Atlanta, GA – With the recent proposal of Senator John McCain to postpone the first presidential debate, it is clear that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has no authority.
"For the past several elections, candidates have used the CPD as an official buffer to keep competition out of the two-party presidential contest," says Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr. "McCain publicly proved with his announcement what we've been saying all along: The candidates call the shots as to when to debate, where to debate and who to debate."
Barr continued, "Given Senator McCain's political stunt to avoid the debate, I ask that Friday's debate moves forward without him, as I am more than willing to step in to participate."
In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan chose to debate John Anderson, one-on-one, without Jimmy Carter.
In the 1992 election, George H.W. Bush demanded the inclusion of H. Ross Perot in all three presidential debates.
"It's time that at least one of the two leading presidential candidates show leadership and provide the American public an opportunity to witness an open and fair debate, based upon substance and issues rather than sound bites and rhetoric," concluded Barr.
On Wednesday, Russell Verney, Barr's campaign manager, sent a letter to both the Commission on President Debates (view letter) and the Obama campaign (view letter) asking for Barr to be included in Friday’s debate. In his letter to the CPD, Verney wrote that including Barr in the debate would allow them to proceed as planned, noting that “Congressman Barr’s participation will provide a substantive and vigorous debate of the issues facing our nation.”
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.