- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2016

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson said he is not going to pursue Sen. Bernard Sanders’ supporters with the same gusto as Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

“I agree with 75 percent of what Bernie has to say. But when it comes to economics, Jill and Bernie seem to be very closely aligned,” he told The Washington Times. “I am who I am, and I do believe that ultimately is the reflection of most people.”

Ms. Stein has aggressively courted the activists who backed Mr. Sanders’ far-left and anti-establishment campaign. She has led rallies outside the Democratic National Convention and implored Mr. Sanders’ followers to quit the Democratic Party as part of the #DemExit movement.

Mr. Johnson said he approached Mr. Sanders’ followers as an educator, making a pitch against government intervention in the economy.

“The government has never done nor can it do a good job when it comes to income equality. That’s Peter taking from Paul. Peter loves that equation,” said Mr. Johnson, a former New Mexico governor. “Government intervention in the economy, that’s what we’re all against. Bernie Sanders’ supporters are against it, but they label it free market, which is not the case.”

Mr. Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, said 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering endorsing the Libertarian ticket.

SEE ALSO: Green Party’s Jill Stein needles DNC with Sanders-friendly street campaign

In an appearance with Mr. Weld on CNN, Mr. Johnson said they have spoken with Mr. Romney and that he thinks the former Massachusetts governor is considering an endorsement.

“He’s thinking about it,” Mr. Weld said. “I don’t want to press the point unless and until we get to 15 percent because then I think the case for it is overwhelming.”

Mr. Weld said he and Mr. Johnson are “very hopeful” that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination this year, “might see his way clear to supporting the ticket.”

Asked last week whether he had reached out to Republicans who aren’t supporting Donald Trump, Mr. Johnson said such active lobbying isn’t his style.

“I just think reaching out is not as effective as keeping after it, and if that’s something that they want to do ultimately, that ends up being their decision, and I have never been in the push camp. I don’t think it’s effective,” Mr. Johnson told The Times.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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