PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBSNewYork) — Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has continued to sell himself to voters who aren’t satisfied with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Johnson appeared near the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, with some 100 supporters hoping to sell his Libertarian platform of ‘lower taxes’ and ‘non-interventionist foreign policy’ USA Today reported.
Johnson has acknowledged that his fiscally conservative, socially liberal platform could alienate voters on both ends of the spectrum, but sold his platform as ‘the future.’
“I think a wasted vote is a vote for Trump or Clinton,” Johnson said. “The future is small government, the future is no one dying in foreign interventions.”
In the past Johnson has said that he believes most Americans are Libertarians who simply haven’t realized it yet.
“I’m trying to appeal to the majority of Americans whom I think are libertarian, it’s just that they don’t know it,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in June.
Along with Johnson supporters — many who arrived with homemade signs — the Libertarian candidate’s appearance drew curious voters from other camps as well.
Alisah Holland, a progressive from Portland, was in town to protest Clinton’s nomination and told USA Today she wanted to hear what Johnson had to say.
“I don’t agree with him on everything,” she said, “But I want him on the debate stage.”
Brett Johnson said she became a Libertarian thanks to Johnson’s ‘appeals for a balanced budget and greater personal freedoms.’
“I balance the budget every month,” she told USA Today, “I think the government should do the same.”
One voter put things quite bluntly.
“I think Clinton will win,” Joe Portz said, “That doesn’t mean I have to vote for the lesser of two evils.”
Earlier this week Johnson told CNN that he believed an endorsement from 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney could be on the way.
“I think he’s considering the possibility of doing this,” Johnson said, “of actually endorsing the two of us.”
While Romney has said he would look at the ticket, he has not publicly committed to supporting them, CNN reported.
Johnson’s running mate William Weld — a former Massachusetts governor — said getting to the 15 percent threshold in polls would make an endorsement more likely.
“He’s thinking about it, Wolf, and I don’t want to press the point unless we get to 15%, because then I think the case for it is overwhelming,” he said.
In June, Romney told CNN that he needed to get to know Johnson better before making a decision.
“If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president,” Romney said. “So I’ll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he’s someone who I could end up voting for. That’s something which I’ll evaluate over the coming weeks and months.”
A recent CBS News/New York Times survey had Johnson at 12 percent. Candidates must reach 15 percent in the polls to get a spot on the stage in general election debates.