Libertarian Gary Johnson woos younger voters
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Johnson and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, are the only two candidates on the state ballot to make public appearances in Oregon, where polling indicates that Clinton is likely to win the state's seven electoral votes.
Gary Johnson is unlikely to win the presidency himself, but on a campaign swing Thursday night in Portland, he said he offers a better alternative to either of the major-party candidates.
We are going to walk out of here as winners, the Libertarian Party nominee and former Republican governor of New Mexico told a cheering crowd of a few hundred at the Benson Hotel.
Johnson said Americans as a whole will lose no matter whether the Democratic or Republican nominee wins Tuesday.
If Hillary Clinton gets elected president, on day one, there is going to be a drumbeat of impeachment, he said. if she is not impeached, its going to continue through the time she spends in office through four years.
If Donald Trump is elected president, he is going to be in court on something, he added as the audience laughed. He is going to be sued.
To reporters before the rally, Johnson speculated that one or more lawsuits could focus on sexual assault after the Oct. 7 disclosure of Trumps lewd comments about women recorded on an Access Hollywood videotape.
Johnsons support in Oregon and the nation hovers around 5 percent in recent public opinion polls, down from 10 percent or more in September. But even the higher levels failed to qualify him for participation in the nationally televised forums by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which set a threshold of 15 percent support.
Johnson had said earlier his presidential chances hinged on his participation in the three debates between Clinton and Trump.
Its a rigged game, Johnson told the Portland audience.
But he said the presence of himself and running mate Bill Weld a former Republican governor of Massachusetts on the ballot in all 50 states should have been given more weight.
Johnson and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, are the only two candidates on the state ballot to make public appearances in Oregon, where polling indicates that Clinton is likely to win the states seven electoral votes. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, appeared at a private fundraiser during the summer in Portland.
Trump and former President Bill Clinton made appearances in Oregon before the May 17 primary.
As the Libertarian Party presidential nominee in 2012, Johnson won about 1 percent of the Oregon vote.
Johnson won unwanted attention earlier in the campaign when questioners caught him momentarily unaware of the significance of Aleppo the Syrian city where civilians are caught in the crossfire between the government of Bashar al-Assad and rebels and an inability to name foreign leaders.
But if you tell the truth, you will admit mistakes and we all make mistakes, he told the audience. Its our ability of how we deal with mistakes that ultimately determines success.
Johnson, 63, was governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003.
His nearly 40-minute stump speech hit on basic Libertarian Party themes of less government taxation and regulation, more economic and social choice, and a less interventionist U.S. foreign policy.
Keep government out of my bedroom and out of my pocket, he said.
He was introduced at the rally by his daughter, Seah, who said: The best way for all of us to rise is to bring everyone else with us.
Also speaking was Bruce Broussard, a public-access program host who has run for several offices, most recently Portland mayor in the May 17 primary.
Johnson aimed his appeal not specifically to Republicans or Democrats disaffected by their nominee, but to younger voters disenchanted by both major parties.
Johnsons rally opened with comments by Luke Peets, 17, of Monmouth, who said the American dream of economic and social opportunity is threatened by the tussles of the major political parties.
Every day now, all of those things I said I was looking forward to seem to be in danger, Peets said.
Our nation needs serious fixing for those things to happen, not just for myself but for my entire generation. But the two main parties are too caught up in maintaining their crippling stranglehold on American politics and their special-interest donors to do anything about it.
Gary Johnson brings exactly what we need to the table.