Demoted Rand Paul boycotts debate, declares 'war' on 'arbitrary, capricious' standards

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Rand Paul Is In a Snit Over Not Making GOP Debate Cut

Fox Business Network has announced the lineup for Thursday's GOP debate, and while Rand Paul managed to argue his way onto the main stage in the past, he's finally been demoted to the undercard debate. However, we won't see the Kentucky senator sticking it to the other weaker candidates because, as promised, he's decided to throw a tantrum instead.

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Weeks ago, Fox Business Network declared that it would be cutting the number of candidates on the main stage from "a ridiculous amount" to "a lot"; only those who topped an average of the five most recent national polls, or five recent polls from Iowa or New Hampshire, would be invited to participate. The network predicted that would cut the debate down to six candidates, but John Kasich was saved by his strong numbers in New Hampshire. He'll be joined on the main stage by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush.

PHOTOS: Rand Paul on the campaign trail

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Rand Paul on the campaign trail
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Demoted Rand Paul boycotts debate, declares 'war' on 'arbitrary, capricious' standards
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., attends the New Hampshire Republican Party #FITN Leadership Summit at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, N.H., January 23, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17 - Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., inspects an AR-15 rifle as he fires it at Crossroads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, on Sunday, Jan 17, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and 2016 presidential candidate, stands on stage at the start of the Republican presidential candidate debate at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. With less than two months remaining before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, middle-of-the-pack candidates hoping for a late surge in the polls have little choice but to come out swinging in tonight's fifth Republican debate. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Host Larry Wilmore speaks with Republican candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Comedy Central's 'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore' Soul Food Sit Down on October 23, 2015 in New York City. The show airs tonight, November 2, 2015, at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Comedy Central)
GREENVILLE, SC - SEPTEMBER 18: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to voters at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum September 18, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina. Eleven republican candidates each had twenty five minutes to talk to voters Friday at the Bons Secours Wellness arena in the upstate of South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 20: John Dickerson interviews Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on the September 20, 2015 edition of 'Face the Nation.' (Photo by Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images)
2016 Republican presidential candidates George Pataki, former governor of New York, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, stand on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. The main debate of the top 11 GOP contenders in the polls follows the 'kids' table' debate of candidates who didn't make the cut. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,speaks during a campaign stop at the Airport Diner Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Manchester,NH (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
In this Aug. 17, 2015 photo, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks during an interview before participating in a cataract surgery clinic in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. An ophthalmologist by training, Paul left Haiti on Wednesday afternoon after spending four days on a humanitarian mission to the island nation. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 7: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks with the media at the Pints for Liberty event at Rat River Brewery in Columbia, S.C., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., reacts to a question about Sen. Ted Cruz as he arrives for the rare Sunday session in the Senate on July 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and 2016 U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, questions John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, not pictured, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Senator Bob Corker, a key player in the congressional debate over the nuclear deal with Iran, told Secretary of State John Kerry that the Obama administration is engaging in hyperbole to sell it. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 29: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) waits to be introduced at a campaign stop at an Embassy Suites hotel on June 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul made stops in four cities in Nevada on Monday as he campaigns for the battleground state against 12 other Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, SC - JUNE 15: GOP presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) greets supporters at the VFW Hall on June 15, 2015 in Lexington, South Carolina. Paul took questions and spoke against government intrusion into the lives of citizens. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 09: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) addresses the Baltimore county Republican Party's annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner at Martin's West June 9, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul launched his campaign April 7 in Louisville, where he told supporters, 'I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our country back.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) does a live interview with ABC News in the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda on Capitol Hill June 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. In protest of the National Security Agency's sweeping program to collect U.S. citizens' telephone metadata, Paul blocked an extension of some parts of the USA PATRIOT Act, allowing them to lapse at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The Senate will continue to work to restore the lapsed authorities by amending a House version of the bill and getting it to President Obama later this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tours Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Monday, May, 18, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shakes hands with supporters before his speech outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Monday, May, 18, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
DES MOINES, IA - MAY 16: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to guests gathered for the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center on May 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The event sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa gave several Republican presidential hopefuls an opportunity to strengthen their support among Iowa Republicans ahead of the 2016 Iowa caucus. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and U.S. presidential candidate, speaks during the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition presidential forum at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Declared and undeclared Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa for the event. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption *** Rand Paul
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and presidential candidate, listens during a campaign stop in Atkins, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Paul will attend the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption *** Rand Paul
VINTON, IA - APRIL 25: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) poses for pictures with guests during a campaign stop at the American Legion Hall on April 25, 2015 in Vinton, Iowa. Paul is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
NASHUA, NH - APRIL 18: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit April 18, 2015 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Summit brought together local and national Republicans and was attended by all the Republicans candidates as well as those eyeing a run for the nomination. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 11: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a rally at the Desert Vista Community Center on April 11, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on April 7, and is the second Republican candidate to jump into the race. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
MT PLEASANT, SC - APRIL 09: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and GOP presidential hopeful speaks at a campaign rally in front of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on April 9, 2015 in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. Paul outlined a foreign policy vision built both on a strong military and a commitment to use it sparingly. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
MILFORD, NH - APRIL 8: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a rally at Town Hall April 8, 2015 in Milford, New Hampshire. Paul declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on April 7, and is the second Republican candidate to jump into the race. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks during a rally to formally announce his presidential campaign at the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Paul, 52, becomes the second Republican, and second freshman senator to join the 2016 presidential race. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Paul and Carly Fiorina were invited to debate "kid's table" regulars Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum earlier in the evening, but Paul is not having it. "I think they've made a mistake," he told the Washington Post. "I'm not willing to accept a designation as a minor campaign. We've raised $25 million. We've gotten on the ballot on every state. It's kind of ridiculous to arbitrarily rate the campaigns based on national polling."

When asked if he thinks his supporters will be upset about his decision to entirely forgo a national TV appearance, he said they're already fed up with the "arbitrary, capricious polling standard" imposed by the media. "It won't take much for our supporters to understand why we're doing this," Paul explained. "You want war? We'll give it to you."

Later his campaign elaborated in a statement to Politico that multiple polls showed Paul should have qualified, and as many others have argued, polling in general offers an inaccurate picture of where the candidates really stand. "To exclude candidates on faulty analysis is to disenfranchise the voter," the statement said. "Creating 'tiers' based on electoral results of real votes might make sense but creating 'tiers' on bad science is irresponsible."

Certainly there are some in the media – cough – who will miss seeing Paul call out fellow candidates for their incoherent or even illegal proposals. It's still unclear at this point how Paul's boycott constitutes a "war," but journalists should probably prepare to be very thoroughly trolled on Twitter.

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Demoted Rand Paul boycotts debate, declares 'war' on 'arbitrary, capricious' standards
Republican presidential candidate businesswoman Carly Fiorina (R) gestures as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio looks on during in the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul gestures during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump is seen through the heads of audience members during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Ted Cruz, right, speaks as Donald Trump looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (R) speaks as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate businesswoman Carly Fiorina speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Ben Carson speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. Carson said his experience as a pediatric neurosurgeon prepared him to make tough choices as a leader. Asked if he could be "ruthless" as a commander-in-chief and order airstrikes that could kill children, Carson said that when he told children heâd have to take out a brain tumor "they donât like me very much, at that point. But later on they love me." (AP Photo/John Locher)
Donald Trump, second from left, makes a point as Ben Carson, left, Ted Cruz, second from right, and Jeb Bush look on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is introduced during the CNN presidential debate at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thirteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the fifth set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stand on stage as they are introduced during the CNN presidential debate at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thirteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the fifth set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, left, and Donald Trump laugh during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jeb Bush, right, makes a point as Ted Cruz looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Marco Rubio listens to debate moderator Wolf Blitzer during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Ted Cruz speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich gestures as he speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate businesswoman Carly Fiorina speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) waves as he walks onstage during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, left, and Ted Cruz stand together during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jeb Bush, right, speaks as Ted Cruz looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Carly Fiorina, left, responds to a question from debate moderator Wolf Blitzer during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Marco Rubio speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jeb Bush speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Chris Christie speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Donald Trump, left, and Ted Cruz stand together during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Ben Carson speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Donald Trump, left, and Ted Cruz shakes hands at the start of the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (L) shakes hands with former Gov. Florida Jeb Bush before the start of the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates Florida Sen. Marco Rubio greets retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson before the start of the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stand on stage as they are introduced during the CNN presidential debate at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thirteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the fifth set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
2016 Republican presidential candidates Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, from left, Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon, Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc., Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, listen to the U.S. National Anthem during the Republican presidential candidate debate at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. With less than two months remaining before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, middle-of-the-pack candidates hoping for a late surge in the polls have little choice but to come out swinging in tonight's fifth Republican debate. Photographer: Ruth Fremson/Pool via Bloomberg
Republican presidential candidates, from left, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul take the stage during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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