Rand Paul will skip Fox Business News debate after being relegated to undercard

01/11/2016 09:43 PM

Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is boycotting Thursday night’s Fox Business News debate after being pushed from the main stage.

Paul’s drop to the undercard debate marks the first time during the campaign the Kentucky Republican has failed to take the main debate stage.

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday, Paul said he would not take part in the debate.

“I won’t participate in anything that’s not first tier because we have a first-tier campaign,” Paul said.

Paul and Carly Fiorina were dropped to the second-tier debate alongside Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

A mere seven candidates will grace the main stage, including New York real estate mogul Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Paul’s campaign lambasted Fox’s polling criteria claiming “by any reasonable criteria Senator Paul has a top tier campaign.”

“He will not let the media decide the tiers of this race and will instead take his message directly to the voters of New Hampshire and Iowa,” a news release from the Paul campaign said.

Iowa holds its caucuses on Feb. 1, followed by New Hampshire, which holds its presidential primaries on Feb. 9.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.