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Fox News Ignores Ron Paul, Angers Supporters

Posted on 1/8/2008 2:08:00 PM

Fox News Channel, last week, restricted the number of presidential candidates who were invited to the debates before the New Hampshire primary. Among those left out was Ron Paul—a fact that has angered supporters of the Republican candidate. Fox News cited a space crunch in its studio as the reason for not including Paul in the debate.

Fox has called upon five presidential candidates from the GOP to a forum with Chris Wallace, to be held in New Hampshire, on Sunday. They include Arizona Senator John McCain, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Paul, and Republican Duncan Hunter of California, was amongst those who were not invited.

Fox cited limited room in its studio as the reason for not including Paul. The news channel explained that the candidates were chosen on the basis of who had won double-digit support in the recent polls.

A national poll conducted on December 14-20 by The Associated Press and Yahoo, showed Thompson as having the support of 11 percent of GOP voters. In comparison, Paul lagged behind at a mere 3 percent. A CNN/Opinion Research poll, conducted earlier in December, put Paul at 6 percent.

However, in a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in New Hampshire, Paul shared the fifth place with Thompson, with support of four percent of likely voters. Among New Hampshire voters, Paul led Thompson 6 percent to 4 percent, though it came within the poll's margin of error.

Jesse Benton, Paul's spokesman, called Paul's non-inclusion in the polls a "big mistake". He also said that Fox News had not responded to the campaign's call for an explanation. "Ron brings up some topics that aren't very popular with Fox News, as in fiscal responsibility and withdrawing from the war in Iraq, " Benton said, adding, "...that does leave us scratching our heads a little bit about whether it was deliberate."
Livid Paul supporters of Paul have, meanwhile, started sending out e-mails calling for a boycott of Fox advertisers.

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