Fred Karger, the openly gay candidate seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for president, is trying to get invited to the June 13 CNN debate in Manchester, N.H.
The first debate was held in South Carolina and was sponsored by Fox, which chose not to invite Karger because the network claimed he didn’t meet its criteria. One requirement was that each participant poll at least 1 percent in five polls. But Karger does poll that high in polls by Zogby, Fox News, CNN, ABC/Washington Post and CNN.
Among Karger’s other claims to legitimacy are the fact that he has raised four times the minimum amount seen as the Federal Election Commission’s threshold to be considered a serious candidate.
Karger was the first to run statewide commercials in New Hampshire. He was the first to be interviewed on BBC’s HardTalk. He has strong student support. In a New Hampshire straw poll, he beat Mitt Romney by 2 percent.
Karger says he’s the only moderate running and claims to have more political experience than any of the other candidates. Karger worked for Ronald Reagan beginning with his first campaign.
Karger wrote a letter to CNN and co-sponsors WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader.
“I have yet to receive an invitation,” he said.
Unlike Fox, which made its eligibility requirements public and still excluded Karger even though he met them, CNN isn’t disclosing them. If he’s not included, we’ll never officially know that CNN just doesn’t want to include the gay guy with moderate views who can embarrass the rest of the fine Republican field.