Rand Paul The Media

CNN Bends the Rules for Rand Paul

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If CNN actually followed the criteria it established for choosing candidates for the main stage of the next Republican presidential primary debate, Rand Paul would not have been included.

CNN decided to bend the rules, however, so Rand Paul wouldn't be excluded.

In the end, the network announced that Paul would be allowed to participate in the main stage, stating Paul was “showing viability” by polling at 5% in a Fox News Iowa poll released Sunday morning, but it did not explain—as it did in the case of Fiorina—how it let Paul, whose polling average considered by the network is below the required 4% in the state, on stage. [...]

To make the main stage, the network required candidates to either average 3.5% in approved nationwide surveys or 4% in Iowa or New Hampshire.

If this debate doesn't begin with Donald Trump saying Rand Paul shouldn't be there, I'll be very disappointed.

It seems possible the Republican presidential primary debates will continue to include as many as 8 to 10 candidates even after the first couple primary votes because networks are afraid of offending candidates and their supporters.

  • muselet


    “In the light of new polling released this morning and in the spirit of being as inclusive as possible, CNN has decided to include Sen. Rand Paul in the prime-time debate,” a CNN spokeswoman said.

    Beyond CNN quoting an anonymous CNN spokeswoman—”Sorry, Brenda, but you’re not going to be named in my story today. We still on for lunch at Olive Garden?”—about CNN’s plans for the latest Clown Car Confab, I didn’t realize The Spirit Of Inclusiveness was in the debate rules. Learn something new every day.

    Rand Paul being pissy at the kid’s-table debate might have had some entertainment value, but the other eight beating up on him could be much more fun.


  • Based on statements from the Paul campaign, it appears they were threatening CNN with litigation if Paul was eliminated from the debate. CNN can now reasonably deny bias against Rand Paul, however, I’m sure Rand’s Paulestinian followers won’t remember this episode the next time they perceive a slight against their favored candidate.

    • muselet

      Yeah, that sounds like the Paul campaign.


  • Christopher Foxx

    because networks are afraid of offending candidates and their supporters

    A baseless fear. Not that networks won’t continue to let it guide them, but there’s no rational reason for it. Why worry about the supporters for a candidate that you’re cutting from the debate because they have too few supporters?

    Hell, I’d be amazed if more than a tiny percentage of supporters could even name which network debates have been broadcast on. If they wanted to, what?, boycott the network that spurned their favorite, a number of then would probably pick the wrong one.