Open thread: The Gilmore Gang undercard debate

posted at 6:41 pm on January 28, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Get ready for what might be the final GOP undercard debate of the 2016 cycle, which starts at 7 pm ET in Iowa. ABC announced earlier today that their event in New Hampshire on February 6th will be a single debate, potentially eliminating the trailing also-rans for the first time:

ABC announced changes to the rules for the next Republican presidential debate that could limit the number of candidates on stage to six.

The network said candidates need to do one of three things to qualify for the Feb, 6 debate in New Hampshire: place in the top three in the Iowa caucuses, place among the top six candidates in an average of selected New Hampshire Republican presidential polls or place among the top six in Republican presidential polls nationally.

The criteria will pare two separate events — an undercard debate and a primary debate — to a single event. That could make Thursday’s debate on Fox News the last chance for a handful of candidates to prove to a national audience why they belong on the debate stage.

Rand Paul would face the axe at the moment with those criteria, and so would Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. Paul had a few words for ABC, even though he boycotted an undercard debate earlier this month:

“It’s a little bit irresponsible,” Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said in an interview in Iowa, before the Fox News/Google debate Thursday night. “Voters should be the ones making these decisions and not network executives in New York.”

Gor said he is appealing to ABC and also pressing his case with the Republican National Committee, which oversees the debates.

Paul boycotted the Fox Business debate in South Carolina when he was relegated to the undercard, but his showing in the Iowa polls landed him a spot on the main stage tonight.

Well, if he didn’t want to attend the undercard in South Carolina, why should ABC hold one in New Hampshire? The alternative is to put everyone on stage at the same time, which would be a mess; it’s been bad enough with the nine or ten on stage in the main debates with the undercards available. At some point, the field has to narrow down anyway, and it may be likely that Iowa’s results will make this more or less a moot point anyway.

The undercard tonight makes ABC’s case a little more strong, too. Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore makes his first appearance in months, along with Santorum, Fiorina, and Huckabee. Where is Gilmore polling? RCP doesn’t even bother to list him for their averaging. And the big question will be whether one or more of these will be no-shows, as Donald Trump has been bragging that they might join him for his alternate event after pulling out of the main debate:

One of them may be Huckabee, who might have trouble making both the undercard and Trump’s event:

The Huckabee campaign says he’ll do both:

Mike Huckabee will attend Donald Trump’s pro-veterans event on Thursday at the same time as Fox News’s GOP debate.

Hogan Gidley, a Huckabee spokesman, told The Hill that the former Arkansas governor will still participate in Thursday’s undercard debate, but will head to the Trump event after it ends.
The undercard debate begins at 7 p.m. EST, two hours before Trump’s event is slated to start just three miles down the road.

Huckabee will have company, too:

Who knows? Maybe Huckabee and Santorum will endorse Trump at the event and make an even better case for scotching the undercards. Both are all but doing that now anyway. Be sure to tune in and see whether the Fox panel challenges Huckabee and/or Santorum on it, and to get the full breadth of Gilmore’s observations on policy and politics.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Doesn’t that just square the circle?

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:47 PM

Not yet. More coming. It’s YUUUUGE!

Magicjava on January 28, 2016 at 7:49 PM

Carly calls out Fox News.

Gilmore: Muslims need to stand up. Don’t scapegoat anyone.

WestVirginiaRebel on January 28, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Santorum and Fiorina nail the questions about being pro-life!

wren on January 28, 2016 at 7:48 PM

Loved Fiorina’s smack-down of the mod’s for questioning Santorum’s pro-life beliefs. BOOM!

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Good question! Have you donated to Rubio? Used search engines for him?
Or the AI is that good nowadays … I’m not getting them, but I auto-donate monthly to Cruz but am also Howler Monkey; the AIs are confused by me. :)

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Not a penny from me to Rubio! I still haven’t forgiven him for the Gang of 8 immigration (amnesty) bill.

I probably have Googled his name, but I have Googled ALL of the Presidential candidates at some point during this election season.

Yes, I admit to being a political junkie. :-)

wren on January 28, 2016 at 7:53 PM

Undercard overcard, they’re all losers including the mods.

Mr. Arrogant on January 28, 2016 at 7:54 PM

So now we know that Santorum is the pro-life candidate.

So far Gilmore and Carly have come across the strongest.

WestVirginiaRebel on January 28, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Loved Fiorina’s smack-down of the mod’s for questioning Santorum’s pro-life beliefs. BOOM!

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Smack-down while actually defending a fellow Republican candidate. That was masterful!

Good job Carly! And bravo to Santorum too for defending his pro-life stance!

wren on January 28, 2016 at 7:55 PM

They are all running for vice president.

WestVirginiaRebel on January 28, 2016 at 7:56 PM

wren on January 28, 2016 at 7:53 PM

Welcome to the snake-pit and a rather exclusive circle nowadays!

Texting with Ex (his GF doesn’t like politics … or football or beer or scotch or cigars; freak) and he is purely MSM propaganda, even with out “chats” during debates, listening to talk radio, etc.

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:56 PM

Over already?!? This has actually been fun and interesting!

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Clinton Foundation took massive payoffs, promised Hammond Ranch and other publicly owned lands to Russians along with one-fifth of our uranium ore

Magicjava on January 28, 2016 at 7:56 PM

Damn! Knew about the Russians-Uranianum deal, but not that Hammond Ranch involved! Should have known … EVERYTHING Clinton touches is obscenely corrupt.

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:58 PM

They are all running for vice president.

WestVirginiaRebel on January 28, 2016 at 7:56 PM

Who won?

Buckshot Bill on January 28, 2016 at 7:58 PM

Huckabee: “You like me, you really really like me!”

WestVirginiaRebel on January 28, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Why is Rubio the only candidate I am seeing ads for in the online stream during the undercard debate?

Shouldn’t the other candidates be trying to target voters who are political aware enough to watch the undercard debate, too?

wren on January 28, 2016 at 7:44 PM

If I had finite dollars, I wouldn’t spend them on ads during the undercard debate. I would guess that any viewers watching the undercard would watch the main debate. I don’t know how effective a 1 minute ad is compared to a debate performance. I would guess that the ad would not be a good value.

Of course, if you’re Trump, you get to go to CNN and have them broadcast you for free.

Wait. Doesn’t the FCC have an equal time rule? IF CNN gives Trump 2 free hours, don’t they have to give every candidate 2 hours?

This campaign season has been hilarious.

talkingpoints on January 28, 2016 at 8:01 PM

Clinton Foundation took massive payoffs, promised Hammond Ranch and other publicly owned lands to Russians along with one-fifth of our uranium ore

Magicjava on January 28, 2016 at 7:56 PM

Jail is too good for them.

talkingpoints on January 28, 2016 at 8:03 PM

Who won?

Buckshot Bill on January 28, 2016 at 7:58 PM

Depends.

Gilmore: made a decent showing for an essential unknown. His website crashed and still can’t get in.

Fiorina: nice hits on Clinton, one which included defending Santorum

Huckabee: is Huckabee

Santorum: is Santorum

Losers: Fox and the mod. All hit the MSM or the mods or Fox with legit attacks in some way or another.

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 8:03 PM

Really impressed by the undercard debate!

All candidates were well-prepared, feisty, and respectful of the office of the Presidency and the people of Iowa.

My opinion: Santorum and Fiorina tie for winner of the debate. Both have the potential to do better than expected in the Iowa Caucus on Monday.

See you all on the thread for the main debate.

wren on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Why is Nabela Noor allowed to ask questions in the main debat ? She is an advocate of Islam and a supporter of Bernie Sanders ? How stupid is the RNC ?

alanstern on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Gilmore did a fine job. I’ll listen more to him.

John the Libertarian on January 28, 2016 at 8:08 PM

Why is Nabela Noor allowed to ask questions in the main debat ? She is an advocate of Islam and a supporter of Bernie Sanders ? How stupid is the RNC ?

alanstern on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Hopefully they will come to their senses and experience some technical difficulties.

talkingpoints on January 28, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Wait. Doesn’t the FCC have an equal time rule? IF CNN gives Trump 2 free hours, don’t they have to give every candidate 2 hours?

talkingpoints on January 28, 2016 at 8:01 PM

It doesn’t work that way. There are so many exceptions to the equal time rule that the equal time requirement rarely gets triggered.

In particular, CNN is on cable, and so they aren’t even subject to the equal time rule at all.

J.S.K. on January 28, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Wait. I could still be a Gilmore Girl? I thought he dropped out months ago.

Fallon on January 28, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Why is Nabela Noor allowed to ask questions in the main debate? She is an advocate of Islam and a supporter of Bernie Sanders? How stupid is the RNC?

alanstern on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Pretty darn stupid.

Fallon on January 28, 2016 at 8:11 PM

Why is Nabela Noor allowed to ask questions in the main debat ? She is an advocate of Islam and a supporter of Bernie Sanders ? How stupid is the RNC ?

alanstern on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Obviously a newbie if you have to ask this question of this particular crowd! :)

Regardless of preferred candidate, the general consensus is that the GOPe gives new meaning to the word stupid. If there is any possible – or impossible – way to lose, the RNC will not only find it but implement it!

smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 8:12 PM

Why is Nabela Noor allowed to ask questions in the main debat ? She is an advocate of Islam and a supporter of Bernie Sanders ? How stupid is the RNC ?

alanstern on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

If I were the candidate who first gets Noor’s question, my response:

“Why, Ms. Noor, aren’t you wearing a burka tonight or in your YouTubes? I might answer your question if you followed your faith where its Sharia Law requires you to be covered up. Oh, and do you drive a car, by the way?”

TXUS on January 28, 2016 at 8:31 PM

Loved Fiorina’s smack-down of the mod’s for questioning Santorum’s pro-life beliefs. BOOM!
smokeyblonde on January 28, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Almost as much as I love Santorum’s pro-life conviction!

Santorum and Fiorina tie for winner of the debate. Both have the potential to do better than expected in the Iowa Caucus on Monday.

wren on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

At this point, I’m actually thinking that right there is my ticket.

Santorum/Fiorina 2016!

I think I like it.

How stupid is the RNC ?
alanstern on January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

That’s rhetorical, right?

pannw on January 28, 2016 at 8:39 PM

Welcome to Americas newest reality show…..ITSELF!!

It’s called “Trampling Liberty with Trumpy!!!”

Single Payer, eminent domain, deal-making with Democrats, waffling on “the giant wall”……trade war with everyone…

It’s gonna be awesome.

……the pilot has been running for several months.

Wait until the series really starts!!!!

PappyD61 on January 28, 2016 at 8:54 PM