Much has been made of the prospective Republican presidential candidates who declined to attend Thursday night’s debate in South Carolina. A focus group conducted by Frank Luntz in the aftermath highlighted voter anger at the perceived slight, and a section in the debate focused on the missing candidates made sure their presence was felt.
But not all the absent candidates weren’t there because they didn’t want to be.
Buddy Roemer, the former Governor of Louisiana who has formed an exploratory committee, was not in attendance because he did not meet the requirement of having gained at least one percent of the vote in five recent national polls. But not one to give up that easily, Roemer took to YouTube, posting videos of his response to each of the debate questions, standing at a podium in front of a “Roemer 2012” banner.
“Welcome to the debate,” said Roemer in the introduction. “I’m Buddy Roemer and I’m not in the debate. I wish I were.”
Roemer explained the reason why he hadn’t qualified for the debate, but promised, “we’ll make the next one.”
Sticking to his campaign line, Roemer predicted: “The most important issue in this campaign will not be discussed or asked tonight. I’ll tell you what it is: money in politics.” Nonetheless, he went on to answer each and every question asked by the Fox News moderators at the debate in Greenville in the videos that followed.