Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson on Tuesday said likely GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE is wrong for suggesting illegal immigrants represent the worst of their countries' populations.

“That isn’t true,” he told host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day." "No, absolutely untrue statistically. I don’t want to in any way defend the worst.


“The people coming across are the people who just want jobs,” the former New Mexico governor added. "How about making a system where it would be easy to get a work visa?”

Trump fiercely criticized illegal immigration from Mexico upon launching his White House run in New York City last June.

“They’re sending people who have a lot of problems,” he said at Trump Tower. "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Johnson on Sunday won his party's nomination, potentially setting up a general election match-up with Trump.

He said Tuesday that his message of freedom from government interference is already drawing attacks from the billionaire’s campaign.

“I think they’ve already started coming,” Johnson said of Trump’s team.

Johnson added that his platform presents a middle ground for Americans dissatisfied with Trump and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonConservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Trump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier MORE.

“I think tens of millions of Americans have no idea what it means to be a libertarian,” he said. "How about the best of both worlds?

“[It’s] being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. My message doesn’t change based on which audience I’m in front of. Keep government out of our pocketbooks, keep government out of our bedrooms."