Fox Business Network's John Stossel will be hosting a Libertarian town hall event on Friday night featuring presidential nominee Gary JohnsonGary JohnsonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again Open primaries are the answer to America’s election woes — so what are we waiting for? Trump’s early economic success reveals Obama failures, could presage 2020 landslide MORE and running mate William Weld.
The Libertarian town hall event is the first to be broadcast on any Fox network.
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 TrumpFrench election: Le Pen, Macron ahead in early results Trump: Government 'involves heart,' unlike business Issa dodges when asked if he wants Trump to campaign alongside him MORE (R) and Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' Poll: Almost half say Trump off to poor start 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.”