The third Republican primary debate ended Wednesday night with former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore once again forced to miss the action due to his low poll numbers, which left him ineligible to attend both the undercard and main debate events. Gilmore was unable to garner 1% in any CNBC approved poll in order to qualify to participate.
Being off stage, however, wasn't going to stop the longshot presidential candidate from fighting to stay relevant in the race. In a statement released by his campaign earlier Wednesday, Gilmore confirmed he would be live-tweeting during the debate.
"I want my supporters across the country to know that we will keep fighting the efforts by the establishment to handpick their candidate," Gilmore said. "I am in the race to stay and I will be commenting on the issues and the actions of the other candidates on Twitter this evening."
As promised, Gilmore was actively live-tweeting responses to what candidates on the debate stage in Colorado were saying and interacting with the few people who were engaging with him on the social network. Things were going fine until one reporter opened a can of worms when he noticed that the presidential candidate’s Twitter account wasn't verified – meaning it didn’t display a blue check mark badge next to the account handle (@gov_gilmore).
The reporter asked, "why," and in response Gilmore said:
The privileged club on Twitter mostly consists of A-list celebrities, athletes, politicians and members of the media. Other account holders who don't fall within that list have also managed to finagle a coveted blue badge. But that's been a point of contention among users.
Although Twitter does indeed have a policy on verified accounts, questions over the internal process at the company have been resurrected due to the fact that a former governor and presidential candidate cannot get approval for verification, but an intern at a radio station can. Ultimately, Twitter's policy is that verification is not open to the general public and the process takes an undisclosed length of time. This has been an ongoing battle since at least Febuary for Gilmore.
Interestingly, Facebook has verified Jim Gilmore’s politician page – a fact also indicated by a check mark next to an account holder’s name. MSNBC reached out to Twitter for comment and, like Gilmore, is awaiting a response at the moment.