The Fox Business Network on Monday announced the seven Republican candidates they have invited to their primetime debate in South Carolina — and Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina didn’t make the cut this time.
During his show Monday evening, host Lou Dobbs said those who will have podiums on the main stage are Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich. The primetime debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston is set for 9 p.m. EST on Thursday.
The four other candidates who didn’t qualify for the main stage — Paul, Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum — are being invited to participate in an undercard debate, set for earlier that evening at 6 p.m. EST.
Paul is suggesting he will not participate in an undercard debate, saying he deserves to be on the main stage.
“By any reasonable criteria Senator Paul has a top tier campaign,” his campaign said in a statement. “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.”
Fox Business said they invited candidates based on a polling formula: those who placed in the top six nationally or the top five in Iowa or New Hampshire based on an average of the last five polls recognized by the network.