When Texas senator Ted Cruz exhorted Republicans to “vote their conscience” in the speech that got him booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention last night, one person heard that as a ringing endorsement of their presidential campaign.
No, not Hillary Clinton, and certainly not Donald Trump, but rather Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, who rendered his interpretation of Cruz’s no-applause line to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday: “He did say to vote for Gary Johnson, didn’t he? And that was ‘vote your conscience,’” he said, adding: “I certainly would uphold the Constitution.”
Johnson said he expected dissatisfaction with Trump among Republicans to carry him over the 15 percent polling threshold required to participate in the presidential debates,
“Thirteen percent in the polls. Oh my gosh. Looks like we’re going to get in the presidential debate,” he said, apparently referring to a recent CNN/ORC poll that put him at 13 percent against 42 percent for Clinton, 37 percent for Trump, and 5 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
“I think Donald Trump alienates more than half of the Republicans,” Johnson said, adding that he had met many Republicans at the convention in Cleveland who told him they were supporting him.