Here Are the GOP Candidates Who Fox News Might Exclude from the First Debate

One of the most tired lines in politics goes like this: “I’m not a member of an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” Given the disastrous couple of weeks for the presumptive GOP frontrunner, as well as the over-stuffed clown car, the punchline for Will Rogers’ zinger could easily be changed to “I’m a Republican.”

Speaking of the clown car, The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that Fox News Channel has decided to only allow for a 10-member line-up for the first GOP presidential debate, scheduled for August 6. The decision will be based on polling during the week or so prior to the debate. If the debate were to be held next week, the following candidates would be allowed to appear:

Jeb Bush

Marco Rubio

Scott Walker

Rand Paul

Ted Cruz

Mike Huckabee

Ben Carson

Chris Christie

Donald Trump

Rick Perry

Yes, Donald Trump would be in there should he decide to official run. Meanwhile, here’s who would be excluded in the same scenario:

Rick Santorum

John Kasich

Lindsey Graham

Bobby Jindal

Carly Fiorina

George Pataki

That’s right, show-boating goofballs like Huckabee and Trump would be in, even though they have no serious ambitions to actually be president, yet a senator (Graham), a former senator (Santorum) and three governors (Pataki, Jindal and Kasich) would be excluded. Meanwhile, Ben Carson is in, but we should only expect the notorious slow-talker to spit out two or three words in the span of his 90-second opening remarks.

Of course, much can change between now and the first week of August, and it’s likely that Trump and Christie won’t actually run, which will open up two would-be slots for one of the others.

Elsewhere, CNN has decided to offer two consecutive debates on September 16: one debate for the A-listers, and a second debate for everyone else. We can feel free to call the second debate “the kids’ table,” though there’s bound to plenty of food fights during each debate, especially knowing that conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt will be one of the moderators.

Overall, the Republican National Committee and Star Wars cantina alien Reince Priebus announced that only nine debates will be held prior to the Iowa Caucus, and possibly three more thereafter. This is down from the monumentally excruciating 27 debates during the 2012 primary campaign.

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.