Could some Republican presidential contenders be excluded from the first debate — and perhaps never appear on a debate stage at all? Some RNC members tell Politico they would like to see the number of participants capped at 12.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Dr. Ben Carson, HP executive Carly Fiorina, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee are in, as is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal today. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (May 27) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (June 1) will announce soon. We’re expecting announcements from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and mogul Donald Trump.
Allahpundit offers a plan that would exclude Carson, Fiorina, Graham, Pataki, Santorum and Trump. Hm. One can only imagine the howls of outrage from all of their fans, to say nothing of a setup that excludes the only woman candidate, the only African-American candidate. (Note Carson hit double digits in the last two polls.)
That leaves Graham, Pataki, Santorum and Trump as the quartet of candidates most likely to be left off the stage.