09/23/2011 01:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Gary Johnson Draws Laughs With 'Shovel-Ready' Line At GOP Debate (VIDEO)

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson drew laughs from the audience at Thursday night's Republican presidential debate with a colorful criticism he leveled at the White House.

"My next door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration," said the White House contender toward the end of the event.

Johnson, a libertarian and lesser-known candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, said in a statement following the debate, "Tonight, a great many people had their first opportunity to see that there is a candidate who will actually focus like a laser on the task of reducing government, eliminating deficits, and freeing the economy to create real jobs. As Republicans, we need to face the reality that today’s out-of-control spending is as much a Republican problem as it is a Barack Obama problem, and simply paying lip service to bringing it under control won’t fly with the American people."

He continued, "Likewise, Republicans deserve to have a candidate who will challenge the notion of foreign intervention and unjustified, undeclared wars we cannot afford. I am gratified to offer that alternative."

Not long after the culmination of the debate, Johnson's name was among the top searches on Google Trends.