[Update] Note----The DEBATE is on the 10th, the Fox "event" is a forum, not a debate so all of this has been a hyped up, trumped up lie from the beginning that has done nothing but make Paul and his supporters look very bad.
[Update] 1/1/08- Follow up on this piece can be found here.
According to an AP report, on January 6, 2008, the New Hampshire Republican Party is sponsoring a forum for Republican presidential candidates.
It will be a 90 minute forum, airing live at 8 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and on Fox News Radio, and unlike a debate the candidates, which have been listed as Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, will be answering questions from Chris Wallace around a table in a studio on the campus of St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H.
Fox, and the New Hampshire Republican Party, has not announced why Ron Paul is not on that list from the AP report.
Ron Paul has collected massive amounts of money as shown here and here, but according to Rasmussen, that has not translated into double digit polling numbers as money sometimes does.
With just days to go before the unpredictable Iowa caucuses, it’s Rudy Giuliani 19% , Mike Huckabee 17%, Mitt Romney 14%, John McCain 14%, and Fred Thompson at 13% (see recent daily numbers). Ron Paul currently attracts 6% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide.
This leaves key questions for Fox and the New Hampshire Republican Party to answer publicly.
Did they exclude Paul?
If so, why did they exclude Ron Paul from the forum?
If it is because of his polling numbers being in the single digits despite his monetary gains from his supporters, it would, perhaps be understandable.
The Ron Paul website has issued a press release stating:
According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.
“Given Ron Paul’s support in New Hampshire and his recent historic fundraising success, it is outrageous that Dr. Paul would be excluded,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. “Dr. Paul has consistently polled higher in New Hampshire than some of the other candidates who have been invited.”
Snyder continued, “Paul supporters should know that we are continuing to make inquiries with Fox News as to why they have apparently excluded Dr. Paul from this event.”
Other sites supporting Ron Paul are trying to organize efforts to protest this decision although barring any communication with the New Hampshire Republican Party and Fox, no one but the AP has listed those attending the forum.
One of the ideas being thrown around on Daily Paul is to non violently "sabotage" the forum.
NON VIOLENT sabotage of the debate: Have people planted in the audience to disrupt proceedings. If we have 10 or so supporters in the hall - they could pipe up one at a time - one every six minutes or so - right while one of the others is speaking. Imagine, while Rudy is speaking, someone from the audience piping up: "Where is Ron Paul?" There would be commotion. The supporter would likely be arrested and thrown out of the hall. The proceedings would be disrupted. And just as things settle down, and a new question is asked, someone else does the same thing. It would bring proceedings to a standstill and make the point. This would have to be coordinated before hand. Protesters would have to be PEACEFUL and NON-VIOLENT, and willing to be arrested and take all consequences.
Other posters on Daily Paul seem to have cooler heads and are making it clear that Paul's supporters reflect on the candidate.
Remember the last time Dr. Paul was excluded from an event in Iowa? We were able to turn it to our advantage. There is a way to turn this to our advantage once again - we just have to figure out how. Stay calm and keep your composure. Before you do anything, think of how Dr. Paul would respond, and of how your actions will reflect on him, the campaign and all of us.
Freedom's Phoenix says that through "unnamed Republican sources", they have found out that the New Hampshire Republican Party is not responsible for Ron Paul being excluded as they encourage people to stop calling them by stating "However, the New Hampshire GOP and its Chairman Fergus Cullen, is getting targeted by Ron Paul supporters and IT IS NOT THEIR DOING. You have crashed their servers and melted their phone lines, and they are not responsible. Please stop immediately!"
Looking through the NHGOP press releases, I see no mention of any of this and nothing on the Fox site either.
The original AP report does not list any source, named or unnamed and the only mention of this from any official site is from the Ron Paul site itself, although the internet is full of the news on blogs in support of Ron Paul, forums and other websites.
This will be updated tomorrow as more word comes out.
Perhaps by then some official word will have come out one way or another.