|Gary Johnson, accepting the|
Libertarian Party nomination
for President in Las Vegas.
"I believe the majority of americans are fiscally responsible and socially tolerant," Johnson told BuzzFeed in a phone interview. "I believe the majority of Americans could care less about whether or not there is a gay individual working in the Romney campaign." Romney's newly hired foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell was openly gay, a fact that raised the ire of social conservatives, whose reaction resulted in Grenell's leaving the campaign.
"It speaks volumes to the intolerance that continues to be present in the Republican Party," Johnson said. He said he doesn't attach that intolerance to the majority of Republicans but to "the activists driving that agenda."
"That intolerance is why the world vilifies Republicans," Johnson continued. "It’s why I have never worn a Republican t-shirt in my life. There is a certain Republican dogma I just cannot defend. Homophobia is one of those issues."Asked why he had spent so many years in the GOP before defecting to the Libertarian Party, Johnson explained:
Johnson said the only reason he's never been a registered Libertarian is because "I have a notion of governing and winning," and "I have a lot of Republican friends who have just had it with the Republican Party."
|Pollster John Zogby|
believes the Libertarian
Party could have a
significant impact on
this year's election.
But Gary Johnson is pursuing what has been called the 15% strategy--attempting to amass enough support in major polls to be invited into the Presidential debates this fall, where sharing a stage with President Obama and Governor Romney could be the breakthrough moment he needs.
The strategy does not seem impossible, at least at this point, as Johnson has already showed up at 6% in some national polls; as high as 15% in his home state of New Mexico; and recently at 8% in Montana.
Recently, pollster John Zogby even suggested that Johnson's candor or marijuana legalization, gay rights, and abortion rights might steal some of the youth vote from President Obama.