Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, lamenting the fact that some candidates are skipping the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina tonight, stresses in an Op-Ed piece at thedailycaller.com
that the debate is incredibly important.
|Tim Pawlenty: "I only hope that it’s not too late." (Getty Images Photo)
Pawlenty is the only top-tier candidate who will appear in the debate. Former Massachusetts Gov, Mitt Romney, who has formed a committee to raise money and explore a possible run, is skipping the event. Four other potential candidates who score well in early opinion polls — Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, and Newt Gingrich — have made no move to run.
The debate's co-sponsors, Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party, decided to go forward despite the no-shows.
"Our job is not to marshal the field but to take stock of the field by asking the hard questions of those who decide to get in the race," said Michael Clemente, vice president of news at Fox.
Joining Pawlenty at the debate will be U.S. Rep, Ron Paul, former Sen, Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and former Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain.
Pawlenty writes at dailycaller.com: "Some candidates are skipping tonight’s Republican debate in South Carolina because they believe it’s 'too soon' to begin the presidential campaign against Barack Obama. I only hope that it’s not too late.
"After two and a half years of Barack Obama’s presidency, nearly one in five American workers are consistently unable to find full employment, our national debt continues to skyrocket, and inflating energy and food prices are eating away at families’ budgets.
"We can do better. But first we need a new president — which is why tonight’s Republican debate is so important."
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