Carly Fiorina rips Republicans’ debate process, after she gets left out

A campaign signs for Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina lies blown over near the roadside in Derry, New Hampshire.
A campaign signs for Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina lies blown over near the roadside in Derry, New Hampshire. –Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In order to be invited to Saturday’s Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, candidates must place in the top six in national or New Hampshire polls.

Seven candidates currently meet that criteria. Carly Fiorina is not one of them.

With no undercard in this weekend’s debate, hosted by ABC News, Fiorina will likely be completely left out from the national stage.

In an open letter to the Republican National Committee, she called the process “broken.’’

“Networks are making up these debate rules as they go along — not to be able to fit candidates on the stage — but arbitrarily to decide which candidates make for the best TV in their opinion,’’ Fiorina wrote. “Now it is time for the RNC to act in the best interest of the Party that it represents.’’

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According to RealClearPolitics’s average of recent polls Wednesday, Fiorina is seventh in New Hampshire with 3.6 percent support. Nationally, she trails eight other candidates — including Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee, both of whom recently dropped out — at 1.8 percent.

While she is ahead of Ben Carson in New Hampshire, Carson is still eligible because of his top-six polling position nationally. Fiorina also touted fundraising advantages compared to other candidates.

“There are only 8 candidates left. It’s time for the RNC to demand that media executives step aside and let voters hear from all of us,’’ she wrote. “I trust you will act appropriately.’’

In December, CNN bent its own rules to allow Paul to participate on the main stage. But if more recent examples are any precedent, Fiorina’s trust may be misplaced.

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