Fox Business, Stossel to host Libertarian town hall
© Moriah Ratner

Fox Business Network's John Stossel will be hosting a Libertarian town hall event on Friday night featuring presidential nominee Gary JohnsonGary JohnsonGary Johnson: I don’t want to be president anymore ‘because of Trump’ Gary Johnson ruling out 2020 bid: 'It does boil down to two political parties' Court: Excluding outside parties from presidential debates does not violate First Amendment MORE and running mate William Weld. 

The Libertarian town hall event is the first to be broadcast on any Fox network.

ADVERTISEMENT
CNN hosted two Libertarian town halls earlier this year to surprisingly strong ratings, particularly in the 25-54 age demographic advertisers covet most. 

Stossel, a libertarian himself, spoke to The Hill about his history with the party, as well as tonight's event from New York. 

The longtime television reporter said he wasn’t always a libertarian.

“No, I began my reporting career as a typical media leftist, repeatedly calling for more regulation.  That won me 19 Emmy awards,” Stossel explained. “Then I saw how most of that regulation made life worse.”

Stossel said he “wised up” while reading the works of Nobel prize-winning economists F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, along with Reason Magazine.

“I'm not a member of the Libertarian Party. I'm a registered Democrat. But I'm attracted to libertarianism because it makes sense,” he explains. “I see how politicians always move toward more rules, and the accumulated rules crush freedom and opportunity."

“Libertarian ideas,” Stossel said, “are what allowed America to become the most prosperous country in the world.”

Johnson, a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, is winning 8.9 percent support in the most recent RealClearPolitics average of national polls.

The Commission on Presidential Debates sets the bar for joining the presidential debate stage at 15 percent.

If he can get to 12 or 13 percent, Stossel said, Johnson should be allowed onstage.

“More importantly, the 'Commission on Presidential Debates' is not some long-established neutral arbitrator of presidential debates,” he said. “It's a private company formed just 20-some years by the Republican and Democratic parties.

“No wonder they're biased against other parties,” he added.

Friday night's hourlong town hall kicks off at 9 p.m.

When it's all said and done, Stossel says he wants the primary takeaway to be understanding the benefits of the Libertarian platform. 

“There's one party that doesn't want to police the world, your bedroom, your workplace, your speech, your body, and also wants to stop America from spending ourselves broke,” he said.

Stossel predicted the event would convince voters to abandon major-party nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE (R) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE (D).

“After my show, 15 percent of the voters will realize that Johnson [and] Weld are better than Trump and Hillary. They'll qualify for the debates. Millions will finally learn about them, so Johnson will be president this year.”