In less than a month, the U.S. presidential election will finally be over. Clinton and Trump command record unfavorability ratings, and it’s fair to say that many are feeling disillusioned by the race. Voters are drawing their attention to third party choices like Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but in an episode of Last Week Tonight aired Sunday, John Oliver scrutinized both politicians’ policies and found they fall apart pretty quickly.
“Anyone who goes into a voting booth on November 8 and comes out saying ‘I feel 100% great about what I just did in there’ is either lying to themselves or did something unspeakable in that booth,” Oliver said. Third-party candidate supporters tend to reject voting for the lesser of two evils, but Oliver argued that in the 2016 race, it’s really about voting for the lesser of four evils.
Johnson, for all his flaws, is at least ideologically consistent. When asked in an MSNBC interview which three government agencies he would get rid of, he immediately said education, commerce, and housing “for starters.” “This is Sophie’s Choice if she hated all of her children!” Oliver said.
But when pressed on his plans to get rid of agencies that have vital functions, Johnson floundered. “You’d have to assume they were doing something of value, and yeah, if they are doing something of value, yes, we would be looking to continue those operations,” he said. “You’re asking three departments, and I’m giving them to you, and let’s just take the assumption that they should be eliminated.”
Describing Johnson as an “ill-tempered mountain molester,” Oliver played bizarre footage of the candidate giving a speech in 2011 where he described climbing Everest and outlined his long-term thinking on climate change, which amounted to waiting around for billions of years for the sun to consume the Earth.
“People ask me, ‘Gosh, what what it like to conquer Mount Everest?’,” Johnson said at a National Press Club luncheon. “Well, I did not conquer Mount Everest, she lifted her skirt and I got in there and got a peek and it was really cool.”
Oliver also attacked Stein for flip-flopping on whether she supported Brexit and whether there’s potential evidence that vaccines cause autism. Stein also appeared to indulge a 9/11 conspiracy theorist in a question and answer session, and she’s previously shown a severe lack of understanding around how exactly quantitative easing works.
Last Week Tonight airs Sundays on HBO.