Article Lead Image

Screengrab via LastWeekTonight / YouTube

John Oliver takes Gary Johnson and Jill Stein seriously as presidential candidates

'Just dismissing third-party candidates as spoilers shuts down debate.'


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Oct 17, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 7:09 pm CDT

The 2016 election—or as John Oliver put it, “Lice on Rats on a Horse Corpse on Fire 2016”—has disillusioned a lot of Americans, some of whom are looking towards third-party candidates. But for much of the election they’ve been ignored, not taken seriously, or accused of “spoiling” the election, so Oliver is giving them the serious consideration they’ve never really received.

There are many third-party candidates like Jim Hedges, Dan Vacek, and write-in candidate Joe Exotic, but Oliver spends most of his time on the two biggest third-party candidates, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who’ve both polled nationally. He vets them like he would any Democratic or Republican candidate, and while there’s a lot to like about both of them, it doesn’t take long for the validity of some of their proposed policies to fall apart.

“The more you look at Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, the more you realize the lack of coverage they complain about so much might have genuinely benefitted them,” Oliver said. “Because their key proposals crumble under the slightest amount of scrutiny.”

Share this article
*First Published: Oct 17, 2016, 9:46 am CDT