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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