WASHINGTON – No point in looking to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson to raise the rancorous presidential debate to a more civil level – even as he proclaims himself the “mainstream” option in the race.
Johnson called GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump a crude slang word for wimp during a Libertarian presidential debate in Mississippi last weekend, and on Wednesday he cast himself as the big winner on Super Tuesday.
Johnson, a former Republican who is seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination, lobbed the insult at Trump after recounting his own experiences as a mountain climber who has reached the summit of the highest mountains on each continent.
“Donald Trump’s a p***y,” Johnson said, triggering some audience chuckles and applause and a “hear, hear” from fellow Libertarian candidate John McAfee, who created the anti-virus computer software and fled to Belize in 2012 while wanted for questioning in his neighbor’s death. McAfee was imprisoned in Guatemala and deported to the United States in 2012.
Meanwhile, Johnson said the Super Tuesday results – in which Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump rolled up big victories – could give his long-shot third-party candidacy a boost.
“I actually believe I may have won Super Tuesday,” Johnson said in a statement issued Wednesday. “With the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trains becoming more and more unstoppable in their respective parties, I believe a real majority of American voters are going to be left without a political home in November.
“To those millions of voters, a successful two-term governor with a solid record of fiscal responsibility and defense of civil and personal liberties could well be the ‘mainstream’ option,” Johnson continued. “Both of the major parties are succeeding in alienating more voters than ever before. The Democrat establishment is effectively shutting down its challengers, and Republicans are clearly rejecting their establishment. The net result may be that more Americans than ever before will be looking to a truly independent, experienced and proven candidate.”
Johnson was the Libertarian nominee for president in 2012 and received about 1 percent of the vote nationally.