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NM Ex-Gov. Gary Johnson Says Trump Hurts GOP Brand By Appealing to “Racist” Voters

In an interview with Reason's Nick Gillespie, former New Mexico Republican Governor and 2012 Libertarian Party nominee for president Gary Johnson said that Donald Trump's presidential campaign is hurting the GOP brand by appealing to a "racist" voter segment.

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Barry Donegan
Barry Donegan is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign. Follow him at facebook.com/barry.donegan and twitter.com/barrydonegan

On Wednesday, Reason released a teaser clip, seen above, of an interview conducted by Nick Gillespie at Freedom Fest last week in Las Vegas with former two-term New Mexico Republican Governor and 2012 Libertarian Party nominee for president Gary Johnson. In the clip, Johnson said that Trump’s campaign messaging is hurting the Republican Party’s brand.

For context, Reason notes that Trump kicked off his campaign in June by claiming that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… some, I assume, are good people.

In the interview, Gillespie asked Johnson, “Do you think that Trump represents anything legitimate in the Republican Party or among the American [body] politic? Because he is now like number two in some Republican polls.

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Without hesitation, Johnson declared, “He is appealing to a segment that I’ll just label racist, and it exists and it’s out there, and, you know what? I don’t want to have anything to do with it. It embarrasses me, and, like I say, I think the electorate will paint the entire Republican Party with a broad brush as a result of Trump, and it won’t be a positive.

The above clip comes from a longer interview that Reason says will be released in its entirety tomorrow. Reportedly, Johnson said in the interview that he is considering whether he will seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president in 2016 and will make his decision over the next few months.

Johnson is known for plunging head-first into controversial debates. In 1999, the then-governor shocked politicos by coming out in favor of the legalization of marijuana, making him one of the highest-ranking US politicians to do so by that point in history.

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