Gay Jewish Republican meets presidential campaign obstacle

Fred Karger

Fred Karger

The presidential hopes of an openly gay Jewish Republican politician could be over before they have really begun, after he was denied permission to take part in a debate.

Fred Karger is a gay rights activist and political consultant who once worked with President Ronald Reagan.

In a field dominated by the former chief executive of a pizza chain (Herman Cain) and an Evangelical Christian who has fostered more than 20 children (Michele Bachmann), his candidacy has raised fewer eyebrows than it might.

But Fox News may have put an end to h is chances. The network is hosting a debate between Republican hopefuls on Thursday, but has banned Mr Karger from a platform.

They said he did not fulfill the criteria of recording an average of more than one per cent support in five polls. Mr Karger has polled more than two per cent in some, but they were conducted online and Fox said they did not count.

Debates such as this one represent key points for candidates to get their messages across in the months leading up to the state primaries.

Mr Karger told the website Gawker: "I want to be in this debate because my centrist views aren't represented in that hall."

Last updated: 5:00pm, August 10 2011