ABC News finalized the roster of participants for Saturday’s Republican and Democratic debates in New Hampshire, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) -- who has a small but vociferous following and finished ahead of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the Iowa caucus Thursday -- will participate in the debate along with Giuliani, Rep. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
The face-off begins at 7 p.m.
Sens. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) dropped out of the race after dismal showings in Iowa. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) did not meet ABC News’ criteria for inclusion, which included placing at least fourth in Iowa or polling 5% or higher in one of the last four reputable random New Hampshire or national surveys.
Sunday’s Republican forum hosted by Fox News Channel has drawn criticism from the Paul camp for excluding the long-shot candidate. Fox News invited Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Thompson and Giuliani to the New Hampshire forum, which will be moderated by Chris Wallace.
During coverage of the Iowa caucuses, Fox News’ Shepard Smith wondered out loud if his network shouldn’t reconsider inviting Paul to participate in the forum. Fox News has yet to announce any changes to Sunday’s forum.