The hot topic was immigration as the Republican candidates sparred and sparks flew in the ABC News, Facebook Debate.
While that debate was in progress, Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, who was excluded by ABC from the debate, held a forum/townhall meeting at the Radisson hotel in Manchester, New Hampsire.
Hunter was joined by former Senator Bob Smith, war hero General Chuck Yeager and, through a special telephone hook-up, by more than 3,900 New Hampshire residents.
The group discussed the fact that there were only three men in America who have Republican delegates for President, Hunter being one of them. Hunter, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney won delegates in the Wyoming caucus Saturday. Many were stunned that ABC excluded Hunter from participation in the debate.
New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen weighed in on the debate when ABC/Facebook excluded Hunter from Saturday night’s live broadcast. The network claimed Hunter lacked the support to be included in the broadcast.
Cullen said “Limiting the number of candidates who are invited to participate in debates is not consistent with the tradition of the first-in-the-nation primary. The level playing field requires that all candidates be given an equal opportunity to participate – not just a select few determined by the media prior to any votes being cast.”
Facebook, the domain of a college student movement, should tread carefully, promoting debates that exclude viable candidates. It should not make an appearance of selling out to corporate interests, a complete reversal from the image it wants to project.
Just as social site “Digg” once put it’s foot in its mouth, offending its network, Facebook may be on it’s way to doing the same.
After unsuccessful attempts to convince Fox and ABC to reconsider, Cullen announced New Hampshire GOP would no longer support the Republican forum scheduled for Sunday on FOX that has also excluded Hunter.
Hunter has been the leader on immigration reform. The townhall audience noted the fact that several other Republican candidates are now “speaking” Hunter’s positions on immigration. Hunter’s position for the last 20 years was quoted, almost verbatim, during the televised debate. Hunter, who built the double fence along the San Diego border is the only candidate that has actually taken action that resulted in securing our southern border.
Hunter supporters are sending requests to Fox News Channel to reinstate Hunter in tonight’s debate. Fox can be reached by calling 1-888-369-4762, extension 4, or (212) 301-3000, or emailing at [email protected] The Fox News Washington, D.C. telephone number is 202-824-6300.