Fox Business Network's John Stossel will be moderating a Libertarian town hall on Friday with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld. Townhall caught up with Stossel to ask what viewers can expect from the event, as well as the potential for the Libertarian ticket to gain momentum in such a unique election year. Does he think Johnson can make history and actually reach the presidential debate stage?
Stossel: Libertarian Town Hall will air on Fox Business Network Friday at 9PM/ET
TH: There's a lot of stigma surrounding the Libertarian ticket. Is it unfair to call a third party candidate a "spoiler?”
Stossel: Maybe not. But so what if Libertarians prove to be a “spoiler", given that the Democratic candidate is a liar who wants to crush innovation and micro-manage our lives and the Republican nominee is an irresponsible bully. Recent polls shows adding Johnson as a choice pulls voters away from Clinton and Trump equally. How can anyone be a “spoiler” when both Clinton and Trump are so unpopular. What would they be spoiling?
TH: Gov. Johnson has said, "The only opportunity to win is to actually be in the presidential debates." In this unique election, with the unpopularity of Trump and Clinton, are his chances of getting to the podium better than ever?
Stossel: They should be. But the Debate Commission is controlled by Republicans and Democrats. They don’t want competition any more than the teachers’ unions do.
ElectionBettingOdds.com – which shows where the smart money is – says Johnson has about a 20 percent chance of getting in the debate.
TH: If the Libertarian ticket fails to make any of the debates, does Gov. Johnson have a plan B to reach voters en masse?
Stossel: I don’t know. Johnson has said, “the first Presidential debate is projected to have more viewership than the Super Bowl. So there’s no chance of us winning without being in that game.”
TH: Gov. Johnson has recently claimed this election to be the “end” of the Republican Party. Do you believe this to be true?
Stossel: No. But it’s in trouble.
TH: You have been heralding libertarianism for quite some time now. Do you believe libertarian principles would be better promoted through the Libertarian Party, which has yet to make any real ballot box wins? Or would libertarians be better off trying to make the Republican Party more libertarian – utilizing the tools of a main political party?
Stossel: Probably the latter. But why just the Republican party? Let’s educate Democrats on economics and make the Dem party more libertarian!
TH: Most agree Libertarians align with conservatives on fiscal issues and side with liberals on social issues. However, Libertarians seem to find themselves a pariah when it comes to foreign policy. They are routinely referred to as “isolationists.” Is this an unfair assessment?
Stossel: Libertarians are not “isolationists.” We want to interact with the world, trade with the world, influence the world by spreading the best of our culture and taking the best of theirs. We just don’t want to try to control the world.
TH: Explain the makeup of Friday’s town hall audience - will these be independent voters?
Stossel: Probably. We just post an invite on my Facebook and Twitter page, so they’re probably fans of mine.
TH: Will there be a particular theme? Is any topic off limits?
Stossel: Themes will be the economy, social issues, war and defense, the role of government. The only thing off-limits is a topic I find too boring for TV.