- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, says his campaign has raked in more than $1 million in the last two weeks, and he’s trying to push things further with a “money bomb” tied to the presidential debates to try to raise $1.5 million on August 15.

In a fundraising pitch, Mr. Johnson wrote on Wednesday that the money in the past two weeks has come from more than 20,000 individual donors. The total of more than $1 million would outpace the campaign’s entire haul of about $664,000 during the month of June.

“Today, we are announcing a #15for15 money bomb campaign to get in the debates,” Mr. Johnson wrote. “Our goal: raise $1.5 million on August 15th to get to 15% in the polls.”

Candidates must average 15 percent in the polls to get invited to the presidential debates, and Mr. Johnson has gotten as high as 13 percent in recent polling.

“Imagine Hillary and Donald having to debate real issues that matter to Americans instead of bickering about which one is worse than the other,” he said.

Mr. Johnson said last month while in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention that fundraising had been picking up, touting a one-day $100,000 haul from a similar “money comet” plea.

His running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, said last week in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention that he thinks some of the “very big fish” are waiting to see if they can hit 15 percent in the polls.

For comparison, Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced Tuesday that it raised $90 million in July for the campaign and the Democratic party, including $8.7 million in online fundraising during a 24-hour stretch last Thursday and Friday.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Weld have largely been relying on media hits to get their message out, and are scheduled to participate in a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening.

They said last week on CNN that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, is considering endorsing the Libertarian Party ticket.

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