In any case, this is all beside the point since the debate organizers committed themselves to recognizing ALL national polls by CNN and Gallup. It’s not Johnson’s problem that they’ve apparently changed their minds. He obviously qualified for the debate based on their criteria — the organizers deserve to be called on this.

      1. speaking of polls, this one is kinda interesting…

        We’ve done polls in Massachusetts and Minnesota over the last couple weeks and found that Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Michele Bachmann are all unpopular in their home states. That’s par for the course with this GOP Presidential field – we’ve polled on 9 of the candidates or potential candidates in their home states and only one of them is well liked – Gary Johnson in New Mexico.

        1. Must be excluded! We’ve included a wacko libertarian voice already, so we’ve met our diversity quota for this election!

  10. Presidents must be straight, Christian, tall, not bald, and they can’t giggle when asked a question. So…

    1. Don’t expect randy newman to agree with you.

      1. Randy Newman was a North Korean plot to destroy Toy Story.

  11. Nick
    There are too few of us who believe in free minds and free markets.
    And, sadly, too many on the federal dole or otherwise hitched to bloated government.
    Please reconsider your declaration about not voting for Governor Johnson in the primary.
    (or is that what you have to say to keep the the FEC bureaucrats off Reason?)
    Anyway, to others — please VOTE in the primary. If you are independent or Libertarian or Democrat your vote in the GOP primary will have a tremendous impact. Register Republican and vote for Gary Johnson or Ron Paul.

  12. I seek an address to cotact Gov. Gary Johnson.

  13. Vote for Gary Johnson

  14. I think every candidate should be allowed to enter the debate. As a Ron Paul supporter I was frustrated when he was overlooked for the debates let alone the lack of any media coverage.

    I’m not sure the best way to keep any wacko from getting his/her 15 seconds of fame if everyone could enter the debates but there needs to be a fair way so everyone’s voice can be heard.

  15. Every candidate should be considered.

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