Johnson Rips 'Elitist' CNN for GOP Debate Snub

'I've had my teeth kicked in,' says former NM governor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2011 3:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Gary Johnson won't be joining other Republican hopefuls for CNN's debate next week, and he's hopping mad about it. The libertarian former New Mexico governor, who took part in the Fox News-sponsored GOP debate last month, says CNN is being "elitist" by not inviting him because of his low poll numbers. Johnson hasn't reached CNN's requirement of polling 2% either nationwide or in New Hampshire. Campaign officials note that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton each only polled 1% at this stage in their campaigns.

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"Why is a successful two-term governor and a proven job creator being excluded from the June 13th debate for low polling numbers, at a stage in the campaign when poll numbers are merely a measure of name recognition rather than real potential?" asks an ad from the Johnson campaign, which urges supporters to pressure CNN to let Johnson join the debate. "Up until now I’ve had faith in the process, but now I’ve had my teeth kicked in,” Johnson tells Politico. “If this is how it goes, I’m going to leave this whole thing very jaded.” (Read more New Mexico stories.)

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