Speed Reads


Donald Trump really doesn't want to debate Gary Johnson

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein should be excluded from the general election debates, Republican nominee Donald Trump told Larry King in an interview Thursday. "I'd rather it be Hillary and myself," he said, because "we're the only two with a chance at winning."

Though Trump allowed that the poll numbers that control debate participation aren't yet determined — "We'll see what happens," he said — he is probably correct that the third-party nominees will not poll high enough to meet the 15 percent national support threshold required by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Before joining a major party establishment himself, Trump sang a different tune. "It's disgraceful. It's amazing that they can get away with it," he said of the CPD's exclusionary rule in 2000 while considering a Reform Party run for president. "I just think it's unfair," Trump continued, "to have such a high standard, a high criteria. For a party that's a legitimate party, that has a substantial amount of federal funding, that's recognized — and, at some point in this process, [the Reform nominee] is gonna be in all 50 states. Very unfair."

The Libertarian Party is the biggest third party in the country, and its ticket is currently on the ballot in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. The party is actively pursuing ballot access in the final state, Rhode Island.