The first Republican debate of 2016 will take place Thursday, January 14, and candidates Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina will not be on the main debate stage.
The candidates who have qualified for the main debate, according to Fox News, are: billionaire businessman Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
The candidates qualifying for the earlier debate are: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Shortly after the qualifying candidates were announced, Paul’s campaign issued a statement, complaining about the criteria used to qualify candidates, and saying that he would not participate in the earlier debate.
“By any reasonable criteria Senator Paul has a top tier campaign,” his campaign said. “He will not let the media decide the tiers of this race and will instead take his message directly to the voters of New Hampshire and Iowa.”
In order to qualify for the prime-time debate, candidates had to place in the top six in an average of recent national polls or in the top five in an average of polls in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Donald Trump still leads many polls, but Ted Cruz is gaining ground. Trump and Cruz are in a deadlock in Iowa polls.
The debate will be held at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. The earlier debate will take place at 6 p.m. EST and the prime-time debate will take place at 9 p.m. EST.
Photo courtesy: Salem Radio Network
Publication date: January 12, 2016