Gov. Johnson: I want to abolish the IRS

Libertarian candidate looks to join presidential debates


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, move over, President Obama and Governor Romney. You might have some company.

Reports are that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson could join the presidential debates this fall. It is true.

The former New Mexico governor joins me right now.

Governor, I guess the understanding is that you might hit that threshold of 15 percent in the polls that would automatically invite you into the debates. That might or might not happen. You are a ways from there now at about 5 percent, again, depending on the poll. In some states, you poll much better than that.

But do you think you will get to that 15 percent threshold?

GARY JOHNSON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I am believing that that will happen, Neil, and, most importantly, the notion that there would actually be a debate that would take place, that I would be the only candidate that doesn't want to bomb Iran.

I would be the only candidate that wants to get out of Afghanistan and bring the troops home now. I would be the only candidate that wants to repeal the Patriot Act. I would not have signed the National Defense Authorization Act.

I am the only candidate that really believes we should balance the federal budget now. And, of course, that means reforming entitlements, Medicaid and Medicare. And I would like to reform the -- I'm going to promise to advocate on the part of reforming the tax system, abolishing the IRS, income tax, corporate tax, replacing it with a national consumption tax, the FairTax.

So, I hope I'm on stage because, otherwise, I don't know if it ends up being a debate.

CAVUTO: Well, you know, you -- watching you in the Republican primary, you are a very good debater when you get the chance.

I think people forget, whether they like you or not, you are pretty good at this stuff. You just have to get that chance. But the argument is that you are going to hurt Mitt Romney more than you will Barack Obama, your views on entitlements notwithstanding, and that you are going to play the role of the spoiler and ensure the president's reelection.

What do you say about that?

JOHNSON: Well, actually, it has been -- actually, it has been -- that has been put to the test with the polling that they have done.

And in some states, I take more votes away from Obama. In other states, I take more votes away from Romney. So, it bears out what we have thought all along. I'm going to take equally from both sides and then I'm going to take from a group in the middle that ordinarily don&'t vote.

And what we are trying, what I'm trying to tap into right now is the fact that are more people in this country that call themselves libertarian than vote libertarian. So I'm asking everybody in that category to actually vote libertarian with me this one time, and let's really try and make a change.

CAVUTO: Well, you know, when third-party candidates have been in the race a lot of people when polled, if you had your druthers, would you vote for this person, whether it's John Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1982.

I could even go back to George Wallace in 1968. A lot of people say, yes, I would vote for him, but I don't think he had a chance. Now, George Wallace picked up a lot of votes and many argued at the time tipped that election to Richard Nixon in 1968. Many argue, in 1992, Ross Perot prevented George Bush Sr. from being reelected.

We could go back and forth on this, but, throughout, they all lost. And so even as impressively as they do, and Perot 19 percent of the vote then, everyone says you are going to lose. So why do this?

JOHNSON: Well, back to -- back to the debate, is it going to be a debate? Given that our $16 trillion debt, $8.5 trillion of that is from Democrat administrations and $7.5 trillion is from Republican administrations, so what's the debate going to be over?

Look, let's balance the federal budget now. Let's reform the entitlements. Let's get out of Afghanistan. And let's have real, true free trade. End the drug wars. There are some really big differences between myself...

CAVUTO: You think you could win this thing, Governor? You think you could get the 270 electoral votes to win it all?

JOHNSON: You know, Neil, the only way that -- the only scenario under which I win is if I'm actually in the debates.

Of course, that could be crash and burn. That might be a lot of attention. What I need people is -- what I need are people to go to my website,, check me out. See if what I am saying -- see what I'm saying...

CAVUTO: All right.

JOHNSON: ... the problems facing the country, the solutions, and that I don't have a resume to suggest that I'm not going to doggedly pursue this agenda that I'm talking about.

CAVUTO: Governor, thank you very much. Always good seeing you.

JOHNSON: Neil, great seeing you. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Governor Johnson, all right.

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