Johnson got his ‘dog poop’ line from a friend’s text message before the debate

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico who was allowed to debate the other GOP contenders at the last minute, may go down in history as the guy who made "that dog poop joke," at a presidential debate. But if it gets people talking about him, he's fine with that.

"It's a sad state of affairs if I somehow catapult into the spotlight because of that joke," Johnson said of the quip, "my next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration"--which turned out to be one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night. "But I will take it, if that's the case."

Radio host Rush Limbaugh made the same joke earlier that day on his show, but that's not where Johnson heard it--at least directly. According to Johnson, he heard the joke from Jim Villanucci, a former writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno who has a radio show in New Mexico. Villanucci, a friend of Johnson's, sent him a text just a few hours before the debate with eight lines, and Johnson chose that one.

The long-shot candidate ended up fielding a couple of questions during the debate, and said that if wins the nomination, he would choose fellow libertarian Ron Paul as his running mate.