"Jill Stein has said yes. I've said yes. Gary Johnson won't say yes. And he keeps saying, 'Let Gary debate.' Well, why doesn't Gary let Gary debate?" independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin told Newsy.
Everyone but Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has been shut out of the debates, so McMullin's calling on the two most popular third-party candidates to join him for a separate debate.
The Green Party's Jill Stein has already signed on, but McMullin says the Johnson campaign has basically been dodging him.
"You sort of wonder, how serious is Gary about his ideas, about his candidacy?" McMullin said. "And how committed is he to representing Libertarians who are supporting him if he won't get on the debate stage and defend his candidacy and defend his ideas?"
A debate between third-party candidates wouldn't be new. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson did it in 2012. And there's probably not a better year for another one than 2016. The media is paying more attention than probably ever before to third-party and independent candidates.
And so are the American people. According to Gallup, 57 percent of Americans want a serious alternative to the two major parties. And 76 percent of Americans say they want to see third-party candidates on the main debate stage. But that's not happening, so this kind of debate would be the only other option.
"The American people want this. So we should do it, and Gary Johnson — as a leader if that's what he is — should step forward and do this," McMullin said.
But Johnson is far outpacing both Stein and McMullin in national polls. So politically, it might make more sense for the Libertarian to just keep his focus on the big two.