Gary Johnson: Don’t count me out of presidential raceAugust 16, 2011Posted in Blog, Facebook, Gov. Gary Johnson, Interview, Issue, Small Government, Spending, Twitter
By Steve Terrel From The Santa Fe New Mexican
The candidate was dressed in bicycle shorts.
Indeed, Gary Johnson had just been on a bike ride before stopping at the state Capitol for an informal chat with some Roundhouse reporters. He probably was the most athletic governor the state ever had and he’d like to be the most athletic president the U.S. has ever known.
But with each new poll that’s released and each new Republican debate he’s been excluded from, that’s looking less likely.
Johnson admitted that the lack of attention from the major news organizations has been frustrating. “It’s frustrating because there will be articles appear that so-and-so is the only candidate to espouse X , Y or Z. Well no, I’ve been saying that since Day One.
“It really is disheartening,” he said. “I never thought I would be left off a debate floor. I always thought I’d have a seat at the debate. I mean, what are the dues you have to have to have a seat at the table?”
CNN in June did not invite him to its debate in New Hampshire. At the time of the interview, Johnson said he assumed he would be included in the Fox News debate in Ames, Iowa, a few days before the Republican straw poll there.
But a few days later, the Iowa Republican Party announced who would be on the ballot for Saturday’s straw poll — and Johnson’s name wasn’t on it. His campaign later announced that Johnson instead would be campaigning in New Hampshire because the straw poll “has much more to do with organizing bus loads of supporters than it does with ideas and solutions to our country’s economic problems, or the even the electability of candidates.”
Thus, he wasn’t at the debate. But those following Johnson’s Twitter feed were able to read his comments during the debate. Though he’s got more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, that’s just a fraction of the number of people who watched the debate on Fox.
Don’t doubt the dude: Johnson’s former communications director Diane Kinderwater said recently she doesn’t recall her former boss ever saying he wanted to run for president back when he was governor, but said she wasn’t surprised when he told her last year he would be running.
She believes he’s running because Johnson has a strong desire to “right wrongs” he sees — whether it’s the war on drugs, taxes or education reform. “He never shies away from correcting injustices,” she said.
She also recalled how Johnson, as governor during public appearances around the state, had the habit of getting involved in informal discussions with small groups of people or even individuals. He seem to have a need to explain his positions and philosophy, even if it was apparent that the person disagreed with him, Kinderwater said.
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