I have just read a statement from the Clinton and Obama campaigns stating their opposition to the decision by ABC News and WMUR-TV to refuse to allow all Democratic candidates to participate in the next New Hampshire debate.

John Edwards, showing how readily he puts politics over principle, said he would not object and that it is up to the news media to decide who will participate.

The following statements were published late today in the Union Leader:

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama this afternoon issued statements prodding ABC and WMUR not to narrow the field.

Obama said: “The voters of New Hampshire deserve to hear all the Democratic candidates’ views on who can best lead America in a fundamentally new direction, and that’s why I urge these networks to allow full participation in this week’s debate.”

Clinton said: “I believe in the true spirit of the New Hampshire process, the candidates who have participated in past debates should not be excluded from this one.”

In contrast, John Edwards told UnionLeader.com this afternoon, “I’m staying out of that. I don’t get to set the rules for the debates. I’ll let the people who are in charge of the debates set the rules. And I’ll be there.”

In an earlier statement, one of Clinton’s top local supporters, former state party chair Kathy Sullivan, had said that anyone upset by the debate’s format should call WMUR and complain. The toll-free number is 1-800-257-5151.

Interestingly, the so-called liberal New Hampshire blog, Bluehampshire.com, had practically nothing to add to this important story.

I still believe this protest needs to be taken to the next step: Clinton, Obama, and Richardson should withdraw from the debate until ABC News and WMUR TV relents and puts ALL candidates back into the debate.

This primary belongs to the voters of New Hampshire and the respective political parties, not the elite media.