The Corner

Fox News Limits First GOP Debates to Top Ten Candidates, CNN to Split Debates

Under the debate participation rules set by Fox News, Governor Bobby Jindal, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, former senator Rick Santorum, Ohio governor John Kasich, senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and former New York governor George Pataki would not participate in the first Republican debate. Former Texas governor Rick Perry would be on the bubble.

Fox News Channel aims to limit to participation in the August 6 debate in Cleveland to the 10 candidates highest in the polls, “in an average of the five most recent national polls in the run-up to the event.” (I wonder if you’ll see a lot of national polls conducted in that final week.)

If you think the Republican National Committee is going to object to some big names’ being left off the stage, think again. RNC chairman Reince Priebus said today, “We support and respect the decision Fox has made which will match the greatest number of candidates we have ever had on a debate stage.”

Fox News plans to provide additional coverage and air time on Aug. 6 to the candidates who do not place in the top ten.

UPDATE: And now, CNN:

The CNN Republican primary debate on Sept. 16 will be divided into two parts featuring two different sets of candidates: those who rank in the top 10 according to public polling, and the remaining candidates who mean a minimum threshold of one percent in public polling, the On Media blog has learned.

Will they call that second debate “The Expendables”?

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