Rick Perry is out. John Kasich and Chris Christie are in.
The former Texas governor missed the cutoff for qualifying for Thursday’s nationally televised presidential debate, Fox News announced Tuesday. Only the top 10 in an average of national polls can participate
Henry Barbour, Republican National Committee member from Mississippi and strategist for the Perry campaign, said "It's not the end of the world. The key is for Perry to perform well.”
Barbour said Perry, who also sought the nomination in 2012, “still has a path to the nomination. I think his path to the nomination is being patient. He's a mainstream conservative candidate who has broad appeal within the party.”
Donald Trump, the New York business executive who’s opened up comfortable leads in most major polls, will get the center spot, since he’s the front-runner. He’ll join an array of Republican officeholders and some newcomers.
In, in order of poll standing, are Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor; Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor; Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon seeking elective office for the first time; Ted Cruz, U.S. senator from Texas; Marco Rubio, U.S. senator from Florida; Rand Paul, U.S. senator from Kentucky; Christie, the governor of New Jersey, and Kasich, the governor of Ohio.
Seven others, including Perry, can participate in a one hour forum starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. They include Lindsey Graham, U.S. senator from South Carolina; Carly Fiorina, a former business executive; Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana; George Pataki, former governor of New York, and Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia.
The debate, scheduled for 9 to 11 p.m. EDT at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, is the first of a monthly series of Republican debates. Fox News’ Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace will moderate. Fox and Facebook are presenting the debate.
The next debate will be held at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calfornia, September 16.