A bevy of Republican candidates get shut out of national primetime by Fox, but not Trump.
Using an arbitrary method, Fox will decide who has the opportunity to slam his opponents on their August 6, 9 pm, EST debate, effectively shutting out all but 10 Presidential candidates in the Republican field.
In what could easily be called a "popularity contest" rather than a serious consideration of the candidates, Fox and co-sponsor CNN are relying on specious national polls. They will likely rule out deserving, promising contenders such as former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson and former Governor George Pataki of New York.
"Whether or not you are ready to caucus for me or you're ready to support me, in your heart of hearts every single one of you knows you would love to see me debate Hillary Clinton," Fiorina said to a crowded country club in Iowa this past weekend.
New Hampshire fought back against Fox's decision to limit prime time to only 10 candidates with a letter signed by 56 party leaders, including State Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, former Governor Stephen Merrill and activist James Sununu. Asked by Larry King if it would bug him to have Trump in the debates but not Governor of Ohio John Kasich and Senator of South Carolina Lindsay Graham, Sununu stated, "I think it would be a mistake. I mean, that becomes not a debate. That becomes a reality show."
Trying to quash New Hampshire's venerated newspaper Union-Leader's plan to host their own forum, Fox announced it would start an earlier program for the candidates who didn't make the cut for primetime. In response, to get the jump on Fox, Union-Leader will host a "Voters First Forum" on August 3, claiming it could reach a larger audience than Fox through C-SPAN if voters want to see the difference between candidates before August 6.
As if to one-up everyone, the Republican National Committee established a new rule for 2016, warning that any candidate who participates in a nonsanctioned debate will be ineligible to participate in the sanctioned ones. The RNC's posturing seems to imply they want the ultimate say on who advances. Except, as Trump's numbers continue to rise, he poses the greatest threat to their party. They still don't have a satisfactory method for dumping the biggest buffoon in history to run for office. For that, the RNC must rely on the voters.
14 Republican candidates eagerly accepted the chance to debate in New Hampshire. Voters First Forum received confirmation from Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Govs. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Chris Christie, former Govs. Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and George Pataki, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Dr. Ben Carson. Conspicuously absent from the roster? Donald Trump. An aide to Trump said he pulled out because he was upset by a Union-Leader editorial.