Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonPotential GOP primary challenger: Trump's 'contempt for the American people' behind possible bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration Former Mass. governor takes step toward Trump primary challenge MORE is biting his tongue — literally — to argue he could emerge as the winner in a debate with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic Socialists of America endorses Sanders for president How to end the Electoral College and elect our next president by popular vote CNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE without saying anything.
 
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" broadcast footage Friday morning of the Libertarian presidential nominee biting his tongue in an interview this week with Kasie Hunt.
 
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Johnson told Hunt that if he were on the debate stage with Clinton and Trump, he thought he could pull even with them in the polls. 
 
"And it wouldn't have anything to do with my debate performance either. It would just be because people recognize that there's another choice," he said.
 
Johnson then added, while biting his tongue to make it difficult to understand him: "I think I could stand up there for the whole debate and not say anything and emerge as the leader."
 
Hunt remarked Friday that the scene has "never happened to me in an interview before" as others on the "Morning Joe" panel chuckled.
 
"Morning Joe" was the program where Johnson made his "What is Aleppo?" gaffe earlier this month.
 
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced this month that he didn't qualify for the first debate Monday night. Johnson is pushing to make the cut for the two remaining debates in October.