Libertarian Presidential Candidate Root to Debate on Fox Business Network on Friday

From the Root for America campaign:

Wayne Allyn Root will debate former United States Senator Mike Gravel on Fox Business Network on Friday May 16th. It is believed to be the first-ever Libertarian Presidential debate to be televised nationally, outside of C-Span coverage during the Libertarian convention. Former Congressman Bob Barr was invited to join the debate- but declined.

Root and Gravel will debate live for 20 minutes on Fox Business. The first round of the debate will take place from 8:10 AM to 8:20 AM EST (New York time). The second round of the debate will take place from 8:40 AM to 8:50 AM EST.

Wayne Root has also agreed to join Barr and Gravel live and in-person in Washington D.C. on Tuesday May 20, 2008 in a Libertarian Presidential debate hosted by Reason magazine. The Reason debate will start at 4 PM EST.

35 Responses to “Libertarian Presidential Candidate Root to Debate on Fox Business Network on Friday”

  1. G.E. Says:

    How embarrassing it’s going to be for Fox when neither of these men come within a mile of the nomination.

  2. Doug Craig Says:

    Does anyone know why barr declined? Also was anyone eles ask to the debates?

  3. Larry West Says:

    Note, this is the Fox Business Network, not the Fox News Network.
    Does anyone get the Fox Business Network? It’s not available on any level on our cable system.

  4. Disgruntled Says:

    That’s not a debate, it’s having two guests on the morning news at the same time. Yawn.

  5. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear

    The less we see of Bobarr the better. Or so it would seem he thinks. We hear he may be packing the convention with Republicans who are signing up since he announced.

    It would be nice to have a rule’s change that said you must declare six months out and be a member six months before the convention to have a vote. That would stop a lot of this nonsense.

    the committee
    ...if it acts like a chicken is it one? mean bobarr?...duh.

  6. Brian Miller Says:

    Is there a reason why George Phillies, Mary Ruwart, and Steve Kubby were not invited to (or at least are not participating in) the Reason debate?

  7. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear
    GE and Larry

    You are right “no one gets the Fox Business Network”. That’s why Fox spends millions to put it out there.

    Come on people get a life. You leach off the very people Fox Business is aimed at. LP wouldn’t exist without the business folks. They are people who pay the frieght and who do a lot of the real heavy work. Volunteers and activist are also very important and are most dedicated to the cause but when you dump on business people you are just showing how socialist oriented you are.

    Show some respect for the people who carry your load. Starting writing those $1,000 checks folks. Then bitch.

    the committee
    ...they don’t get it do they?... No and probably won’t either…some level of libertarianism must include socialism….a lot of the TPW purist think so.

  8. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear

    Is there a reason Phillies, Ruwart, and Kubby are not invited to the Reason Magazine debate? Yes. Tom Knapp.

    the committee
    ....yep he’s helped them all…and made us look good too.

  9. Conspiracy Theorist Says:

    Gravel and Root are not going to get the nomination and both would attract unsavory characters. Root is going to attract hawkish voters who will scoff at the real nominee’s foreign non-intervention. Gravel is going to attract economic socialist who will scoff at the Libertarian’s economic non-intervention. Neither are very good for the party.

    As far as getting out the LP brand. Twenty minutes of debate split up into ten minute chunks at 8 in the morning on FOX business channel will not bring exposure. Most people do not order FOX business. They may be trying to attract subscribers with this debate and the increase in coverage they have given to Ron Paul’s economic platform. At least Libertarians can brag that they have made more progress with Rupert Murdock than liberals. One day we might even be on FOX News.

  10. Live Free or Choke Says:

    Barr has ducked every debate outside Europe this year, why should he change his stealth strategy this close to the prize? I sat through my state LP convention filled with Republican ringers many years ago. I stopped my state participation, no attendances or cash from me, since that day.

    All campaigns and true LP members in the interest of fairness and integrity need to stop this crooked BULLS#%^ of PACKING the convention with ringers on Barr and his peoples part. SHAME on you crooked SOBs for attempting this outrageous crap!

  11. Ross Says:

    Look, if you’ve seen my other comments I am not a negative person, and I really try to back every third party/independent candidate I can. But I see something I don’t like in Bob Barr. He plays the same politics as the Democrats and Republicans. He is keeping out of the eye of Libertarians, it seems, so as not to keep them informed (why else would he join this late?). He is trying to keep them in the dark so they don’t question him and only nominate him based on instincts and misinformation. That is the strategy major party candidates use - why do you think debates are so uninformative and exclusionary?

    Not to mention that whole thing with the Bob Barr PAC

  12. ElfNinosMom Says:

    Committee and Live Free, where did you get the information that Barr is bringing in Republican ringers? If you prefer not to state it publicly, click on my name to take you to LFV; my email address is in the right-hand column, third item down under “hot tip”.

    If true it is a very, very serious problem which must be addressed immediately.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Live Free or Choke:

    “PACKING the convention with ringers on Barr”

    Highly unlikely. Most convention delegates had likely been selected before Barr announced his exploratory committee; and of the few that hadn’t been, most of them had been selected by the time he actually announced. If he wanted to pack the convention he should have announced a year ago, arranged for his “ringers” to go to LP state conventions and stand for selection as delegates, and if necessary subsidized their travel to Denver.

    I keep my ear pretty close to the ground, and I haven’t detected so much as a rumble of any Barr convention-packing operation. I have my suspicions about one other candidate, particularly in one state, but I don’t think that will be decisive even if true.

  14. Committee for Clarity Says:

    To be clear

    Seems Tom is now a Barr apologist. What Barr should have done is pretty remote from what he has done. We heard it from a reliable source and we continue to track the development. It could be an isolated case. We hope so.

    We suggest the purist faction start thinking a premptive strike with Root on the first round or accept Barr as your nominee. Maybe the lesser of two evils…seems politics always boils down to that doesn’t it. But in this case the radicals, as we refer to them here, are not strong enough to get the job done on the first ballot. it appears that Barr and Root are pretty much in a dead heat at this point with neither in a position to take the first ballot but close enough. If Root or Barr either one fall to a distant second or a third place the surge to the other will give them the nomination. This won’t go three rounds. That’s how we read the tea leaves.

    We’ve just heard now from a hand full of states that there may be a packing effort trying to happen. We define it as new to the party members requesting to be delegates.

    the committee.

  15. Live Free or Choke Says:

    Look at CfC post above, that led to my post. I know how delegate selection use to be 15 to 20 years ago and it probably hasn’t changed much since. HOWEVER, I also know that all delegates don’t make it and some states allow people (current LP members, for how long?who knows) who just attend the convention to join them as a voting delegate or alternate, even if they are from another state.

    I’m going off CfC’s post, if it is true it needs to be stopped. It would do major damage to the LP ! If CfC is Lying, SHAME on him and I apologize for my post in that case.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    “Seems Tom is now a Barr apologist.”


  17. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear
    Live Free
    We have heard that it may be going on. It comes from reliable sources. We’ve heard from five states so far. To be clear this could be a small number of people who heard the news and jumped on the band wagon. However, to ask to be a delegate smacks of a little more than simple enthusiasm. Check with your state chairs and see if it’s more widespread. Five states is not a big sample. But we undestand that Live Free is correct about letting people sit with delegations that have empty seats.

    For Mr Know it all Knapp most of the delegations are not going to be full. This leaves a lot of room for packing. Seems Knapp just can’t get it right no matter who pays him.

    Knapp you more than anyone may have put Barr in the drivers seat. What is your problem?

    the committee

  18. disinter Says:

    No Milnes? I am disappointed.

  19. Mike Theodore Says:

    “No Milnes? I am disappointed.”

    No, but his running mate (myself) has grasped some key media attention. Some of my classmates were making a video for english and I jumped into it. Hopefully Americans will be impressed by our ability to get media access.

  20. kombayn Says:

    Barr/Root ‘08 - America… FUCK YEAH!

  21. Mike Theodore Says:

    “Barr/Root ‘08 - America… FUCK YEAH!”

    How about we all start scouting out which street corner we’ll jump off of into a bus’s path now? Don’t want to have time to think theres more to life if those two get the nomination. Wise Rd. looks good…

  22. Live Free or Choke Says:

    You guys need to watch the Gleen Beck replay with Bob Barr tonight. He got almost 20 min.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Committee for Clarity,

    Since 2002, my impression has been that most states have tended away from just handing out empty delegation seats to whomever walks up at the convention wanting one.

    Also, I’m assuming that Missouri is not atypical of state LPs in that it fairly easily filled its delegate allocation and even has a few alternates.

    Are there some organized Barr contingents going to Denver? I’m sure there are—I’m planning to travel with a van full of mostly Barr supporters coming from Atlanta. Believe it or not, Barr DOES have considerable support in the party. I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever of any operation to bus in “ringers.” If I do see evidence (and feel free to mail me with it if you have it), I’ll join you in sounding the alarm.

    As far as me “putting Barr in the driver’s seat,” I have no reason to believe that he IS in the driver’s seat.

    In my opinion (and it’s fairly obviously the conventional wisdom) the race will eventually come down to one “moderate” (Barr or Root) versus one “radical” (Ruwart or Kubby).

    The follow-on conventional wisdom is that the “moderate” will be Barr and the “radical” will be Ruwart. I suspect otherwise. I think it very likely that the “moderate” will be Root and I believe Kubby still has a fighting chance of being the “radical.”

    Either way, I believe that the “radical” will be the nominee, especially if the claim that Barr said on TV today that he wants to use the LP’s presidential nomination to boost the GOP’s congressional slate turns out to be true.

  24. Brian Miller Says:

    I think it very likely that the “moderate” will be Root and I believe Kubby still has a fighting chance of being the “radical.”


  25. Simon Girty Says:

    So what if Barr is packing the convention with ringers. The mains selling point for his nomination is that he will bring new members into the Libertarian Party. The fact that they are not libertarians is beside the point.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    Which part did you not understand?

  27. Nexus Says:

    That is what Pat Buchanan did to the Reform Party. Look how that turned out. I said when I decided to join the LP that I was not interested in being the next Reform Party. By that I mean be a casualty to one mans ego. I want to be part of a movement and party that seeks to shrink government power.

  28. Brian Miller Says:

    Which part did you not understand?

    The entire thing. I don’t think there’s a single person in the LP (including Mr. Root himself) who would describe him as a “moderate.” He’s a conservative Libertarian—and made that abundantly clear at his Conservative Leadership Conference keynote last year.

  29. Shawn Levasseur Says:

    It was more than Pat Buchanan, it was a nomination process that was done via mail, with no way that members could be assured the process was on the up and up. There was little trust in the nomination process.

    With the LP convention, everyone involved in the nomination is in the same room at the same time.

    Reform was doomed to break down once Ross Perot stopped running. The party existed mainly to collect the government money for presidential campaigns. Which was why Buchannan was recruited, to get the 5% necessary to keep getting that money. (Government money corrupting the political process? Who’d’ve thunk it? ;) )

    The LP was built on something more than just a single campaign. No presidential campaign is going to threaten it.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    I see, and I’m sorry for the confusion. I should have been careful to explain that in using the terms “moderate” and “radical” I am not necessarily describing the candidates themselves, but rather the party factions lining up behind those candidates.

    It would be reasonable to describe both Barr and Root as “conservative.” However, the faction of the party lining up behind Barr and/or Root isn’t so much ideological as it is tactical—perhaps “in favor of putatively ‘mainstreaming’ the party rather than positioning it as radical” might be more accurate than “moderate.”

    The whole intra-party debate turns on multiple axes (ideology, strategy, the gravity wells of past fights, etc.), and it’s hard to capture the full picture in one or only a few terms, especially since many of the most-used terms have taken on propagandistic lives of their own.

    So, let me try again:

    I believe that at the convention, with respect to the presidential nomination, the vast bulk (80% minimum on the first ballot, probably more like 90%; and approaching 100% on subsequent ballots) of the delegates will break down into two rough sets of roughly equal size—those backing Barr and/or Root, and those backing Ruwart and/or Kubby.

    I further believe that the last two candidates standing will be either Barr or Root, and either Ruwart or Kubby (i.e. I don’t think we will see a final ballot of Barr v. Root or Ruwart v. Kubby). Most people making odds would probably lay money on it coming down to Barr v. Ruwart, but I think there’s a reasonable chance that it will be Root rather than Barr, and/or Kubby rather than Ruwart, who survive to the final ballot. Not saying I’d lay money on it, but I I think it could happen.

    Finally, I believe that Ruwart or Kubby—whichever one makes it that far—will win the final ballot and the nomination.

    One reason I believe that last is that of the delegates who are NOT part of that vast bulk of bi-factional separation—those who are supporting George Phillies, Christine Smith, Michael Jingozian, et al—will consist of delegates who, when it comes down to it, simply agree more with Ruwart or Kubby than they do with Barr or Root on what they consider key issues of policy and strategy. Maybe not enough to support Ruwart or Kubby on the first ballot, but enough to do so when their own preferred candidates are no longer in the running.

    But that’s just me spitballing. I could have it all wrong.

  31. S.G. Says:

    I’m really excited for this. I guess it looks like I am the only one, huh, after reading hte rest of tehse responses? Actually, I upgraded to the package with FBN for my cable last night just so I could watch this. I don’t like Root at all - met him at the WA state LPCon about 3 weeks ago. He isn’t my “flavor” I guess. Gravel, I hope, will totally rock this.

  32. JT Says:

    Brian: “I don’t think there’s a single person in the LP (including Mr. Root himself) who would describe him as a “moderate.””

    Not a “moderate”. A moderate Libertarian (i.e., someone who wants to reduce government all around, but not as far as anarchism or minarchism).

    Brian: “He’s a conservative Libertarian…”

    Right. A conservative Libertarian who supports gay unions, withdrawal from Iraq (though not in a week), marijuana legalization, gambling legalization, legal abortion (during most of pregnancy), repealing the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping. That doesn’t sound socially conservative to me, and I doubt any staunch social conservatives would think so either.

    Brian: “...and made that abundantly clear at his Conservative Leadership Conference keynote last year.”

    It’s not shocking that a presidential candidate addressing a forum of conservatives would seek to play up commonalities and downplay differences. That doesn’t make him socially conservative though.

  33. Nexus Says:

    I doubt Barr would have announced if he didn’t think he already had it won.

  34. David F. Nolan Says:

    I concur with Tom Knapp’s analysis, above. And, like Tom, I will state that this is just my best guess. Just about anything can happen.

  35. Steve Says:

    So when Barr recruits new people to the LP, its a devious, unethical “pack the convention scheme” but if Kubby recruits his friends from the drug legalization movement to be delegates then that’s growing the party right?

    Another term for it might be “turning out your base.” Sadly, I won’t be able to be there for Barr, it sounds like it will be quite a good time.

Leave a Reply