Former Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld of New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively, are looking to shake up the 2016 presidential election.
The duo, both two-term Republican governors, are running on the Libertarian Party ticket in hopes of taking advantage of the latest “outsider candidate” trend among many U.S. voters.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if there weren’t the opportunity to actually win the White House,” Johnson told the FOX Business Network’s Connell McShane.
Both Johnson and Weld said one of the most important factors to having a successful bid is involvement in the presidential debates.
“If we get in the debates and show well, the polls show that between 40 and 55% of the American public agrees with our sense of the issues,” Weld said. “What we’re up against is a duopoly, the entrenched position of the two parties—they’re not going to go quietly.”
If reaching the minimum of 15%, the amount needed to be included in the debates, Johnson said he and Weld would not attack either candidate, but would instead acknowledge that they agree with both on certain issues.
However, the former New Mexico governor, presuming Clinton and Trump would be the other candidates, explained where he differs from the two.
“Hillary, at the end of the day, isn’t that going to be about bigger government? Isn’t that going to be about more taxes? At the end of the day with regard to Trump—deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, building a fence across the border, killing the families of Muslim terrorists, bringing back waterboarding or worse… ‘I’m all for free market but I’m going to force Apple to make their iPads and their iPhones in the United States’… I think we’re 180 degrees on all those topics,” he said.
Weld said even if they don’t take the White House, they can still win in other ways.
“[If we] drive the Republicans to the left on social policies and drive the Democrats into being somewhat more fiscally responsible, that’s not chopped liver,” Weld said.