Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson would prefer to be shot in the head than have to choose between his two major presidential opponents, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
On Sept. 8, Johnson asserted during an interview on ABC’s “The View” that he would rather die than vote for either candidate.
Co-host Joy Behar asked the Libertarian nominee which of the two major party nominees he would vote for if he had a gun to his head.
“I’d let it go off,” Johnson quipped.
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The darkly humorous answer is consistent with Johnson’s repeated refrain that the two-party system has failed and that it is time for voters to dive into uncharted waters.
In a Chicago Tribune opinion article released the same day, Johnson blasted the two-party system, accusing it of having completely divided the American people.
“With the Republicans and the Democrats having nominated their most polarizing presidential candidates in more than a generation, now is the moment for a third way,” Johnson wrote.
The Libertarian nominee is currently polling at a historic high for his party. Aggregating the last nine national polls released since Aug. 28, Real Clear Politics found that Johnson is currently polling at an average 9 percent.
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That impressive benchmark for a third-party candidate is still not enough to gain inclusion in the presidential debates. The threshold for any presidential candidate to be invited to the debate stage is an average 15 percent in the national polls, and Johnson only has until Sept. 26 to close the gap, according to Bloomberg Politics.
In light of a recent misstep, a surge in the polls may prove difficult for Johnson. The Libertarian nominee spent the majority of the sit-down with “The View” owning up to an embarrassing gaffe he had made hours before, when he was unable to identify Aleppo, a city in Syria that is the focal point of that country's refugee crisis.
“What is Aleppo?” Johnson asked during an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“You’re kidding?” responded interviewer Mike Barnicle. “Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.”
Johnson attempted to recover by proposing that the U.S. should partner with Russia to bring peace to Aleppo. That suggestion appeared to ignore that Russian airstrikes have been constantly targeting the city, destroying its last rebel-held hospital in August, according to The Daily Beast.
Johnson admitted during his interview on “The View” that he had genuinely forgotten about the city of Aleppo. Behar told him, “I think it’s a disqualifying statement, frankly.”
“Fair enough,” Johnson said. When asked if his presidential campaign could recover from the gaffe, the Libertarian nominee responded, “Gosh, I guess people will have to make that judgment.”
Johnson concluded that voters may appreciate that he was honest about his mistake.
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything,” Johnson said. “I think the one unforgivable thing in life is hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing another.”