Michigan businessman Perry Johnson says he has met the qualifications to appear on the GOP presidential debate stage in Milwaukee Wednesday night and is encouraging front-runner former President Donald Trump to join him.
“There has been a flood of polling in the last 72 hours that meet the RNC’s requirements and qualify me for the debate stage,” Johnson said in a press release Friday. “Therefore, I will be at the debate in Milwaukee and look forward to sharing my Two Cents Plan to Save America, which will balance the budget and secure the border.”
“I am encouraging President Trump to attend the debate so the American people can measure the plans and the records of all major candidates on stage.”
Johnson, a Michigan businessman with almost 30 years of experience in the quality standards field and a degree in mathematics, has been pushing what he calls his “Two Cents to Save America” plan in ads targeting New Hampshire. His proposal would “cut two cents off of every dollar in federal discretionary spending to end inflation and solve the debt crisis,” Johnson says.
According to reports, his campaign has spent nearly $3 million in ads, more than any candidates other than Gov. Doug Burgum (R-N.D.) and South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott. (That does not include ad buys from super PACs supporting various candidates).
Johnson used non-traditional marketing (some say paying people for donations) to meet the Republican National Committee’s 40,000 donor threshold. Now his campaign says he has met the polling qualifications as well. He received one percent in a Victory Insights national poll and hit or exceeded one percent in both an Iowa and New Hampshire poll.
Assuming the RNC signs off, Johnson would be the ninth person seeking the GOP nod to meet the debate requirements. Among the declared candidates who have yet to qualify are former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former U.S. Rep. Will Hurd.
“First-in-the-Nation Primary voters in New Hampshire have always believed in my Two-Cents Plan,” Johnson told NHJournal. “I’m grateful for their support and hope they, and the rest of America, tune in to the Milwaukee debate to learn more about my vision to end reckless spending and to keep the American Dream alive.”
Johnson is a non-traditional candidate, to say the least. He has never held public office and brings a different approach to campaigning.
“I’m kind of a math junkie,” Johnson told NHJournal during a recent podcast interview, “the guy that Vegas threw out while playing blackjack — every casino!”