Politics
12:45 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Visits Kentucky

Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Jim Gray made a few stops in Kentucky on Monday to tout his party's small government message

Gray is a former California judge who is running on the libertarian presidential ticket with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Gray was in Mt. Washington earlier today visiting a small business and also made an appearance on 84 WHAS radio.

He told talk show host Mandy Connell that his party is fighting to be included in the nationally televised debates, but that is it an uphill battle.

"By the end of September if we’re polling well enough to be in the debates then we will be. There are three for the president, one for the vice president and honestly I cannot wait to debate against Joe Biden," he says.

National surveys have shown the Libertarian ticket carrying six percent of the vote against President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, which is quietly raising concern among GOP officials that the Johnson-Gray ticket could be a spoiler for Romney.

Former congressional candidate Ed Martin is a Johnson supporter who hosted Gray's appearance. He says those criticisms by Republicans are trying to hide the fact that Romney isn’t a strong challenger to the president. 

"That’s a pretty lame excuse for having a—in some case—poor candidate," he says. "Basically, they’re saying don’t vote your conscience because it might cost us because we’re not speaking to you. And as it has been said before, a wasted vote is one you don’t vote your conscience on."

The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that a candidate must have at least 15 percent of the vote nationally to participate. And though the Johnson-Gray ticket is considered a long-shot, that hasn't stopped the Obama campaign from hoping their margin hurts Romney much in the way observers believes Ralph Nader had an impact on Democrats in 2000 or Ross Perot had on Republicans in 1992.

Despite those criticisms from the right, Gray told talk show host Mandy Connell that their campaign has an unheard message that can resonate with voters.

"Obama and Romney are the same," Gray says. "If you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still get evil. Vote for someone. But even before you cross that threshold, say it to a poller and get us in the campaign debates because I'm convinced that if we are seen in the debates people will be excited about that and we will put in that coalition government."

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