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Third Party Candidates and the First Presidential Debate


Joe Hunter


Sept. 26, 2016, New York, NY -- The following statement was released this evening by Gov. Gary Johnson reacting to tonight’s presidential debate:

“I heard Donald Trump describing a country I don’t recognize, and I heard Hillary Clinton writing checks we can’t possibly cash.

I suspect a great many of the millions who watched the debate did so in the hope that they would be inspired. With the possible exception of partisans on the extremes, I also suspect they were disappointed.

Americans don’t want their children and grandchildren to inherit a $20 trillion debt, and they didn’t hear anything tonight that will keep that from happening. Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump are afraid to tell the truth about spending. It’s easier to just promise more of it and send the next generation the tab.

Americans believe in the Constitution and the protections it’s supposed to provide. Mr. Trump appears willing to ‘frisk’ those protections away if they get in the way of his version of fixing things. There was a time when Republicans believed in free trade and creating jobs through growth, not protectionism. What happened to that?

Our military men and women and their families deserve leadership they can trust to not send them into harm’s way to intervene in conflicts they can’t possibly resolve and which may or may not have a clear U.S. interest. They didn’t get any reassurance tonight. Americans want our military to protect us, not put their lives on the line to chase someone’s agenda.

We deserve better, but what we saw tonight was a promise that the bickering, the pandering and the polarization will continue. America is already great. It’s great leaders we are lacking, and I don’t think we found them on the stage tonight.

Maybe that's why Google searches for Gary Johnson are off the charts right now.”




Gary Johnson 2016
September 22, 2016


MON.-TUE. 9/26-27

Sept. 22, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT --  Govs. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld will be in New York City on Monday and Tuesday and available for interviews. If specific events or activities are scheduled, you will be advised.

Govs. Johnson and Weld will be watching the debate and plan to be live tweeting from their official Twitter accounts: @GovGaryJohnson and@GovBillWeld.

NOTE: The above is subject to change,


Govs. Johnson & Weld watch debate, live tweet
Twitter NYC offices
Chelsea, NYC


September 16, 2016

Gov. Gary Johnson Releases a Statement After CPD Excludes him From First Presidential Debate

Gov. Gary Johnson - Libertarian candidate for President - issued the following statement today reacting to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announcement that only the Republican and Democratic nominees will be invited to the first debate of this election season:

I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me from the first debate, but I’m not. After all, the Commission is a private organization created 30 years ago by the Republican and Democratic parties for the clear purpose of taking control of the only nationally-televised presidential debates voters will see. At the time of its creation, the leaders of those two parties made no effort to hide the fact that they didn’t want any third party intrusions into their shows.

The only time a third candidate has been allowed on the stage was 1992, when both parties wanted him on the stage for their own purposes. It should be noted that, when Perot was allowed on the stage, polls showed his support to be in single digits, below where Johnson and Weld are currently polling.

The CPD may scoff at a ticket that enjoys ‘only’ 9 or 10% in their hand-selected polls, but even 9% represents 13 million voters, more than the total population of Ohio and most other states. Yet, the Republicans and Democrats are choosing to silence the candidate preferred by those millions of Americans.

Americans are tired of rigged systems, and the monopoly on debates created by the CPD is a prime and skillfully executed example.

Bill Weld and I will continue to fight to provide a voice and an alternative for independents, disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats, Millennials and others who aren’t satisfied with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as their options.

It is unfortunate that the CPD doesn’t believe such a voice should be heard. There are more polls and more debates, and we plan to be on the debate stage in October.

September 14, 2016

An Open Letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates

The following letter was published on September 14th in the New York Times.

Dear Members of the Commission,

We are the nominees for President and Vice-President of the United States for the Libertarian Party and we will appear in November on the ballots of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We each served as Republican Governors of overwhelmingly Democratic states and were re-elected to second terms by the voters in those states.

In a few days, you will make your ruling whether or not we will be allowed on the presidential debate stage to make our case to the American voters. The majority of the people are not happy with the two major party candidates and have been clear in their desire to hear from a credible alternative. How clear?

Quinnipiac University found on August 25, that 62% of voters stated Governor Gary Johnson should be included in the debates. That poll, along with others showing similar results, must be taken into consideration. We are surging among millennials, Latinos and active duty members of the military. 

A survey of more than 70,000 voters just published by the Washington Postshowed support for our ticket at double digits in 42 states, at more than 15 percent in fifteen states (namely Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming – a good number of which are so-called “swing states”), and 19 percent or more in four states. Our ticket is clearly a factor in the presidential election and should be represented in the debates. And this view is becoming the consensus.

Major newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Boston Herald have argued for our inclusion. And for good reason. We are successful Governors who have achieved greater support by far in relation to campaign dollars spent than either the Republican or Democrat – and a majority of Americans want and deserve to hear what we have to say.

We understand your reasons for basing debate inclusion on the 5 national polls of your choosing. But much has changed since 1992. The conditions of the presidential election of 2016 are extraordinary and without precedent. The collective destiny of millions of American voters now come down to the methodologies of pollsters, the handful of respondents surveyed and the board members, directors and co-chairmen of your organization. America has stated that’s too great a responsibility to reside in the hands of so small number of people.

We have done the work required to appear on the ballot in all 50 states and because we are polling in double digits in the majority of those states, we respectfully propose the following: Put a third podium on the stage for the debate scheduled on September 26th. Allow us to make our case to the American people. If, in the polls that follow, we fail to meet that 15% standard, we’ll make no further efforts for inclusion in the subsequent debates.

Your board was empaneled to ensure fairness in the political process. This is an unparalleled moment in our nation’s history and the eyes of the world are upon us all. We invite you to be on the right side of that history.

And so, we formally ask you: You In?

Jill Stein for President
September 23, 2016

Meleiza Figueroa, Press Director

Despite Exclusion from Hofstra Debate Stage, Jill Stein Will Participate in First Debate by Making her Case Directly to the American People

Hundreds of supporters of Dr. Jill Stein will be attending the venue of the first presidential debate at Hofstra. They will seek to escort Stein to the debate venue. If she is prevented from participating in the debate, supporters will hold a "People's Debate" outside of the Hofstra venue. Some have pledged to engage in dignified non-violent civil disobedience as a way to protest the Commission on Presidential Debates.

During the televised debate, voters will be able to see Stein participate in real time using an unprecedented and innovative social media experience presented in partnership with Twitter on Periscope ( She will also be livestreaming her responses via Facebook Live on her Facebook page ( This online initiative will ensure that Stein reaches the largest audience reached by a third party candidate since Ross Perot was included in the debates in 1992. In effect, Jill Stein will use new media and technology to literally "insert" herself into the debate process.

The Stein/Baraka campaign agrees with 76% of US voters who, according to a USA Today poll, favor four candidates being included in the debate. They disagree with the Democratic and Republican controlled commission which is ensuring their parties do not have to debate other candidates.

(all times are approximate as there are many spontaneous factors that can change the timing)

4:30 Buses of supporters arrive at Hofstra

5:00 "Let Jill Debate!" demonstration begins

5:30 Dr. Stein holds "People's Debate" outside Hofstra gates

Protests may continue until approximately 7:00 PM.

9:00 Dr. Stein participates in the debate in real time via Periscope and on ( and via Facebook Live on her official page ( Watch parties across the country will be listed here:


September 16, 2016

Jill Stein Continues to Call for Open Debates Despite Commission Decision

In a predictable decision, the Democratic and Republican Parties have insured that only their voices will be heard by the American people. How? Through their private corporation named the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The CPD was created to ensure the debates serve the interests of the two-party system, and it is working precisely as intended.

Despite today's decision by the Commission, Green Party nominee Jill Stein said she and her running mate Ajamu Baraka intend to go to Hofstra University on the night of September 26th, accompanied by hundreds of supporters who will do everything in their power to uphold the principles of democracy in this election. "We will be at the debate to insist that Americans not only have a right to vote, but we have a right to know who we can vote for," said Stein.

In response to the decision, Jill Stein urged people to join her at the gates at Hofstra University. She went on to say: "The commission is fooling the voter into thinking the commission is independent and non-partisan. They created an arbitrary 15% polling barrier to stifle competition, and prevent a real debate about the future of this country. That's two-party tyranny, not democracy."

The Stein/Baraka campaign considers the 15% polling barrier to be illegitimate, and calls for the debates to be open to candidates who are on ballots in enough states to achieve 270 electoral college votes.

A USA Today poll found that 76% of voters in the United States want a four-candidate debate that includes Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Green Party Vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka added: "This commission is standing in the way of three-quarters of US voters. How can a self-created 'commission' representing the two parties stop the public from hearing from all four candidates? The two pasrties are making this decision even though they represent a minority of voters. Independent voters make up a plurality, maybe even a majority, of the US electorate. This makes a mockery of democracy when two big business parties decide who can participate. That is an oligarchy, not a democracy."

"The United States is facing a crisis in democracy," added Stein. "The people have lost faith in public institutions. They are losing confidence in the integrity of elections. Now the people are being told that only two choices can be heard. And to add insult to injury, these are the two most disliked and distrusted candidates in US history. The Stein/Baraka campaign believes it is time to restore power to the people - and we will be there on September 26 to make it happen."

The Stein/Baraka campaign has held three protests so far, most recently at the headquarters of the CPD in Washington, DC. The campaign plans to continue their demands through all four debates in the hopes of opening them up.

The Stein/Baraka campaign thanks the League of Women Voters for their sponsorship of past Presidential debates, and calls on them to sponsor at least one debate with all four candidates who are on enough ballots to achieve 270 electoral college votes. The League of Women Voters ended their sponsorship of the debates in 1988, saying that they had "no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."

Engaged citizens are calling for an Occupy Debates movement, beginning on the 5th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, outside of the commission's offices. Protests are also being planned around the country.

Evan McMullin for President
September 26, 2016

Follow Evan's Debate Response Tonight

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have offered the American people nothing except failed policies, divisive rhetoric, and a disregard for the basic constitutional principles upon which this nation was founded. Because the presidential debate process is unfortunately under the monopolistic control of the two major parties, it is nearly impossible for a third party or independent candidate to make the debate stage.

But here's the good news: thanks to modern technology and our amazing nationwide network of grassroots supporters, we can still spread Evan's message tonight.

During the debate, Evan will be personally live-tweeting from his Twitter account, @Evan_McMullin. We will be sharing additional content on the campaign account, @TeamMcMullin.

We'll also be posting on Evan's Facebook page (, but Twitter will be the main platform for our debate response tonight.

After the debate, Evan will conduct a Facebook Live chat, hosted by Mic. It will be livestreamed on Mic's Facebook page, and we'll be sure to share the video later.

Here's how you can help:

-Follow @Evan_McMullin and @TeamMcMullin, and like Evan's Facebook page if you have not already.
-Tell your friends to follow and like Evan's accounts.
-Retweet, like, and share the content we post across all of your own social media accounts.
-Post your own thoughts about the debate using the hashtags #DebateNight, #Debates2016, and #EvanDebate.
-Tag elected officials and journalists from your state in your tweets and encourage them to interview Evan and include his responses in their debate coverage.
-Encourage your friends to donate to Evan's campaign.

Thanks again for all your support! We appreciate your help in sharing Evan's message with America.