By Steven Shepard (Politico) –
Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina have been booted to the undercard in Thursday night’s Republican primary debate as the number of main-stage candidates was cut to seven by stricter polling criteria.
Paul, who is struggling to gain traction in the presidential race, immediately cried foul, and vowed to not participate in the event.
Fox Business Network, which will televise the sixth GOP presidential debate this week, announced the debate fields on Monday evening, after weeks of speculation that Paul would for the first time not make the cut for the primetime event. The seven candidates who will appear on the main stage in North Charleston, S.C., are Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich. Kasich qualified as a result of his strength in New Hampshire.
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