WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – Donald Trump may have a problem with her face, but Carly Fiorina’s mug is about to get a lot more exposure after CNN revealed the former Hewlett-Packard CEO will take part in the top-tier Republican presidential debate next week.
Eligibility for the top-tier debate was based on averages of national polls, although CNN amended its criteria to include a focus on polls conducted after the first debate due to pressure from the Fiorina campaign.
Trump has been performing well in recent polls and will take center stage, flanked by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to his right and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bushto his left.
Sens. Ted Cruz, R- Tex., Marco Rubio, R- Fla., and Rand Paul, R-Ken., will also take part in the debate along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former ArkansasGov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Prior to the top-tier debate at 8:00 pm ET, five other Republican presidential candidates will take part in what’s been referred to as the “kids table” debate beginning at 6:00 pm ET.
The candidates who did not make the cut for the prime-time debate include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R- Penn., Louisiana Gov.Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- S.C.
CNN said former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who participated in the debate last month, did not meet the criteria for inclusion in next Wednesday’s debate.
Fiorina’s ascension to the prime-time debate platform comes as she has seen a jump in support since she turned in a strong performance in the previous debate among second-tier candidates.
The businesswoman has also recently been in the news after Trump appeared to insult her appearance in a Rolling Stone article.
“Look at that face!” Trump cried with a look of disgust, according to reporter Paul Solotaroff. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
Fiorina, the only woman in the crowded Republican presidential field, largely shrugged off Trump’s remarks in an interview with Fox News, saying the “comments speak for themselves.”