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Gingrich, Paul, Santorum Accept Texas GOP Debate Invite

Gingrich, Paul, Santorum Accept Texas GOP Debate Invite

March 30, 2012

AUSTIN - Late last week, State GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri issued an invitation to all four Republican Presidential candidates to come to Texas for a nationally-televised debate in May.

Today, Chairman Munisteri issued the following statement regarding the invitation. "It has been one of my goals as Chairman to find ways to increase Texas' influence in the Republican Presidential primary process. I have long been frustrated that the voices of Texas Republicans have been minimized by the current primary calendar. The decision by a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio to twice delay our primary until May 29th only increases the importance of trying to find ways to maximize Texas' influence. I believe that a May debate before the Texas & California Primaries (the largest delegate blocs in the country with 155 and 172, respectively), will maximize the attention paid to our state. Consequently, I have been working hard to arrange for such a debate to occur here in Texas."

Munisteri continued, "Today, I am happy to report that I have a commitment of a major television outlet to televise such a debate, if all the candidates show up. There is a significant chance that they will televise the debate even if we are lacking only one candidate. We already have commitments from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Senator Rick Santorum to participate in such a debate. Both my staff and myself have reached out to the campaign of Governor Mitt Romney and have been told that they are considering attending the debate."

"I am disappointed that Governor Romney has not yet committed to attending an official Republican Party of Texas event," said Chairman Munisteri. "This debate will not only benefit the State Party (and in turn, help our entire ticket) but it will also allow the RPT to showcase to the entire nation how Texas is a great Republican state. I believe it is important that whoever heads our national ticket pay attention to our state. We are the largest Republican state in the nation. Texas Republicans have contributed over $40 million to the Republican National Committee over the last eight years and have given millions of dollars to numerous national candidates including Governor Romney. I think it would be disrespectful to all Texas Republicans for a candidate not to attend. Our national candidates need to know that Texas Republicans have long felt ignored by the Republican Presidential primary process as the Presidential races in recent past have been substantially over before our Texas Primary. Attendance at this debate will be seen as a recognition of Texas' importance to the Republican Party, and in some small measure - it will help make up for the past lack of attention paid to our state. I believe that failure to show up at this debate will be viewed by many Texas Republicans as a lack of interest in our state and our State Party. I am hopeful that Governor Romney will show that Texas is important to him by accepting our invitation, and this weekend, I am asking the State Republican Executive Committee to pass a resolution during the Spring Quarterly SREC meeting which requests Governor Romney to accept our debate invitation. I would urge all Texas Republicans to let Governor Romney know how important it is that he accept our invitation by using social media, emailing or calling his campaign."

http://www.texasgop.org/posts/253-gingrich-paul-santorum-acc...

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This can only help, right?

I can't imagine why anyone but Romney would say no to this, and even Romney could try to use it to question why the other candidates are staying in - or to try to build Republican unity, which is badly needed for the GOP at this point.

"Chairman Munisteri also commented on the current Presidential race, noting: "In looking at the delegate math - this race is far from over. There is a wide discrepancy between what the Republican National Committee reports as the count of bound, committed delegates, and the count reported by the national press. The RNC official delegate count indicates that no candidate has achieved 50% of the delegates chosen to date, let alone 50% of the total number of overall delegates. I view it as next to impossible for any candidate to wrap up 50% of the committed delegates necessary for a first-ballot nomination before the May 29th Texas Primary.""

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