Fox Business did what many were expecting and put Rand Paul at the kiddie table debate before the “real” Republican debate in prime time Thursday. Paul has said that he will not bother showing up to that debate, presumably because it’s an insult and a waste of time. I also think he benefits from being the guy who goes after the media (even if it is Fox) and tells them that with 11 candidates, the arbitrary 7/4 split just excludes candidates who don’t matter.
The four losers are Huckabee, who was second in the 2008 GOP race, Fiorina and Paul, who were near the top at some point and Santorum, who actually won the first Caucus of 2012. All have credentials that might give them a spot at a real debate. If you’re just going by horse race and conventional wisdom, there would only be 4 candidates on the main stage. All the decisions are guesswork.
I’m hoping Rand Paul uses a withdrawal from the debate to do some other media, although I would suggest skipping the Rachel Maddow show.