Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew P. Napolitano is urging the Commission on Presidential Debates to let Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for president, debate Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney.
Former New Mexico governor Johnson, who initially ran as a Republican during the GOP 2012 primaries, is being excluded from the presidential debates because of a contractual rule -- agreed upon by both Democrats and Republicans -- that forbids any candidate who polls below the 15% mark from participating in the forums. Johnson currently polls half of that nationally, though he is polling around the 10% mark in the crucial battleground state of Ohio.
And though Obama supporters believe a Johnson surge would likely take votes away from Mitt Romney (following the 1997 three-way election in which third-party candidate Ross Perot was seen as costing Bush senior his reelection as he garnered an impressive 18% of the vote), they should not get too cocky as disillusioned supporters of the president could also flock to the more libertarian views of Gary Johnson.
"Don’t hold your breath. The debates are crafted by the folks who run the Romney and Obama campaigns. Romney is afraid of Johnson because he might take the votes of those who are tired of unconstitutional government and deficits and war. Obama is afraid of Johnson because he might take the votes of those who are appalled at the government’s murderous drug wars and its assaults on personal freedom and who also are tired of war," said Napolitano.
And he's right. That's why Johnson filed an anti-trust claim against the CPD. But despite these, and other calls for more balanced and transparent presidential debates, it's unlikely Johnson will be allowed to participate in the upcoming two presidential debates. He will debate, however, on October 23 and along Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson. The debate, sponsored by The Free and Equal Elections Foundation will likely be more democratic than the ones Romney and Obama are performing on. Too bad the president and the former governor won't attend (though they were invited).