Fox Business Network host and longtime TV news personality John Stossel will moderate a Libertarian presidential forum amongst the party’s three leading candidates: New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, tech software entrepreneur John McAfee, and Austin Petersen, founder of the Libertarian Republic.
The forum will air in two parts on FBN. Part one airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Part two will air next Friday at 9 p.m. ET. Stossel will ask a series of questions to the candidates regarding issues including the size of the government, immigration, and fighting terror.
TVNewser spoke with Stossel about the forum. We began by asking him why they’re doing it:
Stossel: We have heard a lot from the Republicans and the Democrats who are clear front-runners now, Hillary and Donald, and I am desperate to hear other and frankly, better ideas.
TVNewser: A lot of Americans will be meeting these candidates for the first time. You are close to the Libertarian Party, can you tell our readers about them?
Stossel: Well, all three would be better than Donald or Hillary! Gary Johnson has an amazing record; he was a two-term governor, a Republican who got elected in a Democratic state. He balanced the budget and allowed for lots of job creation because he got government out of the way. He is an actual “do-er,” but he doesn’t always come across as passionate, or so far he hasn’t. In the middle of the forum, I give him a hard time about being sleepy, as if he is high on weed. For him, it’s a matter of presentation. He could be so good, but he sometimes comes across as a little slow in his speech. McAfee is an odd character with a checkered past, but he speaks very eloquently about liberty. Petersen, I give him a hard time by saying he acts like he’s 12 years old. When he responds, he comes back at me with a long list of people like Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, who when they were young men accomplished great things for America.
TVNewser: Considering the forum will be airing on FOX Business Network, how much of the conversation will focus on business, the markets and finance in general?
Stossel: Some of it will, but we treat this like a normal presidential forum where I ask the questions and some of the other Fox anchors ask questions about topics that are not limited to economics and business.
TVNewser: Who else from Fox will be involved with the forum?
Stossel: I’m the only moderator, but we take video questions from Bill O’Reilly, Dana Perino, Judge Napolitano, Matt Welch, Kennedy, and Fox Business hosts will join for analysis at the end of each hour.
TVNewser: Let’s move away from the actual forum itself for a minute. You were at ABC for close to 30 years. How has your time at Fox Business different from your time at ABC?
Stossel: There has been a big difference. ABC read every script and they wanted to censor so many things. Fox Business has let me comment as I see fit, as long as I don’t get things wrong.
TVNewser: How significant of an impact do you believe this forum could have on the overall discourse in the presidential race?
Stossel: I really have no clue. I fantasize that it will wake everyone up to the follies and harm of big government, and they will all say ‘Oh my goodness, I guess I’m a Libertarian!’ and will want to vote for one of these three candidates.
TVNewser: What do you hope the viewer takes away from these forums?
Stossel: I want the viewer to have a greater understanding about the importance of liberty and limited government and the damage done by giant government.