Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson did not meet the criteria for participating in the June 13th CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader Republican debate. The criteria were based on opinion polling done both nationally and in New Hampshire. The candidates could either reach 2 percent in national polls conducted in April or May or at least two percent in New Hampshire polls conducted in May.
While the rules are the rules, with few candidates making much of a splash it would be wise to include a legitimate former governor to the debate. Especially when you consider red-meat-throwing Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is invited and she has not declared herself candidate.
“I respect the right of CNN and the other sponsors of the June 13 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate to apply their own criteria and invite who they choose,” Johnson said in a statement Friday. “It is, however, unfortunate that a significant segment of the Republican Party, and more importantly, millions of independent voters who might be Republican voters, will not have a voice on the stage in Manchester.”
It is clear the GOP presidential politics has turned into who can make the most noise, not who has the best ideas. When you consider that reality stars Sarah Palin and Donald Trump received invites (and declined) you can see the sad shape that our political system is in.
Gary Johnson may not bring in the big TV ratings that some invitees bring, but he deserves to be given a chance to speak to the people of New Hampshire and participate in the June 13th debate.