Former Gov. Rick Perry cut from GOP debate

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's fair to say Donald Trump is the headliner in Cleveland, Ohio this week.

Polling atop all 17 Republican presidential candidates in 2016, the bombastic and unapologetic, has a message that is resonating with potential Republican voters.

Former Governor Rick Perry, among the most critical of Trump, is out of the top 10 prime time debate and will take part in a forum inside Quicken Arena, some four hours before the main event.

"It adds a lot of intrigue and it adds a lot of excitement," said Matt Borgas, the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

Borgas conceded it's hard, with so many candidates, to accommodate all of them. But he said they've made sure all 17 get a chance to have their voices heard.

"Our party is all about inclusiveness and making sure that all the voices are heard and so those other folks that have declared and wanted to debate are going to have an opportunity to have a forum as well," he said.

While Perry is out, three men with deep Texas roots are in, finishing among the top 10 of the five recent national polls which Fox News used to determine the participants. Fox is hosting the August 6 debate with Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who spent much of his youth in Houston, and whose parents former President George H.W. and Barbara Bush still call Houston home, was second in the polling.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of former Lake Jackson Congressman Ron Paul, also made the top 10.

And Houstonian and first-term Texas Sen. Ted Cruz polled in the middle of the pack.

Cruz, by the way, has been the least critical of Trump as the New York Billionaire has made his way to the front of the pack and center stage Thursday night.


1. Donald Trump
2. Jeb Bush
3. Scott Walker
4. Mike Huckabee
5. Ben Carson
6. Ted Cruz
7. Marco Rubio
8. Rand Paul
9. Chris Christie
10. John Kasich


Rick Perry
Rick Santorum
Bobby Jindal
Carly Fiorina
Lindsey Graham
George Pataki
Jim Gilmore
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