First on CNN: Johnson-backing PAC spends $1M for national TV spot

Story highlights

  • A Libertarian super PAC is spending $1 million on air to support Gary Johnson
  • The group hits Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the new spot

Washington (CNN)A super PAC supporting Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is spending $1 million on a national ad buy it hopes will help get the former New Mexico governor onstage at the presidential debates.

"One candidate offends everyone ... the other will say anything to get elected," the narrator says in the spot, which hits Donald Trump for mocking a reporter with disabilities and Hillary Clinton on her email scandal. The narrator then presents Johnson as "the honorable choice for a change."
    The ad is part of a push to get Johnson on the debate stage, something Libertarians hope will help establish their party on a national level.
    "We're hoping to generate enough support to get up to 15% in the polls," Purple PAC President Ed Crane told CNN Wednesday. "If he's in the debate there's no telling what might happen."
    Crane's group is putting $1 million behind the ad, which will air nationwide on cable starting Friday and running through next Thursday. Crane, who is a former president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said they may extend the ad run.
    Johnson's campaign has not yet spent any money on television ads this cycle, according to Kantar Media/CMAG, a company that tracks political advertising.
    Johnson has polled in the high single digits in most national polls, but has failed to get close to the 15% threshold set by the Presidential Debate Commission to appear on stage with Clinton and Trump this fall.