Gary Johnson rips 'elitist' CNN for GOP debate snub

Long-shot GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson on Tuesday lashed out at CNN as "elitist" for not allowing him to participate in the network's primary debate.

Johnson, the libertarian-leaning former New Mexico governor, participated in the Fox News-sponsored first primary debate in South Carolina last month. But he was excluded from next week's debate in New Hampshire because he has not garnered an average of 2 percent support in national or Granite State polling, a requirement to participate.

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"This is really elitist. And it's CNN, you can't say it but I can. And -- it's really elitist," Johnson said on Fox News

Johnson's campaign previously accused the debate's organizers, CNN, WMUR-TV and the Manchester, N.H. Union Leader for picking winners and losers early in the race and said that Johnson has been left out of some of CNN's own polling.

"Really, it's parsing hairs. I'm a believer in the system. I've always believed in the system. I've always felt that I've been treated fairly by the system," Johnson said Tuesday. "And you know what, if the system would just crack the door and give me a chance that's all I can ask for. But this is a a shut door here."

Johnson said it's unfair that other candidates that low levels of support are allowed to participate. 

"Rick Santorum would be at two percent and I just -- this is the process. I accept the process but I never really in my wildest dreams didn't think that I would be sitting at the table, talking about the issues of the day."

Johnson's libertarian views are unlike most other GOP candidates in the field, for example, he supports the legalization of marijuana. Another libertarian candidate, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is also better known and has attracted more support.

The New Hampshire debate will take place on June 13.