Ron Paul Might Be Excluded From New Hampshire Republican Debate

Ron Paul is currently not listed among those invited to paticipate in a Republican debate to be held prior to the New Hampshire primary. His campaign has issued the following statement:

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.

“Given Ron Paul’s support in New Hampshire and his recent historic fundraising success, it is outrageous that Dr. Paul would be excluded,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. “Dr. Paul has consistently polled higher in New Hampshire than some of the other candidates who have been invited.”

Snyder continued, “Paul supporters should know that we are continuing to make inquiries with Fox News as to why they have apparently excluded Dr. Paul from this event.”

As expected Paul’s supporters are furious over this, but this is not a matter of whether one supports or opposes a particular candidate. Decisions on whether a candidate should be included at a debate should be based upon objective criteria and not one’s opinion of the candidate.

As the statement notes, Paul does sometimes poll better than some of the mainstream Republican candidates. Paul does have a real constituency, even if its size is probably exaggerated by the noise it makes on line. While the number of votes he can actually receive is questionable, he does have enough cash on hand to mount a campaign. As I noted recently, while I do not believe Paul has a chance win the Repubican nomination, he does have a chance to do as well as third place in Iowa considering that it is largely a two way race, and the influence of independents in New Hampshire could also help Paul do better than expected there.

While I do not believe Paul can win the nomination, and there is a chance he could also wind up doing much more poorly in the early states than they more optimistic scenarios I mention above, participation in debates should not be based upon predictions. If only those who are believed to have a chance to win are included, this risks becoming a self-fulfilling prediction. Whether a candidate can win should ultimately be decided by the voters who have the opportunity to see all the candidates.

If candidates were excluded based upon their perceived position in the horse race, Mike Huckabee would have been excluded from the early debates. It was largely because of being included in the debates that Huckabee went from single digits to becoming a leading contender as the social conservatives discovered a candidate who shared their views.

Ron Paul appeals to a different constituency than most current Republican voters, but his views are not necessarily out of line with historic conservative beliefs. I’ve often noted that Paul is far more a social conservative and paleoconservative than a libertarian but this also leaves open the possibility that he can still attract more Republican support. There is also a strong historic Republican tradition of opposing foreign intervention and presumably not every Republican has permanently moved to the neoconservative camp.

While it seems like the race has been going on forever, the first vote has not yet taken place and we should not assume that the rankings of the candidates is now frozen. Many voters do not make up their minds until the last minute and some might still be receptive to the arguments of candidates they have not yet considered. Regardless of what we think of Paul’s chances for success, Paul should be given the opportunity to take the case for his views before the Republican voters.

Update: There are now numerous reports on line, such as here, stating that it is untrue that Paul is being excluded.

Update II: It has been confirmed that Paul is being excluded.

Be Sociable, Share!

19 Comments

  1. 1
    Scott M. says:

    Thanks for writing this Ron. I know you have written against Ron Paul several times in the past, but it appears that you at least have the decency to notice that this is just plain wrong and obviously biased. It is not going to sit well.

    Fortunately, this is going to work to our advantage. Even those NOT supporting Ron Paul in NH will see this as an outrage and it will bring even more people to our side.

    It is my opinion that Fox News is trying to give the impression that Ron Paul has dropped out right before the primaries. I think they underestimate Ron Paul’s support there, however, and his supporters will make it EXTREMELY clear what Fox News is doing.

    Trust me, this is not going to sit well and will only help him do even better there.

    Mark my words.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Scott,

    As I note in the post, decisions such as this should not be made based upon whether you support a candidate. The opposite view has serious consequences in a democracy if attempts are made to keep people out of the process based upon whether one supports them or not.

    I wouldn’t make any assumptions about Fox’s motivations. It is pure speculation to say that they are trying to give the impression that Paul dropped out. Besides, the arguments against this decision are not dependent upon their motivation. It is a mistake regardless of why Fox came to this decision.

    This decision could be based upon their desire to keep out an anti-war candidate but there is no evidence of this. I suspect some at Fox would like him to be there from the perspective of having both the other Republican candidates as well as their commentators pile on and all attack anything Paul says about the war. This might purely be a case in which they are trying to limit this to the candidates who they feel have a chance to win. I already gave the arguments against applying this logic to someone who does have a real base of support in the post.

  3. 3
    NH_GOP says:

    The NH GOP realizes that Ron Paul has a lot more support than polls would tell.

    They not only see it all around them in NH, but Paul being tops in fundraising for this quarter proves it.

    This is not a done deal, stay tuned to the Daily Paul for more info as it breaks.

    Drew Cline’s blog even speculates that Ron Paul could beat Rudy.

  4. 4
    independent says:

    If true, this is a huge disappointment going into the primary season. Ron Paul will probably do well in generating publicity with his competing events, so he won’t personally be hurt by this – but it is a sad state that the “free press” would try to silence politicians who disagree with their agenda.

    …And us “small government” Republicans were wondering why there’s no “small government” candidate, well, that just isn’t good business for the networks that need anti-competitive legislation and subsidies.

  5. 5
    JusticeRanger says:

    MAINSTREAM NEWS MEDIA UNDER INDICTMENT BY “WE THE PEOPLE.” BOYCOTT THEM AND THEIR ADVERTISERS

    Your so-called “news” organization is ACCUSED criminally violating the law! Also, see formal criminal complaint submitted to the DOJ concerning your illegal conduct @ http://www.1-free-dvd.com/CRIMINAL_COMPLAINTS_FROM_TLG.html and http://daredevil92103.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/latest-update-on-criminal-charges-against-discovered-felons-in-the-mainstream-media/

    “We The People” are calling for a national boycott of all mainstream media complicit in the intentional rigging of the 2008 Presidential Election via the obvious criminal conspiracy targeting Dr. Ron Paul.

    315. Candidates for public office – censorship prohibition
    On December 29th, 2007 watchman2008 says:
    Concerning excluding Ron Paul from the New Hamspire Debate on January 6, 2008.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/h

    TITLE 47 > CHAPTER 5 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part I > ? 315
    Prev | Next
    ? 315. Candidates for public office
    How Current is This?
    (a) Equal opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition; allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public interest; public issues discussion opportunities
    If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station: Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast under the provisions of this section. No obligation is imposed under this subsection upon any licensee to allow the use of its station by any such candidate. Appearance by a legally qualified candidate on any?
    (1) bona fide newscast,
    (2) bona fide news interview,
    (3) bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary), or
    (4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events (including but not limited to political conventions and activities incidental thereto),
    shall not be deemed to be use of a broadcasting station within the meaning of this subsection. Nothing in the foregoing sentence shall be construed as relieving broadcasters, in connection with the presentation of newscasts, news interviews, news documentaries, and on-the-spot coverage of news events, from the obligation imposed upon them under this chapter to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.
    (b) Charges
    (1) In general
    The charges made for the use of any broadcasting station by any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office in connection with his campaign for nomination for election, or election, to such office shall not exceed?
    (A) subject to paragraph (2), during the forty-five days preceding the date of a primary or primary runoff election and during the sixty days preceding the date of a general or special election in which such person is a candidate, the lowest unit charge of the station for the same class and amount of time for the same period; and
    (B) at any other time, the charges made for comparable use of such station by other users thereof.
    (2) Content of broadcasts
    (A) In general
    In the case of a candidate for Federal office, such candidate shall not be entitled to receive the rate under paragraph (1)(A) for the use of any broadcasting station unless the candidate provides written certification to the broadcast station that the candidate (and any authorized committee of the candidate) shall not make any direct reference to another candidate for the same office, in any broadcast using the rights and conditions of access under this chapter, unless such reference meets the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D).
    (B) Limitation on charges
    If a candidate for Federal office (or any authorized committee of such candidate) makes a reference described in subparagraph (A) in any broadcast that does not meet the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D), such candidate shall not be entitled to receive the rate under paragraph (1)(A) for such broadcast or any other broadcast during any portion of the 45-day and 60-day periods described in paragraph (1)(A), that occur on or after the date of such broadcast, for election to such office.
    (C) Television broadcasts
    A candidate meets the requirements of this subparagraph if, in the case of a television broadcast, at the end of such broadcast there appears simultaneously, for a period no less than 4 seconds?
    (i) a clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of the candidate; and
    (ii) a clearly readable printed statement, identifying the candidate and stating that the candidate has approved the broadcast and that the candidate?s authorized committee paid for the broadcast.
    (D) Radio broadcasts
    A candidate meets the requirements of this subparagraph if, in the case of a radio broadcast, the broadcast includes a personal audio statement by the candidate that identifies the candidate, the office the candidate is seeking, and indicates that the candidate has approved the broadcast.
    (E) Certification
    Certifications under this section shall be provided and certified as accurate by the candidate (or any authorized committee of the candidate) at the time of purchase.
    (F) Definitions
    For purposes of this paragraph, the terms ?authorized committee? and ?Federal office? have the meanings given such terms by section 431 of title 2.
    (c) Definitions
    For purposes of this section?
    (1) the term ?broadcasting station? includes a community antenna television system; and
    (2) the terms ?licensee? and ?station licensee? when used with respect to a community antenna television system mean the operator of such system.
    (d) Rules and regulations
    The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.
    (e) Political record
    (1) In general
    A licensee shall maintain, and make available for public inspection, a complete record of a request to purchase broadcast time that?
    (A) is made by or on behalf of a legally qualified candidate for public office; or
    (B) communicates a message relating to any political matter of national importance, including?
    (i) a legally qualified candidate;
    (ii) any election to Federal office; or
    (iii) a national legislative issue of public importance.
    (2) Contents of record
    A record maintained under paragraph (1) shall contain information regarding?
    (A) whether the request to purchase broadcast time is accepted or rejected by the licensee;
    (B) the rate charged for the broadcast time;
    (C) the date and time on which the communication is aired;
    (D) the class of time that is purchased;
    (E) the name of the candidate to which the communication refers and the office to which the candidate is seeking election, the election to which the communication refers, or the issue to which the communication refers (as applicable);
    (F) in the case of a request made by, or on behalf of, a candidate, the name of the candidate, the authorized committee of the candidate, and the treasurer of such committee; and
    (G) in the case of any other request, the name of the person purchasing the time, the name, address, and phone number of a contact person for such person, and a list of the chief executive officers or members of the executive committee or of the board of directors of such person.
    (3) Time to maintain file
    The information required under this subsection shall be placed in a political file as soon as possible and shall be retained by the licensee for a period of not less than 2 years.
    Search this title:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/h

  6. 6
    Dave Potts says:

    I’m a fervent supporter of Ron Paul, but I have to say, that FOX has every right to invite whoever they like to their debate. As much as I’d like to see RP invited, I believe strongly that even Rupert Murdoch *shudder* should be afforded property rights. Free speech is everyone’s right, even FOX’s, and if Dr. Paul happens to not be welcome at this event, so be it. Besides, shutting out a popular, though maybe controversial candidate like Ron Paul, will only serve to hasten the demise of MSM dinosaurs like FOX.

  7. 7
    Larry Perrault says:

    I agree with a lot of things he says, obviously, but I am NOT a Ron Paul supporter. HOWEVER, I can’t believe anyone would do something this foolish. Ron Paul could conceivably finish 3rd in New Hampshire, and he WILL finish ahead of Fred Thompson, whom I assume is or will be invited. Won’t that look foolish and presumptuous of the debate sponsors?

    I utterly detest anyone or any group presuming to suggest that ANYONE, especially themselves, should presume to affirm who is a candidate, other than the candidates themselves. I would only ask whoever would even consider such a thing: who do YOU think you are? You want to count an American out of a contest? JOIN, and then count YOURSELF out.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Dave,

    There have been occasional comments here and elsewhere where people argue there is, or should be, something illegal about Fox excluding Paul. Despite these comments, I think that almost everyone agrees that Fox has the right to decide who to include, but we also have the right to question their decision.

  9. 9
    Eric Dondero says:

    Good, he should be excluded. Ron Paul gave up his right to participat in the debates last May, when ironically at another Fox debate, he blamed America for the attacks of 9/11.

    He’s lucky we Americans are even letting him run for President, after such a treasonous statement.

    Hell, he’s lucky we’re allowing him to keep his citizenship. I think we ought to consider stripping him of his citizenship for that idiotic near treasounous statement, and putting him on a bus with the rest of the illegal aliens and force him to walk across the border to Mexico.

    He can think about how he dissed the United States of America, the country of his birth, while he’s sitting around some shack in Matamoros negotiating with some coyote to sneak back into the US using his minted Ron Paul gold coins.

    Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aid
    US Congressman Ron Paul
    1997-2003

  10. 10
    Eric Dondero says:

    Let’s keep in mind, that Ron Paul is the only one of the GOP Presidential candidates to refuse to state that he would back the eventual nominee no matter who that may be.

  11. 11
    capt says:

    We are talking about Fox? Seriously?

    The propaganda arm of the GOP – the same GOP with which Ron Paul chooses to caucus and associate himself with as a member of that party? The debate for the party of Rove, Libby, Abramoff, Cheney Bush and rest of the neocons?

    Serves him right. One reaps what one sows.

    Ron and Dennis and Gravel (and a few others) should have discarded the veil of party long ago, maybe there would be a viable third party by now.

    Maybe in another eight years.

    The fact that the unconventional candidates associate with either of the conventional parties just gives the party more power to control the message and damages the foundations of real non-gop or real non-demo candidates.

    IMHO

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    First of all, you are distorting what Paul said at the debate. He did not simply blame America. He drew a connection between US involvement in the middle east and the opposition to the US by al Qaeda. That is far more accurate that the Republican line that they attacked us because they hate us for our freedom.

    Secondly, don’t you believe in freedom of speech? Even if Paul was totally incorrect he would have the right to express his views.

    As for the Ron Paul coins, the argument makes little sense. Paul was not the one making the coins.

    His refusal to back the eventual nominee is a weak argument. It might be a stronger argument if the Republican Party was disciplining him over this, but it is Fox and not the party which made the decision. (I believe there is still some separation between Fox News and the Republican Party.) However, along these lines, did you note the recent story (which I posted here) in which Paul finally did admit he is considering running as a third party candidate?

  13. 13
    Tom Paine says:

    To a degree, Fox is entitled to exclude Ron Paul. However, one could argue that it’s more complicated than saying Fox has the right to exclude Ron Paul from the debates just because they have a license to broadcast. Since the Federal Government is involved via the FCC, there are a number of political and regulatory hoops one must go through to get a license a broadcast. So is this a ‘free market’ decision or one dictated by various kinds of Federal politics?

    In any event, I plan on voting for Paul in the New Hampshire on January 8. I’m doing this for a number of reasons including his Nay votes on the Iraq War resolution and the Patriot Act. Also I like his non-interventionist policy and his questioning the wisdom of a number of major party consensus issues like US military bases overseas. What is the need for the US to have military bases in Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and The Netherlands?

    As for his views on the Civil War and evolution, I care not a wit. All I have to do is to see how the Democrats voted on the Iraq War Resolution (Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Biden – all Yea) and the Patriot Act (Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Biden – all Yea) to see how they stood when it mattered. In addition, according to the NY Times, “the three leading Democratic presidential candidates refused on Wednesday night to promise that they would withdraw all American troops from Iraq by the end of their first term, saying in a televised debate here that they could not predict the future challenges in Iraq.”

    Link

    The Iraq war was started on false premises. You don’t compound the problem by having the US military stay there because you don’t think that the Iraq people are smart and brave enough to fix the problems which the US contributed to.

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    Tom Paine,

    “Since the Federal Government is involved via the FCC”

    Keep in mind that Fox News is on cable, not broadcast so the situation is quite different with regards to licensure of broadcast channels.

    “As for his views on the Civil War and evolution, I care not a wit.”

    Both of these lead to matters of significance. Paul is right on Iraq not because he understands the specific problems with this war but because he has opposed every war. His denial of evolution and lack of understanding of science further suggest a lack of ability to come to rational decisions about the world, as is also seen in his belief in conspiracy theories. The manner in which he places his religious beliefs over modern science is also reflected in his denial of separation of church and state and his support of measurs such as an amendment to legalize school prayer.

    You are also misleading with regards to the views of the Democrats. Leaving the possibility open of having some residual troops (which is not the same as saying they will do so) is reasonable considering it is true that we don’t know the situation. What is important is that they realize what a mistake the war was (and preferably opposed it as Obama did). It is also important that the next president realizes we cannot achieve a military victory. A diplomatic settlement is needed which will hopefully include the rapid withdraw of all US troops but at this time it is understandable that a candidate might not want to totally take the possibility of some remaining off the table.

    Your comments on the Patriot Act are also misleading. The Democrats voted yes as a parliamentary move in order to achieve compromises to make the act less restrictive on civil liberties and in order to have the sunset provisions included. An argument could definately be made that they made for a poor opposition party on this matter. However in considering individual candidates for president what matters is their own views on civil liberties, not whether they participated with their party on what might have been a poor compromise.

  15. 15
    Tom Paine says:

    Ron said: Keep in mind that Fox News is on cable, not broadcast so the situation is quite different with regards to licensure of broadcast channels.

    It may be different but it is still regulated by the FCC, for example the regulation of cable rates. All this is not to say that this is a good thing.

    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cablerates.html

    Ron said: Both of these lead to matters of significance. Paul is right on Iraq not because he understands the specific problems with this war but because he has opposed every war.

    The specific problem with the war was that is was unnecessary. The two major conflicts in my lifetime as a citizen have been the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Both have been disasters for the US, divided the country, and were unnecessary. As for whether he has opposed every war, I can’t say, but there are some people who are opposed to violence as a means to solving problems and include Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. I’m not one of them but I respect their view.

    Ron said: His denial of evolution and lack of understanding of science further suggest a lack of ability to come to rational decisions about the world, as is also seen in his belief in conspiracy theories.

    Your key word is ‘suggest.’ Just because someone denies evolution doesn’t necessary mean that they do not make rational decisions; just as someone who believes in evolution doesn’t necessary mean that they will makes rational decisions.

    Ron said: The manner in which he places his religious beliefs over modern science is also reflected in his denial of separation of church and state and his support of measurs such as an amendment to legalize school prayer.

    You have to be more specific here. I think that some people mistake that his particular vote is a no to a solution by federal law. That is, just because someone is against having the federal government do something doesn’t mean they don’t want that thing done. To be more specific, just because he is against federal marijuana laws doesn’t mean he wants you to smoke marijuana.

    Ron said: You are also misleading with regards to the views of the Democrats. Leaving the possibility open of having some residual troops (which is not the same as saying they will do so) is reasonable considering it is true that we don’t know the situation. What is important is that they realize what a mistake the war was (and preferably opposed it as Obama did). It is also important that the next president realizes we cannot achieve a military victory. A diplomatic settlement is needed which will hopefully include the rapid withdraw of all US troops but at this time it is understandable that a candidate might not want to totally take the possibility of some remaining off the table.

    I didn’t mean to be misleading. But they can call it what they want, phased withdrawal, redeployment etc. But Clinton, Edwards, and Obama would not commit to a full withdrawal of troops “by the end of their first term, saying in a televised debate here that they could not predict the future challenges in Iraq.” Since the war was unnecessary, having any troops in Iraq compounds the problems for the Iraqi people since polls show that a majority of the Iraqi people want the US out.

    Link

    Ron said: Your comments on the Patriot Act are also misleading. The Democrats voted yes as a parliamentary move in order to achieve compromises to make the act less restrictive on civil liberties and in order to have the sunset provisions included. An argument could definately be made that they made for a poor opposition party on this matter. However in considering individual candidates for president what matters is their own views on civil liberties, not whether they participated with their party on what might have been a poor compromise.

    I didn’t mean to mislead, I just read their voting record. You can’t compromise liberty and you can’t compromise with Bush and Cheney. That should be clear by now and I think Chris Dodd finally realizes that.

    Cheers and Have a Great New Year.

    Tom

  16. 16
    Eric Dondero says:

    Ron, I respectfully, but forcefully disagree with your characterization of Ron Paul’s statements at that debate on the War in Iraq.

    Ron, Ron Paul was given the chance by Wendell Goler to correct and revise his first set of remarks. Goler said, “Congressman, surely you’re not blaming the United States for the attacks…” Paul took the opportunity to talk more about “Blowback” and the Saudis.

    All he had to do was to say simply, “No Wendell, I’m not blaming the US…” And continue on with his rant.

    But he didn’t!

    And for that he should be called on the carpet at the very least. I’d prefer to see him castigated for badmouthing his own country.

    40 or 50 years ago, they would have brought up on charges of treason people like Paul, for a lot less.

    But of course, it’s just one more example of the wussification of America. Today we coddle those who badmouth America and in some corners even praise them.

    How disgusting.

    Eric Dondero, Veteran
    United States Navy
    1981-85

    USS Kittyhawy CV-63 & USS Luce DDG-38

    Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    Yes, it is clear why you see Rudy Giuliani as desirable.

  18. 18
    Ken says:

    The “powers that be” are both Republican and Democrat and Ron Paul is the only one of all the major candidates (of either party) that is the odd one out. That should be enough for anyone who is tired of the status quo. Vote Ron Paul for change. If you want things to stay the same, just throw a dart at their pictures on the wall becuase it wont matter.

    Ken
    http://www.LaserGuidedLoogie.com

  19. 19
    G. Ashleigh Moody says:

    Dear New Hampshire Republican Party,

    I just saw on CNN that you are working hard to election fairness in reference to Fox new’s exclusion of Ron Paul. Thank you!, Thank you!

    Keep the heat on Fox News and don’t give in if they are hard headed. We don’t need what is viewed as their 3rd World type politics in our American system.

    This is a clip a a Richmond, Virginia protest of the Fox News decision which is felt to be biased and un-American!:

    NBC 12 website (article and video: http://www.nbc12.com/news/state/13037447.html

    What do the American people think nationally:
    A recent poll showed an overwhelming number of Americans who think Fox News is wrong for their bigotry. 72% of about 58,000 Americans polled here at this poll feel that Fox is wrong:

    http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/01/03/hot-seat-paul-excluded-from-fox-debate/

    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

1 Trackbacks

Leave a comment