The criteria for who would be invited was for each candidate to be at the 5% threshold in the RealClearPolitics.com 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination average at 1:00 p.m. on August 23rd. Texas Governor Rick Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and businessman Herman Cain have all agreed to attend. The only declared candidate who meets the criteria who declined the invitation to participate was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Frank Cannon, President of American Principles Project noted the value of this type of forum, “With the candidates being questioned one-on-one by panelists closely in touch with the grassroots, we think this event will go to the heart of the issues that concern the American people.”
Senator DeMint said that this type of venue will allow the panelists “to engage candidates in a fair and meaningful way instead of forcing sound bite answers to complex issues.” Congressman King added, “To drill down beyond the stump speeches is vital in the nomination process.”
So it begs the question, why is Governor Romney skipping out? Does he not believe that South Carolina voters (and beyond) are worthy of a more extensive interview? You’d think that since he has been bumped out of his frontrunner status that he would jump at this opportunity. Perhaps he’s afraid to get beyond sound bite answers on topics related to our founding principles? South Carolina, don’t worry you’re in good company with Iowans who don’t seem to be worthy of his time and attention either.