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Press Release - Ickes, Panetta, Lockhart Support Commission's Decision

September 17, 1996

The Dole/Kemp campaign today released statements from three of Bill Clinton's top advisors offering their support for the recommendations of the Commission on Presidential Debates. The statements from White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, and Campaign Press Secretary Joe Lockhart were made in advance of today's announcement that Ross Perot would not be invited to participate.

LOCKHART: We want to do what the Commission thinks is best "We're anxious to get started on the process by which we will be able to allow presidential debates, but we also are committed to working with the Commission on Presidential Debates and looking to them to develop criteria on who participates,' said Joe Lockhart, national press secretary for Clinton/Gore '96. 'We want to do what the Commission thinks is best' he said when asked whether the campaign to include Reform Party nominee Ross Perot." (Dallas Morning News, 8/31/96)

PANETTA; Let's let the Presidential Debate Commission decide "White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta was asked about the possibility of a Nader-for-Perot debate deal yesterday on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' 'We hope Ross Perot is included,' be said. As for Mr. Nader, 'let's let the presidential debate commission decide," he said." (Washington Times, 9/2/96)

ICKES: That would be in put up to the Commission on Presidential Debates Wolf Blitzer: "The Perot factor -- do you want Ross Perot to participate in a three-way presidential debate this year?"

Harold Ickes, Deputy White House, Chief of Staff: "Oh, I think that would be in part up to the Commission on Presidential Debates."(CNN, Inside Politics, 8/24/96)

Robert Dole, Press Release - Ickes, Panetta, Lockhart Support Commission's Decision Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/316637

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