Fox News to Host ‘Candidate Forum’ Before GOP Primary Debate

For candidates "who do not qualify for the primetime GOP primary debate."

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 11.24.41 AMIt’s not easy being “fair and balanced” when you have as many GOP candidates running in 2016 as horses in the Kentucky Derby. So, what to do?

It appears Fox News has come up with a solution: a “candidate forum.” Ahead of their first Republican presidential primary debate coverage on August 6, 2015, Fox will host a 90-minute forum for candidates “who do not qualify for the primetime GOP primary debate.”

Several GOP candidates have recently complained about Fox’s decision not to have more than 10 candidates on a stage for the debate, including Rick Santorum, who called the move “arbitrary” and “not legitimate.” He didn’t call out Fox directly, but simply referred to the company as “the media.”

“As we noted when we first announced the debate criteria, our intention has always been to provide coverage to the wide field of Republican candidates and we are glad to present these details today,” said Michael Clemente, Fox News’ executive vp of news editorial.

Below is the criteria for forum participation, as announced by Clemente:

  • Must meet all U.S. Constitutional requirements; and
  • Must announce and register a formal campaign for president; and
  • Must file all necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and
  • Must score 1% or higher in an average of the five most recent national polls, as recognized by FOX News leading up to August 4th at 5 p.m. ET. Such polling must be conducted by major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques.

The forum, taking place at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland from 1-3 p.m. ET on FNC, will be moderated by America’s Newsroom co-anchors Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum.