Fox News Sets Criteria for First GOP Debate

By Chris Ariens 

Fox News Channel isn’t letting just anyone into the South Carolina Republican Party debate in three weeks. They’ve set up a criteria that all participants must meet. “Every potential debate candidate must meet all six steps of the following criteria no later than 5pmET on Friday April 29th in order to be eligible for participation in the debate,” says Senior Vice President Michael Clemente.

  • Must register a presidential exploratory committee or have announced a formal campaign for president; and
  • Must file all necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC); and
  • Must file all necessary paperwork with the South Carolina Republican Party; and
  • Must have paid all federal and South Carolina filing fees; and
  • Must meet all U.S. Constitutional requirements; and
  • Must have garnered at least an average of one percent in five national polls based on most recent polling leading up to April 29th, 2011

Not being on the Fox News payroll is another criteria, which the network has already taken steps to deal with. The May 5 debate in Greenville is the first of two debates FOX is presenting in partnership with the South Carolina GOP. The second will be held ahead of the South Carolina primary next year.