Speed Reads

a candidate scorned

Rick Santorum is not happy about being left out of the Fox News prime-time debate

In a blistering statement released Tuesday night, Rick Santorum's communications manager made it clear the campaign wasn't thrilled that Fox News is not including seven of the GOP presidential candidates in its prime-time debate Thursday.

"The idea that they have left out the runner-up for the 2012 nomination, the former four-term governor of Texas, the governor of Louisiana, the first female Fortune 50 CEO, and the three-term Senator from South Carolina due to polling seven months before a single vote is cast is preposterous," Matt Beynon said in a statement. There are 17 Republicans in the race, and Fox decided to limit its debate to just 10 candidates, determining the final roster by looking at the average of five recent national polls.

Beynon saved some of his ire for the Republican National Committee as well, saying: "While Fox is taking a lot of heat, the RNC deserves as much blame for sanctioning this process. They should not be picking winners and losers. That's the job of the voters." Santorum and the other six candidates who didn't make the cut — Carly Fiorina, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Jim Gilmore — have been invited to attend a 5 p.m. ET debate, four hours before the prime-time event.