CNN allows Rick Perry to participate in debate, despite not qualifying


CNN has allowed to let Rick Perry participate in the CNN debate to be held in South Carolina on Jan. 19 despite reports the Texas Governor failed to qualify, according to CNN and Perry spokespersons.

“Yes, Gov. Perry will be invited to next week’s CNN debate,” said Edie Emery, Turner Broadcasting Systems public relations director, in an email to Talking Points Memo. “He has met the criteria.” 

Emery did not mention which criteria he has qualified for and the report from TPM itself said Perry was not able to meet even one requirement to participate in the CNN debate.

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Perry campaign spokesperson Katherine Cesinger also told TPM in an e-mail: “Wanted to let you know that yes, we are planning on participating in the debate.”

A Republican presidential candidate has four ways to qualify to participate in the debate, according to CNN’s criteria for the Southern GOP presidential debate posted last Tuesday.

A candidate must rank in the top four slots in either the Iowa Caucus or New Hampshire Primary. Another option is if the candidate scored an average of at least 7%in at least three national or South Carolina polls released in January.

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TPM reported how Perry technically does not qualify for the CNN debate:

“Perry came in fifth place in Iowa, and sixth in New Hampshire. And currently, his national and South Carolina poll numbers do not show him meeting that threshold, either.

In only one national poll so far in January, from Reuters, is Perry at 7% support. He is not yet at 7% in any January poll from South Carolina, with him often charting just shy of that at 5% or 6%.”

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