Monday on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, reacted to Fox Business Network’s announcement of the next debate lineup.
Paul is slated to participate in the so-called undercard debate, but acknowledged he won’t be participating and called the decision a mistake.
“It’s a mistake because the thing is we actually have been in the top five or six in most of the recent polls,” Paul said. “In fact, last week in a national poll, we were one point out of first place. I think it’s a mistake to try to exclude me from the national debate. We’re going to make sure the voters know that. We’re going directly to Iowa and directly to New Hampshire. We’re going to let voters decide.”
“I think an artificial designation of being in the second tier is something that — we don’t want to accept that,” he continued. “Because it really sort of points fingers and says, ‘Well, are you really going to be a contender?’ We are going to be a contender. I think we have a national campaign that can contend for victory and we can’t accept an artificial designation by anybody.”
“I won’t participate in anything that’s not the first tier because we have a first-tier campaign,” he added.
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