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Commission on Presidential Debates Announces Results of Candidate Selection Process

Paul G. Kirk, Jr. and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., Co-chairrnen of the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates, today issued the following statement.

"The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has just concluded its scheduled meeting where we considered the recommendation of our independent Advisory Committee on the question of whether any independent or third-party candidate qualifies to be invited to participate in the 1996 presidential and vice presidential debates to be sponsored by the CPD. The Commission unanimously agreed with the unanimous reconunendation of our independent Advisory Committee that only President Clinton and Senator Dole and their running mates be invited to participate.

"Our decision and that of our Advisory Committee was made on the basis that only President Clinton and Senator Dole have a realistic chance, as set forth in our criteria, to be elected the next President. The application of the criteria to Mr. Perot and other third-party or independent candidates did not result in a finding that any of them has a 'realistic' chance to win election. As we have consistently indicated publicly, participation is not extended to candidates because they might prove interesting or entertaining. The purpose of the CPD is to bringg before the American people, in an unvarnished debate format, those candidates from whom the American people actually will choose the next President and Vice President of the United States."

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