Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson on Tuesday said likely GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries 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 Clinton'Where's your spoon?' What we didn't learn in the latest debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Roger Stone gets over three years in prison; Brutal night for Bloomberg Poll: Democrats trail Trump in Wisconsin, lead in Michigan and Pennsylvania 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."