A total of 14 candidates are slated to participate in the “Voters First Republican Presidential Forum” in New Hampshire on Monday Aug. 3, but Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will not be one of them.
The Donald decided to bow out of the forum following a sarcastic editorial that was published in the New Hampshire Union Leader last week.
Here is the opening paragraph from the offending editorial (“The real hero: Clearly it’s Trump over McCain”):
If anyone in America knows heroism, it is Donald Trump, veteran of the Ivy League, Studio 54 and countless harrowing entanglements with legions of gorgeous blondes. John McCain? If only he had Trump’s example to follow early in life.
The New Hampshire Union Leader is one of the co-sponsors of the “Voters First Forum.”
Candidate Trump bowed out because, an aide said, he was upset with an editorial this week that mocked him for saying that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero. McCain, shot down by the North Vietnamese, suffered years of torture after refusing to be released early because his father was an admiral.
The forum will take place in New Hampshire and be broadcast nationally on C-SPAN.
Joining Bush, Walker, Paul and Sen. Rubio will be Carly Fiorina, Govs. Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Chris Christie, former Govs. Rick Perry and George Pataki; U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, and Dr. Ben Carson.
Unlike the Fox polling bar, criteria for inclusion in the Voters First Forum are much broader and include active campaign operations with paid staff and local offices in the early states.
The Fox News debate scheduled for August 6 in Cleveland, OH, will include 10 candidates who will qualify based on national polls.
The top 8 candidates according to RealClearPolitics’ compilation of six current national polls are Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul.
Seven candidates, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, and Lindsey Graham, who are neck in neck in the polls, are vying for those two remaining spots.