The Michele Bachmann campaign is furious at CBS News this morning, following the foreign policy debate held last night. The reason? The campaign volunteered Bachmann to appear on the post-debate webcast, and (just announced) CBS News political director John Dickerson–apparently unaware a Bachmann staffer was on the email chain–responded in a way that suggested that Bachmann would be getting fewer questions than other candidates, and that they should hold out for a better candidate on the webcast.
“Okay let’s keep it loose though since she’s not going to get many questions and she’s nearly off the charts in the hopes that we can get someone else,” Dickerson wrote.
On Bachmann’s Facebook page, her campaign manager Keith Nahigian said:
While Michele has been onstage at tonight’s debate demonstrating strong leadership on foreign policy and national security, we received concrete evidence confirming what every conservative already knows – the liberal mainstream media elites are manipulating the Republican debates by purposely suppressing our conservative message and limiting Michele’s questions.
Bachmann’s campaign wasn’t alone. The Ron Paul campaign complained that their candidate received only 90 seconds to speak during the entire debate.
CBS News responded by saying that Bachmann’s low polling numbers justified the response:
“It was a candid exchange about the reality of the circumstances–Bachmann remains at 4% in the polls,” said a CBS News spokesperson.
Dickerson agreed, saying “Bachmann is at 4 percent in the polls and has been for a while.”
He added: “Other candidates aren’t. I sent an email based on that.”