FOX has announced the 10 candidates for the GOP nomination who will appear in the first primetime debate.
The first primetime debate of the Republican primary race on Thursday will include ten candidates, according to FOX News: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.
FOX, which is hosting the debate in Cleveland, Ohio, announced the list of the top 10 candidates based on recent national polling on air at 6pm ET Tuesday.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who earlier last week was at risk of missing the cut for the primetime debate in his home state, made the cut at the 10th spot, edging out former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Candidates that did not make the cut will participate in a separate debate earlier on Thursday. Those Republicans are: Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki.
First off, I think it’s somewhat ridiculous for FOX to enforce an arbitrary cut-off for the debate. This isn’t American Idol. No one has voted yet, and they’ve already set a distinction between major league and minor league candidates, which I think effectively ends the campaigns of everyone in Tier 2. Yeah, they’ll have a “separate debate” earlier in the day, which about as many people will watch as will participate. It’s almost like the singles table at a wedding: “Bobby, I think you and Lindsey will get along smashingly. Yes, you just met a half hour ago but you’re both polling poorly, so you have that in common.”
Let’s also take a moment to consider that four governors (Gilmore, Jindal, Pataki, and Perry), and two senators (Graham and Santorum), who despite what you might think of their politics have some practical experience, won’t be on the same stage in a primetime debate for the GOP presidential nomination with the former star of The Apprentice. That is Trump’s occupation, by the way. That’s why most voters even know his name. It’s not like Steve Jobs is still alive and is running. No one sits down to watch Hulu on their “Trump Tablets.”
And Trump is arguably still the most appealing of the “major league” candidates. I suppose Bush is supposed to get credit for being the only closeted asshole of the bunch.