Politics

GOP Candidate Says “Elitist” Debate Snub Won’t Deter Presidential Ambitions

Gary Johnson is frustrated with his exclusion from next week's Republican primary debate in New Hampshire, and now he's letting the world know.

"It's really elitist," the former New Mexico governor said on the Fox News LIVE web show, referring to CNN's decision to invite only potential candidates who poll higher than two percent nationally to their June 13 debate - some of whom haven't even officially declared an intention to run.

"When we look at it that, [in] about half the polls that they conducted my name wasn't even on that list," Johnson argued.

"It's parsing hairs," he added of the 2 percent threshold. "This is a shut door here."

Johnson cites similarly low polling at this stage in the races of former President Bill Clinton, 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, and former President Jimmy Carter-all Democrats who eventually won their party's nomination.

"The point is clear: Using polls this early in a presidential election cycle to define who is a serious candidate or pick potential winners is a bad idea," Johnson writes in an op-ed on FoxNews.com Tuesday. "Using them to exclude me, another Governor with a solid track record, from a critical national primary debate is even worse. But that is precisely what CNN and the other sponsors of the June 13 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate are doing."

The two-term governor says the idea that he has to meet a higher standard for eligibility to participate in the primary process is "outrageous."

"I had a ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' experience as governor of New Mexico," Johnson said on the online show, a tenure he says was "very very successful."

"This is all I have as a resume, this is what I have," he added. "I didn't crawl out from under a rock to do this... I should have a place at the table."

Johnson writes that this snub won't deter him from pursuing the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. "Whether I am on CNN's stage Monday or not, I will continue to give voice to an approach to government that is otherwise largely missing."

For more on this and other hot-button political issues, tune into live.foxnews.com for Power Play Live w/ Chris Stirewalt every weekday at 11:30am ET.