The lineup for the next GOP debate is out - and one notable name is missing
ABC on Thursday announced seven candidates would participate in the debate: real-estate mogul Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida).
Despite an extensive lobbying campaign from her campaign and on her behalf, Fiorina was excluded from the lineup.Party leaders like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) urged ABC to include her onstage. Several of her presidential rivals, such as Cruz and Carson, also said she should be part of the debate field.
And Fiorina herself wrote an open letter to the Republican National Committee on Wednesday that spelled out her frustration with the process.
"Our debate process is broken. Networks are making up these debate rules as they go along? -? not to be able to fit candidates on the stage ?-? but arbitrarily to decide which candidates make for the best TV in their opinion. Now it is time for the RNC to act in the best interest of the Party that it represents," she wrote.
But Fiorina did not meet ABC's qualification standards, which included placing in the top three in the Monday-night Iowa caucuses, or placing within the top-six in recent averages of national or New Hampshire polls.
In the end, the network evidently refused to budge.
In a tweet after ABC's announcement, a spokeswoman for Fiorina's campaign pointed out that Fiorina performed better in the Iowa caucuses than two of the "establishment's guys," Christie and Kasich: