On FNC, NPR's Liasson Rips ABC's 'Inexplicable' Move to Leave Out Fiorina From Debate

NPR's Mara Liasson went after ABC News on Fox News Channel's Special Report on Friday over their decision to not invite Carly Fiorina to their upcoming Republican presidential debate: "It's inexplicable. I don't know how they can stand up and explain why the only woman in the race — who placed above some of the people who are on the stage and has a delegate — is not there. I can't even imagine...what the explanation would be." [video below]

Anchor Bret Baier raised the topic by noting how Fiorna won't be "on that stage...and she is fighting to try to get on that stage." Baier turned to Julie Pace of the Associated Press and asked, "What do we think...the fallout of that is going to be?"

Pace first gave an anecdote in her answer: "If you go to events in New Hampshire — not Carly events — other candidates' events — and you ask voters who they like, her name comes up so frequently." She also pointed out that "she is the only woman in the field," and added that "it's an odd decision to leave her off the stage."

Baier then remarked that "one thing New Hampshire hates is top-town, telling them what to do." Liasson interrupted by twice giving her "inexplicable" label. The Fox News anchor interjected by spotlighting how "she [Fiorina] has a delegate in Iowa."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the panel discussion segment from the February 5, 2016 edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report With Bret Baier:

BRET BAIER: I'm sure this is going to come up in the debate tomorrow — the experience hit. [Chris] Christie makes it; [Jeb] Bush makes it. Not on that stage: Carly Fiorina — and she is fighting to try to get on that stage. What — what do we think that is going to — the fallout of that is going to be?

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I mean, if you go to events in New Hampshire — not Carly events — other candidates' events — and you ask voters who they like, her name comes up so frequently. She has really made an impression on people in the state. She over-performed in Iowa, from where it looked like she would be in the polls. She is the only woman in the field. She is someone who has really, I think, set herself up to be a player in the Republican Party — even if she's not the nominee — for several years to come.

So, I think that — it's an odd decision to leave her off the stage. And, you know, it's something she's going to be campaigning on, though, over the next couple of days; and saying, you know, you — you've got to give me another chance, New Hampshire. So, she could turn it into her — her advantage if she's not let on in the end.

BAIER: I mean, one thing New Hampshire hates is top-town, telling them what to do—

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Oh, I think it's inexplicable, actually—

BAIER: She has a delegate in Iowa—

LIASSON: Yeah. It's inexplicable. I don't know how they can stand up and explain why the only woman in the race — who placed above some of the people who are on the stage and has a delegate — is not there. I can't even imagine — you know, what the explanation would be.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center