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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Long-shot Gary Johnson says he won't give up bid to be Republican presidential nominee



garyjohnson_202796c.jpgGary Johnson is angry, though you wouldn't necessarily know it because Gary Johnson doesn't look like an angry man.

But pull up a seat in the lobby at the Hampton Inn and Suites on Ulmerton Road, where Johnson is staying on the cheap while he tries to muster some attention around Tampa Bay, and listen to the little-known presidential contender talk about how he has been shut out of the race — not by the American people, but by the media and the Republican establishment.

"I think the Republican National Committee has hung me out to dry," he said. "I'm angry. Really angry."

The wildly popular former two-term governor of New Mexico, who lost part of his toe to frostbite climbing Mount Everest on a broken leg, has been excluded from 15 of 17 presidential debates.

The 58-year-old who was elected governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 has virtually disappeared from major political polling. The governor who got rid of 1,200 state employees, vetoed 750 bills and left New Mexico with a billion-dollar budget surplus is not Republican enough for the GOP.

"They won't return my calls," he said.

Story here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:55pm]


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