Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum have taken the stage in Tampa, Florida for the Tea Party Express/CNN debate. Moderator Wolf Blitzer announced that all 8 GOP presidential candidates were on stage. But they aren't . . . where's Buddy?
The Times-Picayune reports, "CNN announced that [Buddy] Roemer was not among invitees to its Sept. 12 debate in Tampa, co-sponsored with Tea Party Express, because he did not rate well enough in the polls, even though they invited New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, though neither is now a candidate for president."
Buddy Roemer is eminently qualified. He's the former Louisiana governor and congressman. He also successfully ran a community bank. Sure, he might not be too well known these days, but he should be! Is he any less qualified to be president than the one term governor of Massachusetts (Romney), a former Obama administration diplomat (Huntsman), a congressman from Minnesota (Bachmann), or a CEO from Atlanta (Cain)? Certainly not.
In addition to his impressive experience, he's just been making a lot of sense on the campaign trail. Consider his statement today, calling on President Obama to fire Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of the
Roemer was not invited to participate in this evening's debate because he has not polled well enough to meet CNN's threshold. Indeed, he has not met the threshold (so far!) to participate in any of the primary debates.
UPDATE: While Roemer might not have been in attendance, his spirit was well represented by former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich: