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Carly Fiorina calls debate process “broken” after learning she’s shut out of Saturday night forum

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With Rand Paul dropping out of the GOP presidential race, the field is winnowing out.

That doesn’t mean that the rest of the 10-person field gets to stand on one debate stage this Saturday night.

Although ABC, the debate sponsor, says they haven’t yet announced the lineup of candidates, Carly Fiorina says she has learned she won’t be invited – and she’s not pleased about that.

“Our debate process is broken,” the only female Republican candidate writes to Party Chair Reince Priebus and other members of the Republican National Committee. “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. Now it is time for the RNC to act in the best interest of the Party that it represents.”

Fiorina says she will be the only candidate still in the race not invited on to the stage this Saturday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Fiorina says it’s ridiculous that while she did better in Iowa than some of the other candidates on Monday night, they’ve been invited to the debate, while she has been shunned off the stage.

“To review, we beat Governors Christie and Kasich in Iowa this week when voters actually had their say. This campaign has the same number of delegates as Governors Bush and Kasich while Governor Christie has zero. We’re ahead of Dr. Carson in New Hampshire polling. We are 6th in hard dollars raised and have twice the cash on hand as either Governors Christie or Kasich. We are already on the ballot in 32 states, and there is a ground game with paid staff in 12 states.

“Yet, all of these candidates will be invited to the ABC debate. I will not.”

No word yet from the RNC on her statement.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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