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Is The RNC Afraid Of Carly Fiorina?

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Here’s how the free market works: If you have a product people like, they buy it. If you have a product people don’t like, they don’t buy it.

In the free market of presidential politics, if people like a candidate, they can send them a donation, attend their rallies, post positive messages about them on social media, and express their preference in a poll.

In the real free market, those candidates who are most appealing to prospective voters would be on the main debate stage at the upcoming September 16th CNN debates. But that isn’t what’s happening. CNN and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are making sure that Carly Fiorina won’t be on the main stage. Why might that be?

By means of disclosure, I haven’t decided yet on a candidate for President. I have a pretty good idea of whom I don’t want, but there is certainly a pool of acceptable candidates I’d consider voting for.

Christopher Rants of the Des Moines Register published a column entitled “Why Are Republicans Letting CNN Pick Our President?” He explains in detail how the process for selecting debate participants was developed. At a high level, CNN and the RNC agreed on the criteria by which presidential candidates would be determined eligible to be on the main stage. The main stage is the prime time debate of the 10 highest polling candidates. Those that don’t make the cut are relegated to the non-prime time debate.

In the August 6th Fox News Channel debate, Carly Fiorina was appropriately placed in the non-prime time debate, based on the most current polls just before that debate. By many accounts, she won the debate, although she wasn’t on the main debate stage. I agree that she won. If you haven’t seen Fiorina speak, take a minute to watch her closing from the Fox News Channel debate.

The criteria for the CNN debate —agreed upon by the RNC— includes 9 polls from before the Fox News Channel debate and only two polls conducted after that. The Fox News Channel debate put Fiorina on the map. In current polls, she is coming in at 7th place, a showing that would easily put her on the main stage.

If Fiorina is bumped up to the main stage that means someone else is bumped down —as it should be. If a candidate is polling worse now as a result of his August 6th debate performance, and that puts him in position #11 or lower, he doesn’t deserve to be on the main debate stage. In a true free market of presidential politics, if people stop supporting a candidate, he has earned his way off the big stage.

Back to the question of why the RNC would have accepted —much less promoted— this methodology of determining the make up of the main stage. You can be assured that the RNC supports someone other than Carly Fiorina for President. Fiorina has been very persuasive and very effective on the campaign trail. That could certainly hurt someone like Jeb Bush, likely the RNC favorite. And in a 2014 article, the RNC admitted that it wanted to keep out candidates whom they didn’t sanction. Is the RNC afraid of Carly Fiorina?

Having Fiorina on the main stage would also hurt front-runner Donald Trump. Voters are hungering for someone who is not a career politician. Like Trump, Fiorina is also an outsider to politics. But she says what needs to be said in a style that is far less abrasive than Donald Trump’s style. Trump’s manner of insulting people, either individually or as a group is beneath the dignity of the office he seeks. A candidate calling a reporter a bimbo, at minimum, is terrible professional manners.

I like candidates who don’t sound like career politicians. As the former proprietor of the Udall Lied campaign, I love that Fiorina speaks the truth plainly and clearly: Hillary Clinton Lied. There is plenty of evidence that Clinton lied, and Fiorina isn’t afraid to say it. She uses words that most people use in their daily lives and they can actually relate to what she says.

Fiorina should be on the main debate stage. The debate will be more interesting and more informative for her being there. Republicans say they believe in people earning their own way. Carly Fiorina has earned her way on to the main debate stage.

What can we do about this?

  1. The RNC has the power to say to CNN: Change The Rules. They are each private organizations that set the rules for the debate. They can change them. Call the RNC at 202-863-8500 and let them know you want more recent polls used in determining who is on the main stage at the September 16th If you are active on Twitter, send a tweet to @Reince to let the chairman know your opinion.
  2. If you are one of the rare people called for a presidential preference poll, take the time to answer and express your preference for Carly Fiorina, even if she is not your current choice. The debates will be better for her inclusion.
  3. If you have a few extra dollars, consider sending her a donation to express your support of her being in the debate.
  4. Sign the petition at: https://carlyforamerica.com/cnn-rnc-do-the-right-thing-for-america
  5. Share this blog on your own social media accounts and ask your friends to take the above steps.





Photo Credit: ABC News

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Awesome, Laura I sent this viral!!! She has earned the right to be on that stage she is outpolling 5 of the males candidates that are currently there.

  2. The RNC is afraid of anyone who is not already part of their cozy little political club. It and our long-time incumbents exist only to get re-elected and to play games with our tax money. Everyone who has been in the House for over five years, or in the senate for over ten, should be primaried and replaced. The power of incumbency must be broken – they are committed to continuing and defending their own past mistakes. Oh, for a presidential candidate who will call for the wholesale replacement of incumbents!

    1. Well said! Just goes to prove that the POWER OF INCUMBENCY MUST BE BROKEN!!! WE MUST REPLACE ALL INCUMBENTS!!!

  3. Excellent Laura–agree 100%. I have always wondered what the RNC would do with an intelligent–articulate woman. I would have never believed they would have been capable of doing this. It’s going to be very difficult for Republicans to proclaim that they don’t really have a “war on women” by keeping her on the back stage, after she has already surged past many of the male candidates on the first stage.

    Frankly, if Carly Fiorina is not on the first stage, I will no longer waste my time trying to defend this party. I am certain that the DNC and Hillary Clinton will know what to do with this news.

    1. i’M WITH YOU KAROL – Republicans have just helped the Democrats prove that they have a ‘War on Women’!! CARLY FIORINA is and would be our next ‘Margaret Thatcher”!! *I also agree with you that frankly, if Carly Fiorina is not on the first stage, I will no longer waste my time trying to defend this party. I am certain that the DNC and Hillary Clinton will know what to do with this news. SHAME ON ABC!!!!!!

  4. It will be very disappointing if CNN/ thr RNC don’t make some kind of accommodation to their
    Old out of date rules. I don’t say this as a Fiorina supporter, but as a person who wants to see the best candidates rise to the top. Carly, by all accounts and polls is clearly in the top 10. Shame on CNN for not being flexible and I am very disappointed in the RNC for being so STUPID. Great article, Laura.

  5. How about a Fiorina-Carson ticket?

    Here’s my premise. The country is in a mood for change, as evidenced by bot the Trump and the Sanders phenomenons . A large bloc of people are completely fed up with politics as usual and these include some Reagan Democrats, most Independents and a large number of Republicans. That’s a given.

    The Don has a large following, but also, IMO, a cap of about 30% of the Republican vote. As others drop out their supporters will go elsewhere, and it won’t be to Trump. Let’s presume he gets bored and drops out or loses momentum and falls out of contention. That 30% will go somewhere…but where?

    I believe they will look to another outsider, which really narrows it to Fiorina or Carson. Unless everyone coalesces under someone else, which I think unlikely at that point, the remaining candidates will split whatever is left. Trump’s supporters will go somewhere and I contend that most will go to Fiorina because of her similarities to Trump as an outsider, her business experience and her fire. Dr. Carson is a great man but completely inexperienced at running a large organization of any kind, and we’ve just seen what that can lead to.

    There are numerous advantages to this scenario:

    1. Carly at the top of the ticket goes head to head with Hillary if she is the opponent. She totally negates the “War With Women” BS and exposes it as the sham it is.
    2. If Hill isn’t the opponent it will be an old white man. Advantage Carly.
    3. Both are conservative but not radically so.
    4. Dr. Carson will give the GOP inroads into the minority (not just black) community that will expand the base.
    5. This will give Ben 8 years to gain political experience for a run in ’24.
    6. This ticket will beat anything the Dems can possibly put together. And wouldn’t it be fun to watch her debate Hill?

    There are a couple of things that need to be addressed.
    1. Carly needs to find a concise way to negate the attacks on being fired at HP. That should be easy.
    2. They would need to have someone very close with Washington legislative experience to guide them through procedural and political technicalities.
    3. I would hope they would scour the country for leaders in the private sector who would be willing to donate a couple of years to get this government turned around and going in the right direction.


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