Roger Stone warns GOP about ‘great danger’ of a third-party candidate

Veteran Republican strategist Roger Stone says a serious libertarian third-party candidate could pose a “great danger” to the GOP’s hopes of winning back the White House in 2012.

“It certainly looms out there as a dangerous possibility,” Stone told The Daily Caller. “The Libertarian Party, for example, is on the ballot in all 50 states, and should the Republicans nominate, say, Romney, then a candidate running on a tea party fiscal platform would … pose a great danger for the Republicans.”

Stone, who led a movement to draft real estate mogul Donald Trump into the race earlier this year, thinks one candidate in particular could pose a threat to the GOP should he choose to run on a third party line. According to Stone, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has both the record and the message needed to mount a serious Libertarian challenge to the GOP in 2012.

For now, Stone says he is assisting Johnson in a “volunteer capacity” because he agrees with the candidate’s message. “I think that anyone who will listen to Gary Johnson for 30 minutes will realize that here is a candidate who actually, as governor, did more with less,” he said.

“In other words, he cut spending, he cut taxes, yet the government was more efficient and they had an economic boom that was greater than Texas or Massachusetts under [Gov. Rick] Perry or [Gov. Mitt] Romney. So he has a story to tell and I just find he’s a more interesting candidate. I mean, he’s pro-Israel, he’s not the extreme isolationist Ron Paul is, but he is most definitely a real libertarian.”

If he were to assist Johnson in a third-party run, it wouldn’t be the first time Stone has bucked the GOP establishment. In 2010 Stone helped tea party-backed businessman Carl Paladino win the Republican gubernatorial nomination in New York over the state party’s preferred choice, former Rep. Rick Lazio. That same year, Stone worked with “Manhattan Madam” Kristen Davis when she ran as a pro-marijuana legalization candidate in New York.