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Gary Johnson on being excluded from presidential debate

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 26, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, you can see as clearly as I can that there are two podiums up there.

We already talked this more than with Dr. Jill Stein, who is not too pleased that she won't be up on that stage. Let's just say Governor Gary John Johnson, well, he is furious.

Continuing live right now from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, you're looking at something they call the spin room. And, quite appropriately, that's where each side gets their respective proponents of each of the candidates to sort of put their spin on the day's events both before and, more crucially, after tonight's debate, a debate that will not be featuring one Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president.

He missed the cut for that, and he is not too happy about that. He joins us right now.

Governor, close, but no cigar. You didn't poll at 15 percent. That was the number. And now you're drifting further from that. The rule generally is something like you drop even more if you're not invited, because attention is focused on the two premier candidates, and not you.

Are you worried?

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you hit it on the head.

And, Neil, I just find it fascinating that I'm polling higher than Ross Perot was when he was allowed into the first debate. And as a result of being allowed into the debate, for a brief period of time, he was actually leading in the election.

So, I don't think, at the end of the evening, there's going to be this collective, oh, my gosh, the country is in great hands. You know what?  After this debate, we should -- we will probably see a big bump after tonight, because there is one third-party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states. That will be myself and Bill Weld.

CAVUTO: I thought Ross Perot was polling a heck of a lot higher than you are now when he was running?

JOHNSON: No.

CAVUTO: In fact, at the time, he led the other two candidate.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: After the debate, he was leading the other two candidates, but before the debate, he was actually polling lower than I am right now, which is a shocker to me also.

CAVUTO: But wait a minute. Where are you -- where do you think he was polling vs. where you are now? Because I have you in single digits.

JOHNSON: Well, I think -- you take all these polls, I think it's safe to say that we're right at 10 percent. Perot, I think, was 7 percent or 6 percent prior to his being in that first presidential debate.

CAVUTO: All right, I would have to check my facts. I don't think that is right.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Yes. Yes. No, no, no. It's a surprise to me, too, Neil, really. It's a shock.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I understand. I don't want to go back and forth on that. I will defer to you on that.

I will ask you this, whether you feel that, when you had that failure to make this cut, whether you're hurt now making either the second debate or third debate, that this was the one stage you needed to be on and you're not?

JOHNSON: Well, you hit it on the head.

It's kind of a self-fulfilling deal. You're not in the first one, so how do you fare in the next one? I think there's going to be a couple of things established tonight. One is the certainty that Hillary Clinton -- that the certainty with Hillary Clinton that taxes are not going to go down. They're going to go up, that government is going to have the solution to everything.

I think, with Donald Trump, there's the certainty that there will be uncertainty. He is not about small government. You can't be about small government and not talk about reform to the entitlements, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security.

You can't be about smaller government, prudent government spending if you are not going to talk about a reduction in military spending. He wants to increase military spending. I think that Bill Weld, there's a certainty there with regard to government spending that taxes will not go up, rules and regulations will only get better.

When it comes to civil liberties, look, we're going to defend a person's right to make decisions in their own lives. Let's stop dropping bombs.  And Bill Weld and I would be the only candidate for free trade, believing that free trade really does create jobs for U.S. citizens.

So, certainty with Hillary Clinton, certainty of...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: How would you handle -- I know what you're saying about them.

But how you handle -- we had a big downdraft in the market today, a lot of it on fear that a big German bank, Deutsche Bank, is in trouble and might have to be rescued by German authorities, and that U.S. banks could be similarly vulnerable, even though there is no comparison.

Would you, if you ever made it to the White House, rescue an American bank that was on the brink?

JOHNSON: Well, if it's rescuing an American bank that has made bad choices -- and people think that by -- if you don't rescue a bank, that your assets invested in that bank or on deposit in that bank are going to go under.  That's not going to under.

They're federally insured. But if a U.S. bank makes a bad decision, look, they should be rewarded with that bad decision for actually taking in the losses.

CAVUTO: You would tell those who have more than the federal minimum that is insured, tough. Them's there's the breaks. The bank screwed up. It is on you, too.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Well, I don't anybody that has money deposited with banks has more than that minimum. That's my belief.

But for shareholders in those banks and the banks make bad decisions, this was the whole 2008 collapse. Look, capitalism on the way up...

CAVUTO: A President Johnson would not rescue, period?

JOHNSON: Well, look, I'm not doing this in a vacuum. I have got a lot of free market economist behind me that have said, look, there would have not been a collapse of the system in 2008, capitalism on the way up, communism on the way down. They made horrible decisions. They should have been allowed to fail.

CAVUTO: All right. All right, Governor, thank you very, very much.

Maybe in the next presidential debate or the one after that, we don't know.  We will see.

Thank you.

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