Washington (CNN) -- Not invited to participate? No problem. Just declare yourself the winner. Following the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's campaign did just that in an email to supporters.
"The candidate who WON last night was Gov. Gary Johnson - and he wasn't even allowed on the stage," wrote Ron Nielson, Johnson's campaign manager. "He wasn't allowed on the stage for the very same reason that he won. He told the truth, and the Republicans and Democrats didn't want any truth being told on the stage they had bought and paid for."
The Commission on Presidential Debates didn't invite Johnson to the forum because he did not meet the polling threshold needed to permit inclusion. The Johnson campaign has sued the commission because of this rule, arguing that it violated anti-trust laws.
In his email to supporters, Nielson brags about the reach Johnson had on social media.
"Last night, there was one candidate for president whose followers on Twitter increased by 7,000," the email stated.
In theory, Johnson is right - he is the only candidate that gained 7,000 followers. However, his intent - to brag about the number his campaign believes contrast with the other campaigns - is incorrect.
According to Twitter Counter, a web based application that counts the number of Twitter followers an account gains over a period of time, @Mitt Romney gained 12,131 followers on debate day and @BarackObama gained 81,381.
Last night, while Obama and Romney debated in front of a massive primetime audience, Johnson hosted an "on-line commentary" to supporters. Using Google+, the Johnson campaign says the former New Mexico governor would use the forum to respond to the major party candidates.
This won't be the last time Johnson uses this format. In an email to supporters, Johnson said he plans to use the format "during subsequent debates," too.