Nader, Buchanan Excluded From Debates

ByABC News
September 26, 2000, 5:52 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 26 -- The bipartisan commission organizing next weeks presidential and vice-presidentialdebates decided today to exclude all minor candidates andinvited only Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush andtheir running mates to participate.

As a result, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, ReformParty hopeful Pat Buchanan and a number of other third partycandidates will not be able to participate.

The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates hadpreviously announced the debates would be open only tocandidates on the ballot in enough states to theoretically winthe election and with around 15 percent support in publicopinion polls.

Seven Days

Of this group, solely George Bush and Al Gore were foundto have achieved the criterias requisite level of support inthe selected national public opinion polls, the commissionsaid in a statement.

Nader and Buchanan have vigorously protested against thecommissions criteria, saying they were intended to stifletheir views and prevent them from presenting themselves tovoters.

The first presidential debate takes place next Tuesday inBoston and the only vice-presidential debate in Danville,Ky., two days later.

The commission said it would meet again Oct. 8 toconsider the poll situation before issuing invitations for thefinal two presidential debates, scheduled for Oct. 11 and Oct.17.