CNN has the right to invite whoever they want to New Hampshire for their first Republican candidates debate but their failure to invite former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is a mistake. Johnson provides a breath of fresh air to a mostly boring and predictable GOP field. As a governor he actually implemented small government reforms before it was cool, unlike some of the current tea party darlings. Johnson is barely a blip in the polls but it's not like guys like Rick Santorum and Herman Cain are doing much better with less than nine months to go.
According to Reason, Johnson has actually met CNN's requirements for entry into the debate.
At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in April. At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in May. An average of at least 2.00% support in the two May polls of New Hampshire voters by the UNH Survey Center.
With Johnson's exclusion we'll probably be subjected to the same song and dance from the invited candidates, excluding Ron Paul, about how Obama is a European style socialist bent on destroying the the American family. The first debate in South Carolina had some of that too but at least Johnson and Paul were there to make it interesting. Libertarians are more welcome in the GOP right now than they have been at any time in the last 15 years so it shouldn't be surprising there are two running for president with the elephant flag. Hopefully future debates recognize this fact.
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