Republican presidential hopeful Gary Johnson saw a boost to his campaign following his first appearance at a candidate debate since May, picking up the endorsement of political consultant Roger Stone and an increase in his fundraising. Stone formally endorsed the former New Mexico governor today on his website.
“The most interesting thing in the debate was the national debut of Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico, a pro-pot, anti-war libertarian with a record of cutting taxes and spending and creating more jobs than Mitt Romney in Massachusetts or Governor Rick Perry in Texas,” Stone wrote. (RELATED: Dennis Miller boards the Herman Cain train)
In an email, Stone elaborated further on his choice.
“I am a Libertarian Republican in the Goldwater style,” he wrote. “I favor the legalization of Marijuana. Government is wasting billions prosecuting people for a the possession of small amounts intended for personal use and perpetuating the criminal organizations that sell it. I oppose the spending of trillions in Iraq and Afghanistan, I strongly oppose Islamic extremism but don’t believe that sending troops to die in two un-winnable wars makes sense. Gary Johnson is right on these issues. Additionally his record of tax reduction and job creation in NM is second to none. These are all the reasons I support Gary Johnson.”
The campaign trail has been bumpy for Johnson, who has struggled to gain traction and attract donors in a crowded GOP field. Adding to his problems, Johnson has been excluded from nearly every major GOP debate so far in this election cycle, leading some critics to speculate there had been a “Gary Johnson rule” intended to keep him out.
Johnson’s appearance at last Thursday’s GOP debate has been relatively good for him. According to a spokesperson, Johnson raised more money on the day following the debate than on any other day of his candidacy, although the campaign would not disclose how much.
CNN has released the rules for its next presidential candidate debate, declaring that candidates must receive an average of 2 percent support in at least three national polls to qualify. In CNN’s latest poll, Johnson was not even included.