Updated: Sept. 20, 2011, 5:33 p.m.
Get ready for another podium at this Thursday’s Republican presidential debate on Fox News, with Gary Johnson reportedly set to be admitted onto the stage after many months of being left out.
Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast reports: “The former New Mexico governor won the right to participate, according to Fox sources, by cracking 1 percent in the latest five national polls in which he was included—Fox News, CNN, McClatchy-Marist, ABC, and Quinnipiac—which was the criterion the network had set for inclusion.”
A libertarian Republican, Johnson was elected governor in 1994 after a career in the construction business, defeating an incumbent Democrat in his first bid for public office, was re-elected in 1998, and was then term-limited out in 2002.
For his presidential campaign, Johnson has advocated positions that could broadly be categorized as economically very conservative, and socially very liberal. For example, he has called for lower government spending and the elimination of corporate taxes, block-granting Medicare and Medicaid to the states, ending the War on Drugs through the legalization of marijuana and the treatment of addiction to harder drugs, a pro-choice position on abortion up until the point of fetal viability, and civil unions for both straight and gay couples in the eyes of the law.
However, despite his résumé, Johnson has not been allowed into debates, much to his consternation. For example, in June he posted a 40-minute YouTube video in which he answered every question from a CNN debate, from which he had been excluded.
Late Update: Johnson has now informed TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro that he has not yet heard about a debate invitation.
“It would be good news if we get it,” he said.