Because she didn’t meet the criteria for tonight’s GOP Debate on ABC, Carly Fiorina is being excluded from the debate. This really doesn’t make a lot of sense because she’s about the only candidate still standing who’s not attending…and quite frankly her campaign isn’t any more dormant than Kasich, Christie or Carson at this point. So what’s the deal?
Anyway, here’s some other insight:
To a lot of the Republican Party leadership, Fiorina’s exclusion doesn’t make sense. 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tweeted, “Hey @ABC: put @CarlyFiorina on the debate stage! She got more Iowa votes than John and Chris. Don’t exclude only woman,” setting off a Twitter storm of support from Newt Gingrich, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Nebraska rising star Sen. Ben Sasse, state party chair Jennifer Horn, and primary candidates Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. But the national Party, possibly mindful of the fact that the Growth and Opportunity Project report also concluded that in the 2012 cycle voters were overwhelmed by a “ridiculous” number of debates, and content to let whatever blame is cast fall squarely on sponsor NBC (sic), has declined to get involved.
And from Ms. Fiorina herself:
“If ABC and the RNC don’t change their minds they’re not dissing me, they’re dissing New Hampshire,” Fiorina said Friday, where she was appearing at an addiction recovery round table in Manchester. (Fiorina lost a stepdaughter to drug addiction.) “I earned my way on this stage when Iowa voted. We don’t need polls when we have votes.”
My opinion? She’s as viable a candidate as at least four of the others who will be on stage…at this point it would be a bigger plus than minus to have included her. So I say let her play!
“The RNC put out an autopsy report after the 2012 elections,” he (Ovide Lamontagne: brought in to run the NH Fiorina campaign) notes. The Growth and Opportunity Project report concluded that the Republican Party “needs to stop talking to itself” and make a concerted effort to connect with minority voters and women. “This is the first woman ever to run in the [Republican] New Hampshire primary,” Lamontagne explains. “And now we’re not smart enough to make sure she’s on the stage.”