December 12th, 2007
02:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Keyes makes major debate debut

Alan Keyes is among the Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A familiar campaign figure is on stage in Johnston with the rest of the Republican field for the first time this year.

Former Ambassador Alan Keyes may be making his major debate debut this cycle at the Des Moines Register/Iowa Public Television debate, but this is the third presidential run for the veteran campaigner, who has also made three unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Senate.

Keyes may barely register in most recent surveys of Iowa primary voters, but he meets the criteria laid out by debate organizers: he registered at least 1 percent in October’s Des Moines Register poll, he has filed an official FEC statement of candidacy, and he hired an Iowa campaign staffer and opened an Iowa campaign office as of October 1.

Keyes did participate in a September Republican debate that was skipped by the leading GOP contenders.

On the Democratic side, underdog contenders like Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are both out of luck – they will not be included in Thursday’s Democratic debate. (Kucinich was disqualified because his Iowa field director works out of his home.)

- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Iowa • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Dan, Saint Louis, MO

    Know your history people. As an Illinois native, it seems none of you are informed about how Obama beat keyes. Obama was getting beat in the polls by Jack Ryan until a marital scandal broke out about Ryan and he had to drop out of the race at the last minute. Keyes, a non-Illinois native, came into the race in the last minute with no ties to Illinois, no money and no local recognition. Obama basically got very lucky. His victory had nothing to do with him.

    A common

    December 12, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Steve, Hartford, CT

    Obama was also an unknown quantity, and frankly, Keyes is just plain crazy. If you can't see that, maybe you need to get check out yourself.

    December 12, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Robert, Shelton, CT

    At least it's a new face to the stage...he has of much a chance at winning the nomination as does Duncan Hunter or Tom Tancredo.

    December 12, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. Christine, Burke, VA

    Kucinich was disqualified because his campaign director works out of his home . . . are you kidding me? What kind of democracy is this? To the barricades! We need another Revolution!

    December 12, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. HUCK,LA.


    December 12, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |


    December 12, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  7. Christian, Tampa FL

    Keyes is weird. Why does he keep squinting and waving his arms?

    December 12, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. Mark, Minneapolis, MN

    What is the difference between what Keyes says and what the others say? Yes he's crazy, but so are all the rest of them!

    Vote Democratic.

    December 12, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  9. Jackie, Allen TX

    CONFIRMS MY VOTE FOR CLINTON and not obamawinphrey! what a JOKE those two are! Oprah lost my vote for obama

    Posted By Marty Stiles NH : December 12, 2007 5:17 pm

    Mary, you lost me. Are you actually commenting on another story?

    Alan Keyes is certifiable! A real kookaloo! LOL!

    December 13, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  10. Martin Williams. Port Elizabeth, South Africa

    I watched most of the debate on TV last night but it was late here so didn't see the end. I was so impressed with Ron Paul. All of his good ideas about America were picked up and used by the other candidates. I thought I would get "the score" online this morning but CNN has absolutely nothing. I had to go to the English Telegraph which has a very good article.

    December 13, 2007 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  11. Mike, Orlando, FL

    Brian, Orlando, Florida You are not completely correct. It is up to Ron Paul to get us out of Iraq and put us back on track. Very few of the Dems will get us out. Although Kucinch seems to be sincere in getting us out of this stupid war.

    December 13, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  12. RMRN.Y.

    Well, lets see...

    We have the rich pretty boy who walks with the his brother the devil – Mitt

    The Stogy old angry man and war monger – McCain

    Keyraaazy Republican token – Keyes

    The nervous laughing man – Rudy

    Nasty very old – Thompson

    Bible thumpin' – Huckabee

    One man of integrity – Dr. Paul

    And I can't even remember the rest!
    What a sorry bunch of old cronies!

    Obama shines brighter every day...

    December 13, 2007 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  13. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    Oh great, another member of the American taliban running.
    Someone else for the phony Christians to support.

    December 13, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  14. ted orlando

    Go Away Keyes

    wasting everyones time

    December 13, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The requirements for this debate were laughable. I mean to include Alan Keyes, who most people wonder who he is, was a great mistake. He looked so plastic and phony. He seemed to advocate that (but not in those words) we should ignore the seperation of church (religion really) and state. Keyes failed to answer most if not all questions asked of him.

    I think the Des Moines Register should have had better requirements to be included. I would have left out (as others have said) Keyes, Hunter and Tancredo. Keyes just harped on the idea that the other candidates weren't conservative. Hunter did his usual "China is cheating on trade." Tancredo had his familar refrain of talking about illegal immigration. If any of the three that I have mentioned had more than 2% in any polls, I would be surprised; as well as having more than a million dollars in their campaign funds.

    They all seemed to mention something along the lines of "let market competion be our savior." I am afraid that all of them have not studied history very well. That doesn't always work. The auto manufactures claimed adding seat belts and removing leaded gasoline would hurt them. It didn't. They just didn't want to compete. There needs to be some competion, but having everything done by that can lead to trouble since people aren't always smart about the choices they make.

    December 13, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  16. speaker

    That's right Kucinich and Gravel. Only rich people are allowed to run for president. We don't want any grassroots effort on the part of the American people to elect a candidate.

    December 13, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    He is a "nut" among nuts. His grappling behavior and false accusations of favoritism demonstrate he is nothing more than the embattled black man (a la Jesse Jackson) of the Republican Party. While some of his ideas are on target–he comes across as a GOP Black Panther in his attitude. Not a great way to gain wide appeal?

    December 13, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    I think that Alan Keyes really represents the heart and soul of the real Republican party.

    He doesn't try and sugar coat his bigotry or hide it.

    Posted By James Izzard : December 12, 2007 6:28 pm

    I was sort of saying that myself (heart and soul) but you nailed it a bit more directly. Thanks.

    December 14, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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