Left-wing media in America are censoring a top Republican presidential contender

Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, poses a major threat to Barack Obama. So CNN have tried to censor him.

Living the American Dream: Gary Johnson 2012?
Nic Conner
On 18 June 2011 12:06

The other night CNN and The New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper hosted a debate between the hopeful Republican Presidential candidates. As you might expect from something put out by CNN, the debate leaned heavily to the left with noticeably loaded questions asked by moderator John King.

The argument still rattles on about where John King’s real political allegiances actually lie. But if you had to make a judgement after the CNN GOP debate based on the questions he asked, you'd have no doubt at all that he's on the left.

His questions were brimming with the stuff of leftist editorials and he even appeared to be fishing for sound bites that might aid President Obama in his bid to hold onto the White House.

It’s not just the questions. It was the fact that he chose to discuss topics that would play into Obama’s hands. His probing would have very much appealed to all kinds of Democrats (no Weiner jokes, please), left leaning swing voters and the ‘youth’ vote, all of which Obama needs to keep.

He and the selected audience quizzers asked thing like this: “Is it time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan?” As if those candidates were clones of George W. Bush. Or how about: “After the tax cuts during the Bush years, where are the jobs?” A conflation that doesn’t ring true in any rational person’s book.

Now before you get the wrong end of the stick here, I’m not criticizing John King or CNN for letting these type of questions be asked. Some were important and useful in terms of shedding light on the candidates.

What I’m criticizing CNN for here, is asking these questions and deliberately only inviting people who they knew would answer them in a way which won’t hurt Obama’s mission to keep the ‘red’ Democrats, left-leaning swing voters and the all important youth vote.

With this in mind, you can see why CNN did not want a candidate there who would answer the questions on Afghanistan by saying that he thinks America should leave straight away.

You could see why they did not want to have a candidate there who would not only explain how tax cuts will help the economy but could also point to his record as Governor, when taxes fell $120 million annually and he left office with a $1.4 billion budget surplus.

They would not want a candidate there who would answer the questions on illegal immigration by saying there should be visa reforms to make it easier for Mexican seasonal workers to obtain a work visa, instead of jumping over the wall and working and hiding as illegal immigrants who don’t pay taxes.

The man CNN seems to be scared of is Gary Johnson. Mr Johnson is the former Governor of New Mexico a state which has a 3:1 Democrat to Republican ratio. He served there for the full 2 terms having won the seat after having been the outsider in the Republican primaries.

He is a man with Ron Paul-esque views on the economy, but unlike Paul he is not a social conservative; his views on things such as gay marriage and equality, abortion and the death penalty are well and truly on the liberal side of the chart.

In other words, he's a threat.

CNN said that Gary Johnson did not qualify because the former Governor of New Mexico was deemed not to be a "viable candidate".

Johnson was even deemed to be less of a viable candidate than Herman Cain, who has never held elected office and is the former CEO of a pizza chain, and Michele Bachmann who at the time had not even announced that she was running. Presumably she had told CNN she intended to use the debate as a platform for an announcement.

In the polling they use, which counted undeclared candidates like Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin, Johnson fell just short. But does polling just below the two percent threshold at this time in the race really mean you’re a not a viable candidate?

At this point in the race Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both polled at one percent. And whatever happened to margins of error? Everyone knows that someone who polls at one percent and someone who polls at three percent are effectively tied anyway.

The truth is they seem to be scared of Johnson and his track recorded as Governor. Scared that he might be popular with the groups of voters President Obama needs to win. This was most evident when he received a favourable interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

People who don’t normally vote Republican seem to like him. Not just because of his policies but because they can relate to him. He started out running a one man, door to door handyman business which he left as a multi-million dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees.

In his first ever stab at politics he won the Governorship as an outsider. He has climbed Mount Everest and even built his home with his own hands.  He is a man people can relate to as living the "American dream"..

Since the CNN boycott of Mr Johnson however, his profile has grown in New Hampshire, a key state in the primaries, and there is hardly a report about the debate in both the national and local New Hampshire press which does not mention CNN’s decision to snub him.

In the end then, CNN's tactics appear to have backfired. Gary Johson still has a long way to go. But ironically, a frightened left-wing media outlet may have given him a vital boost.

Nic Conner is a freelance campaigns consultant.  Follow on Twitter: @Niconner

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