POLITICS

Mitt Romney Stands Up For Carly Fiorina Over Exclusion From GOP Debate

He's not the only one arguing on her behalf.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to Twitter Thursday to stand up for 2016 hopeful Carly Fiorina, urging ABC to include her in the next GOP debate.

Romney tweeted that the only woman in the Republican race shouldn't be excluded.

Fiorina thanked Romney on Twitter, saying debates "should be about the voters."

Others who have spoken up for Fiorina include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

“ABC News’ decision to exclude her from Saturday’s debate on the eve of our primary, while she is outperforming one of the other debate participants in New Hampshire polls, undermines our role in the primary process, and I urge ABC to allow Ms. Fiorina to participate,” Ayotte said.

Fiorina has also spoken up, urging the RNC to allow her participation and chastising networks for "making up these debate rules as they go along."

The GOP debate, taking place Feb. 6, will be the first without an undercard debate for the lowest-polling candidates. CBS News reports:

[C]andidates can qualify for the debate stage if they meet one of three requirements: finishing in the top three by popular vote in the Iowa caucuses, placing in the top six in an average of New Hampshire polls recognized by ABC News, or polling in the top six in an average of national GOP polls deemed valid by the network.

By that criteria -- and with candidates withdrawing from the primary race at a rapid clip after the Iowa caucuses -- Fiorina will be the only GOP presidential candidate that does not have a spot on Saturday's stage, excepting former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

This is the last GOP gathering before the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9.

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