Fox News announced this week that it will host a forum for second tier Republican candidates. This will take place in the afternoon on the day of the first scheduled debate August 6th.
The move was a rapid response to head off efforts by the New Hampshire Union-Leader which plans to organize a second tier forum. The paper criticized FNC’s top-tier debate as “bad for New Hampshire”
GOP leaders point out if the Union-Leader event went unchallenged, the invitation to the top ten candidates would have been forced to choose between nation press and potential inclusion with later primary debates.
In its rules set out for limited primary debates, the RNC specifically stipulated that any candidate participating in forums not sanctioned by the Republican party would be excluded from all subsequent sanctioned events.
If the RCP polling average remains the same, Fox’s second tier event will include at least John Kasich, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and others should they choose to announce before August 6th.