Rick Santorum and the Palmetto Freedom Forum



imageAs the Iowa Director of the American Principles Project, I’m very proud that our organization is hosting the Palmetto Freedom Forum Debate on Labor Day, Monday, September 5.  It will be broadcast on Townhall.com and CNN at 2:00 PM (CST)/3:00 PM (EST).

Since announcing the lineup of candidates attending, however, supporters of Rick Santorum and at least one blogger have questioned the fairness and objectivity of our organization due to their frustration that Senator Santorum did not receive an invite.

American Principles Project put out a press release earlier today that reiterated the criteria for receiving an invitation:

The criteria set for invitation was at or above the 5 percent threshold in the RealClearPolitics.com  2012 Republican Presidential Nomination average at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22,  and therefore all qualified for invitations to the Labor Day afternoon event.  Santorum did not meet this minimum criteria. 

Mr. Gringrich, Mr. Cain, and every other candidate invited did have 5 percent or higher average on August 22 at 1:00 p.m.

Senator Santorum and his campaign did not complain about the criteria when announced many weeks prior to August 22 date.

The American Principles Project’s Iowa office has interacted with every presidential candidate by inviting them to meet with our Advisory Board to discuss issues and by inviting them to speaking engagements on our Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour.  Senator Santorum, among other candidates, has accepted these invitations more than once this year, and we hope he, along with the other candidates, accepts our future invitations.

I was disappointed to see The Iowa Republican and Santorum staffers inferring that APP or anyone involved in the Freedom Forum debate in S.C. are acting subjectively as "gatekeepers" or purposefully including or excluding anyone based on anything other than objective criteria. We have nothing but respect for the Senator and hope his supporters educate themselves on the facts surrounding Monday’s debate and the American Principles Project (just call and ask us!) before making false statements.

Photo by Dave Davidson 

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  • JamieJohnson

    Ha! Your “response” misses the WHOLE POINT of Craig’s article! Jim DeMint and Steve King have surrendered the INTELLECTUAL BATTLE GROUND on which the Conservative Movement has always been fought — namely, the UNFILTERED ARENA OF IDEAS, not on the synthetic “made-for-television” debates or the shallow public opinion polls conducted by NY and DC media outlets. Also, there are TWO FACTS that overrule your entire argument: (1) Their invitation to RUDY GIULIANI, and (2) the fact that Rick Santorum was LEADING the Conservative Movement in Congress before anyone ever HEARD of Steve King or Jim DeMint.  

    • Eric

      The point is that no debate wants a stage so full of candidates that no substance can come out because of time constraints. And no matter how you choose candidates, the candidates’ who don’t make it will always feel slighted. It would be one thing if you and Craig simply said “they made a mistake choosing that criteria.” In my opinion, the posting on the subject has gone past this and wasn’t appropriate. You mention Santorum’s history and leadership on issues which are very true. Should subjective measures like that have been considered? How much more criticism would we have gotten for not being objective?

      I really like Santorum and have a lot of respect for you and Craig. If I was running for office, I’d be honored to have you guys in my corner. I simply believe the criticism of APP, DeMint, and Kijg is over-the-top and reactionary in this case. Where was the criticism weeks ago when the criterion was announced?

  • http://www.theiowarepublican.com Craig Robinson

    Do you realize that four years ago at this time Mike Huckabee’s Real Clear Politics National Poll Average was 3.7 percent?

    Also, I find it sad that you said you lost respect my Jamie and me.  Nothing I wrote was personal.  I simply stated my opinion, one that you disagree with. 

    There are a few reasons why I didn’t writer about the criteria when it was announced. 

    One:  I had voiced my concern with King staff for weeks before yesterday’s article.

    Two: This event was almost postponed because of a lack of candidate participation.  Not until Perry announced did Bachmann and Romney choose to participate.

    Three: I was focused on the campaign in Iowa.

    • Eric

      Craig – I have not lost respect for you and couldn’t find anything in what I wrote that says otherwise. Nothin’ but love coming from me. :)

      I was/am disappointed with the tone and especially with Jamie’s “SHAME!” campaign on social networks but respect you both and appreciate your work for the cause.

      Good point about Huckabee. What was the alternative when objectivity was the goal? Why use words like Gatekeeper when, as a team of individuals, they came up with a system that simply didn’t work out for Santorum? What system wouldn’t elicit similar criticism from someone who wasn’t included?