The Fox debate may not have Trump, but you can at least get Rand Paul instead

posted at 4:01 pm on January 27, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

When I wrote about The Donald likely not caving in and showing up for the Fox debate earlier this morning I noticed some people in the comments section saying they probably wouldn’t even bother watching the show. But let’s not be too hasty! Maybe you won’t have Donald Trump on the stage, but could I tempt you back into the audience by sweetening the pot with Rand Paul? (The Hill)

Rand Paul has squeaked back onto the main stage for Thursday’s GOP presidential debate thanks to a slight increase at the polls in Iowa just before the deadline.

The Kentucky senator was essentially a lock to fall short of two prongs of Fox News’s criteria — polling within the top six in an average of five national polls or top five in the average of recent New Hampshire polls.

But a late surge pushed Paul into a tie with Jeb Bush for fifth place in Iowa, with both candidates averaging 4 percent in the polls considered by Fox. That punched Paul’s ticket for Thursday’s main event.

Paul had missed the cut for the Fox Business Network prime-time debate earlier this month, a decision he protested by skipping the undercard debate. He also had been on the fence for CNN’s December debate before the network relaxed its criteria to allow him to remain on stage.

Rand Paul didn’t cause quite as much of stir when he also decided to boycott a debate due to the “unfair treatment” he was getting, but it was good for a few headlines. Let’s remember that Paul’s complaint was that he’s running a first tier campaign and deserved to be on the main stage even if his poll numbers didn’t reflect it. The same people criticizing Trump would have rightly been upset with the Kentucky senator because he had an opportunity to have his voice heard (albeit to a smaller audience) and it’s his own fault that he didn’t take advantage of it. Of course, there’s a world of difference between The Donald and Rand, because Rand actually needs the debates (or any other venue where he can have his face on the screen) since he’s still dwelling in the basement in all the national polls.

With that said, I actually do sympathize with his complaint. The same math formulas which sentenced him to the kiddie table last time are the ones which rescued him this week. And the difference we’re talking about probably comes down to literally two or three more people in New Hampshire picking up the phone when a pollster called. The cutoff line is pretty arbitrary, but I guess we had to have some sort of rules to limit the field and that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

There was one interesting, if likely insignificant bit of news regarding the undercard in this announcement. (Emphasis added)

In an unexpected development, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore will join Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum in the undercard debate.

I know what you’re thinking… wait a minute. Jim Gilmore is running for President? I had the same reaction. But more to the point, aren’t we supposed to be at the juncture where we’re cutting down the stragglers and not adding to the field? Why are we adding in Gilmore now? If the only reason was so Fox could still have an even number of participants in the undercard, that sounds more like a decision based on making appealing TV visuals than determining the next leader of the free world, doesn’t it?

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zzzzzz

nathor on January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

Audit the fed.

That’s all.

Got s loose tooth?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

Who?

The Notorious G.O.P on January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

The Fox debate may not have Trump, but you can at least get Rand Paul instead

Short People Need Love Too

TheMadHessian on January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

I am looking forward to seeing what Trump has in store for debate night.

Nomennovum on January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

Rand Paul is boycotting.

kcewa on January 27, 2016 at 4:05 PM

This vote splitting is shinning a bright light on the RNC cabal.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 27, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Switching one ridiculous hairstyle for another.

can_con on January 27, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Yeah, but Paul’s main target was Trump.

Oil Can on January 27, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Graduated from the kids’ table?

Yawn.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on January 27, 2016 at 4:07 PM

In other words, You’ll Get Nothing–And Like It!

Christien on January 27, 2016 at 4:07 PM

I know what you’re thinking… wait a minute. Jim Gilmore is running for President? I had the same reaction. But more to the point, aren’t we supposed to be at the juncture where we’re cutting down the stragglers and not adding to the field? Why are we adding in Gilmore now? If the only reason was so Fox could still have an even number of participants in the undercard, that sounds more like a decision based on making appealing TV visuals than determining the next leader of the free world, doesn’t it?

The CoC/GOPe hasn’t given the okay for those people to drop out yet.

Come on, Jazz…THINK!

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:08 PM

So we’ve got that going for us

Which is nice, but in Paul’s case the pool the puddle would be better than the pond.

trubble on January 27, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Let’s remember that Paul’s complaint was that he’s running a first tier campaign and deserved to be on the main stage even if his poll numbers didn’t reflect it.

Paul is not running a first tier campaign, he doesn’t even have $2 million in his war chest.

Johnnyreb on January 27, 2016 at 4:11 PM

At least we will have someone who can discuss Constitutional issues.

Tater Salad on January 27, 2016 at 4:11 PM

Rand Paul is boycotting.

kcewa on January 27, 2016 at 4:05 PM

He had a sudden change of mind.

whatcat on January 27, 2016 at 4:12 PM

In an unexpected development, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore will join Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum in the undercard debate.

The excitement just keeps building.

whatcat on January 27, 2016 at 4:14 PM

Rand who?

tomshup on January 27, 2016 at 4:17 PM

no, the main stage without Trump is an undercard too

Senator Philip Bluster on January 27, 2016 at 4:17 PM

Every debate is substantively better with Rand Paul.

It is someone like a Kasich or a Christie or a Jeb who adds nothing, because of the redundancy factor. If you want chest-thumping in favor of WWIII, you’ve got Christie, Rubio, and Bush. If you want arguments in favor of more government in health care, you’ve got Kasich. If you want to hear about more welfare, you’ve got Rubio, Kasich, and Bush. Christie will give you deception on having a pro-gun record. Carson is a good man but sounds totally lost in his answers. All you’d need is a Rubio/Bush/Kasich, Trump for entertainment, Cruz, and then Rand Paul who actually talks about the national debt, smaller government, reducing welfare, and so on.

Aizen on January 27, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Sour bitter little man

Makes if his pop look like a giant

BigSven on January 27, 2016 at 4:19 PM

TBS will be ecstatic with this development.

RickB on January 27, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Congratulations to Rand Paul for making it to the big kiddie table.

This is the break that will skyrocket him to the nomination.

TBS must have fainted, hasn’t checked in yet.

Meremortal on January 27, 2016 at 4:21 PM

Interesting…

FNC host Greta Van Susteren is hosting a poll on her FNC site asking her conservative viewers if they plan on watching tomorrow’s debate since Trump has announced he will not participate…

Cast your vote. Because at this point it’s 87% of the respondents saying that they will not watch the debate (out of 23,789 votes).

If the MSM was actually interested in hosting informational debates, they’d cull the GOP numbers to only about 4 or 5 according to a running average of a defined set of polls. Otherwise, they’re really just interested in the circus / entertainment factors.

Athos on January 27, 2016 at 4:22 PM

If I could give my boy Rand a tip, it would be this;

GIVE THEM RED MEAT!

Rant about the border.

Rant about how bad Clinton/Obama are.

Rant about our disastrous foreign policy.

Rant, rant but not about Republicans but about Democrats in a hacky partisan way. Throw in a few salvos about the liberal media.

^ That’s the recipe for success in early GOP primaries.

fatlibertarianinokc on January 27, 2016 at 4:24 PM

I’ll watch it another time. Maybe. I’ve been waiting years for someone to punch fox in the nose

Phishmelt on January 27, 2016 at 4:25 PM

He’s on the short list.

viking01 on January 27, 2016 at 4:26 PM

Was watching Cavuto’s show. Looks like FNC is all anti Trump all the time. Every show has someone to say evil of Donald J. Trump.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on January 27, 2016 at 4:26 PM

Trump won the debate 36 hours before it happened…

mjbrooks3 on January 27, 2016 at 4:26 PM

At least we will have someone who can discuss Constitutional issues.

Tater Salad on January 27, 2016 at 4:11 PM

Yeah, no kidding. It’s a fair trade. A libertarian, for a bloviating billionaire who doesn’t kow his butt from a hot rock.

Misha on January 27, 2016 at 4:26 PM

We probably needed to have a VP debate anyway. Trump should tweet out a poll – which guy for VP?

cimbri on January 27, 2016 at 4:27 PM

Will Megyn Kelly dress like a cigarette girl?

Someone will have to let me know, ’cause I’m not watchin’…

mjbrooks3 on January 27, 2016 at 4:28 PM

could we add Jindal, Pence and Walker, too, so we can be reminded of what might have been?

Deafdog on January 27, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Yeah, no kidding. It’s a fair trade. A libertarian, for a bloviating billionaire who doesn’t kow his butt from a hot rock.

Misha on January 27, 2016 at 4:26 PM

I’ll take Trump’s bloviating over Ted’s faith healing, Rand’s whining, and Romney’s p*ssying.

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:29 PM

I’ll take Trump’s bloviating over Ted’s faith healing, Rand’s whining, and Romney’s p*ssying.

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:29 PM

I didn’t know Romney was running.

Misha on January 27, 2016 at 4:30 PM

I’ll take Trump’s bloviating over Ted’s faith healing, Rand’s whining, and Romney’s p*ssying.

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:29 PM

Even his “bloviating” about how federal lands shouldn’t be turned back to the states?

Our champion…

JohnGalt23 on January 27, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Was watching Cavuto’s show. Looks like FNC is all anti Trump all the time. Every show has someone to say evil of Donald J. Trump.

Fox News isn’t a news channel. It’s a 24 hour editorial. Roger controls the agenda. When he puts the word out that it’s time to attack Trump, they all line up like good soldiers and follow his orders. That’s why most Republican candidates are afraid of Ailes. They wouldn’t even entertain the thought of stepping on his shoes. But he’s met his match in Donald J. Trump.

MidAtlantic Moderate on January 27, 2016 at 4:31 PM

NRO/FOXN having a nervous breakdown?

Life is grand…

mjbrooks3 on January 27, 2016 at 4:32 PM

You laugh, I’m voting for Gov. Gilmore.

Cindy Munford on January 27, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Saavik: Admiral, may I ask you a question?
Kirk: What’s on your mind, Lieutenant?
Saavik: The Kobayashi Maru, sir.
Kirk: Are you asking me if we’re playing out that scenario now?
Saavik: On the test, sir… will you tell me what you did? I would really like to know.
McCoy: Lieutenant, you are looking at the only Starfleet cadet who ever beat the no-win scenario.
Saavik: How?
Kirk: I reprogrammed the simulation so it was possible to rescue the ship.
Saavik: What?
David Marcus: He cheated.
Kirk: I changed the conditions of the test; got a commendation for original thinking. I don’t like to lose.
Saavik: Then you never faced that situation… faced death.
Kirk: I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.

VorDaj on January 27, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Pfft. No thanks to Rand Paul. I won’t be watching the debate since I no longer even tune in to any of the fox channels.

Here’s another reason to not watch or click on Fox.

Scumbags and hypocritical liars. Burn them all down.

Andy__B on January 27, 2016 at 4:32 PM

JohnGalt23 on January 27, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Maybe it makes taking it easier.

Cindy Munford on January 27, 2016 at 4:34 PM

mjbrooks3 on January 27, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Donate now to Cams for Gams!

Christien on January 27, 2016 at 4:34 PM

What a mess..is this what we have to look forward to now.

celt on January 27, 2016 at 4:35 PM

You could power a mid-sized American city for days on the laughter produced between a Trump and Roger Stone phone call regarding FOXN…

mjbrooks3 on January 27, 2016 at 4:35 PM

I didn’t know Romney was running.

Misha on January 27, 2016 at 4:30 PM

He ran in 2012. Failed spectacularly. Were you underage at that time, is that why you don’t remember?

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Maybe Rand can tell us what the Republicans have accomplished since we fools put them in charge of the Senate.

alanstern on January 27, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Christien on January 27, 2016 at 4:34 PM

Make Mini-Skirts Under Glass Desks Great Again [?]

mjbrooks3 on January 27, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Even his “bloviating” about how federal lands shouldn’t be turned back to the states?

Our champion…

JohnGalt23 on January 27, 2016 at 4:31 PM

You’re so weak. If you want to smoke weed, why not just move to Colorado? I hear it’s legal there.

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Was watching Cavuto’s show. Looks like FNC is all anti Trump all the time. Every show has someone to say evil of Donald J. Trump.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on January 27, 2016 at 4:26 PM

That’s because Trump decided not to join the Emasculated Boys Club.

Brock Robamney on January 27, 2016 at 4:42 PM

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:35 PM

What does that have to do with Trump’s bloviating tendencies?

Misha on January 27, 2016 at 4:42 PM

I’m holding bets on the margin with which Trump will win the debate according to Drugde poll.

Rix on January 27, 2016 at 4:43 PM

could we add Jindal, Pence and Walker, too, so we can be reminded of what might have been?

Deafdog on January 27, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Pence? Mike Pence? I don’t remember him being a candidate. Otherwise, I agree. *sigh*

Aizen on January 27, 2016 at 4:44 PM

Megan should as Jeb how the refugees are adapting to life in Germany and if he wants more to come here for love ?

alanstern on January 27, 2016 at 4:48 PM

Fox is going to have offended Muslims ask questions.

alanstern on January 27, 2016 at 4:50 PM

But let’s not be too hasty! Maybe you won’t have Donald Trump on the stage, but could I tempt you back into the audience by sweetening the pot with Rand Paul?

Grade A(llahpundit) snarkasm.

Why are we adding in Gilmore now? If the only reason was so Fox could still have an even number of participants in the undercard, that sounds more like a decision based on making appealing TV visuals than determining the next leader of the free world, doesn’t it?

It avoids putting one of them in the preferable middle of three.

Gilmore/Goldwater’s Ghost FTW!

hillbillyjim on January 27, 2016 at 4:50 PM

I am looking forward to seeing what Trump has in store for debate night.

Nomennovum on January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

I wonder if Vegas is giving odds? Surely they must.

hillbillyjim on January 27, 2016 at 4:53 PM

What does that have to do with Trump’s bloviating tendencies?

Misha on January 27, 2016 at 4:42 PM

I refer you to my earlier quote.

A piece of advice – if you have that much trouble with your short term memory, I suggest taking notes as you post.

fossten on January 27, 2016 at 4:58 PM

Any predictions on how debate ratings will fare in comparison to those that Mr. Trump has participated in?

Dec_of_Ind on January 27, 2016 at 5:07 PM

Rand is a good guy. He voted against Obamatrade when Cruz was supporting it.

cimbri on January 27, 2016 at 5:09 PM

Heard this college drop out say that Trump has illusions of grandeur. He’s running for prezzy, at 2% and Trump has illusions. Too rich.

rik on January 27, 2016 at 5:16 PM

Am I the only one looking forward to the debate without Trump? With him off the stage, I’m interested to see a more grown-up discussion of issues, plus the dynamics: who attacks whom, how the candidates handle themselves. Trump hasn’t actually been that big a part of most of the debates — most big “moments” have belonged to other candidates.

I think Carly should be on the main stage, not Rand.

ThanksMo on January 27, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Any predictions on how debate ratings will fare in comparison to those that Mr. Trump has participated in?

Dec_of_Ind on January 27, 2016 at 5:07 PM

Ratings will be lower I’d imagine. How much lower is anyone’s guess. People who haven’t already made up their minds might watch, but people who object to this one sided progressive leaning CRAP that is Fox news wouldn’t have considered it anyway. So, hard to say.

Andy__B on January 27, 2016 at 5:19 PM

ThanksMo on January 27, 2016 at 5:18 PM

I think you’ll be disappointed on the maturity factor you’re expecting. The new target there tonight will be Cruz, since Trump attacks will ring really, really hollow without Trump actually being there.

And megyn kelly, don’t forget that. She burned out her brain with bleach a few years back I think. No maturity there whatsoever.

Andy__B on January 27, 2016 at 5:21 PM

I think Carly should be on the main stage, not Rand.

ThanksMo on January 27, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Trump’s presence or absence notwithstanding, Carly belongs under the table; that’s where she started her corporate career.

Rix on January 27, 2016 at 5:21 PM

What will Trump’s margin be on the drudge “who won the debate” poll ?

rik on January 27, 2016 at 5:24 PM

Gilmore surges!

Jeffreyvdb on January 27, 2016 at 5:35 PM

I think Trump will cave. He’ll show up.

DaNang67 on January 27, 2016 at 5:35 PM

And megyn kelly, don’t forget that. She burned out her brain with bleach a few years back I think. No maturity there whatsoever.

Andy__B on January 27, 2016 at 5:21 PM

Yes clear, sometime after after 2012 when Donald Trump praised her skills as a moderator?

You know, in the interview about the 2012 debate where Donald attacked people who wouldn’t show to a debate he was moderating AND possibly running as an independent…
Because even if the moderator is biased to the point of being a competitor in the race you “lack courage” if you don’t show according to Trump.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1318694783001/trump-talks-2012/?playlist_id=86858&intcmp=obnetwork#sp=show-clips

Wait, I just noticed you typed the wrong name.
Trump burned his brains out after that, which is why he’s claiming the exact opposite now, right?

Or is this one of those “It’s only good when Trump does it” things?
How many of those are there?
Is there anything that Trump says is terrible that doesn’t magically become awesome when Trump does it?

It’s a damn philosophical conundrum.
“Does God do something because it is good; or is it good simply because God does it?”
What is the answer?

As a Trump supporter I assume you’ve already replaced God with Trump, so either answer will work.

gekkobear on January 27, 2016 at 5:39 PM

I didn’t like Megyn Kelly’s laying in wait tactics of the first debate, but she certainly doesn’t merit all of the ugliness that has been unleashed here on HA. She is a very good interviewer, and is well-spoken, well-informed, very intelligent, and usually a consistent voice for conservatism.

That she is attractive is not lost on me either, but that is just the sprinkles on the “cupcake”. Oh my, did I say that out loud?

hillbillyjim on January 27, 2016 at 5:43 PM

Breaking, the alternate venue is on.

http://www.donaldjtrump.com/schedule/

Schadenfreude on January 27, 2016 at 5:52 PM

The smart move for a Rubio or Paul would be to defend Trump. That will make them more competitive with Cruz in Iowa.

cimbri on January 27, 2016 at 6:13 PM

Megan should as Jeb how the refugees are adapting to life in Germany and if he wants more to come here for love ?

alanstern on January 27, 2016 at 4:48 PM

I think we need to investigate what has been going on between those two in the green room

Brock Robamney on January 27, 2016 at 6:41 PM

The smart move for a Rubio or Paul would be to defend Trump. That will make them more competitive with Cruz in Iowa.

cimbri on January 27, 2016 at 6:13 PM

I think they should attack Trump’s empty chair ala Eastwood. That will have quite the effect

Brock Robamney on January 27, 2016 at 6:43 PM

Maybe Rand can tell us what the Republicans have accomplished since we fools put them in charge of the Senate.

alanstern on January 27, 2016 at 4:37 PM

They gave us record debt, top, Obamacare, reinstated the filibuster, and Mitch the Turtle. Don’t sell him short. Makes you want to vote.for a “conservative”

Brock Robamney on January 27, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Brilliant move by Trump. Always 10 steps ahead. You think Megyn Kelly was asking the questions? You think the CNBC debate was a travesty? This is a coordinated attack by FauxNews to help Hillary as exposed by Michelle Malkin

Brock Robamney on January 27, 2016 at 7:33 PM

Brilliant move by Trump. Always 10 steps ahead. You think Megyn Kelly was asking the questions? You think the CNBC debate was a travesty? This is a coordinated attack by FauxNews to help Hillary as exposed by Michelle Malkin

Brock Robamney on January 27, 2016 at 7:33 PM

Ha! It was all a set up to burn Trump. I guess establishment republicans will do anything to get him. Ironically, the rest of the Republicans look like sheep by participating. I say this as a Ted Cruz supporter.

Dollayo on January 28, 2016 at 8:00 AM

I wish Cruz would drop out too! Why does he need to answer questions from illegal immigrants??

Dollayo on January 28, 2016 at 8:13 AM