In an announcement on the Fox Business Network show “Lou Dobbs Tonight”, Republican Presidential contenders Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie have been scratched from the main line-up of Tuesday’s debate.
Both Christie and Huckabee have been slipping in the polls in recent weeks.
Huckabee tried to brush off the snub by Fox as no big deal in a statement released Thursday.
“I’m happy to debate anyone, anywhere, anytime,” he said. “Washington is stealing from seniors, punching American workers in the gut, and bankrupting our kids and grandkids. I refuse to let that stand.”
Christie made a similar statement, trying to seem aloof.
“It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues like this,” he said.
Fox Business Network used national polling to formulate their main debate line-up and the undercard for less popular candidates like Huckabee and Christie.
Perhaps most displeased with Fox’s polling are South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and former New York Governor George Pataki. Both men failed to achieve the 1 percent minimum to qualify for the undercard debate and will therefore miss out on the night all together.
“Regardless of this decision tonight, Senator Graham continues to be the foremost expert on foreign policy and national security in this field of candidates, on either stage,” Christian Ferry, the campaign manager, said.
Ferry added, “In the end, the biggest loser tonight is the American people and the Republican presidential primary process that has been hijacked by news outlets.”
Pataki had similar words of derision for Fox.
“Running for the most important leadership position in the world shouldn’t be reduced to the level of ‘American Idol’ or ‘Survivor,’ ” Pataki said in a statement.
[New York Times]