Donald Trump said on Friday that it would be “fair” for his opponents Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie to be included on the main stage in next week’s Republican debate in Milwaukee.
“I think it would be a good idea—and fair—to include @GovChristie & @MikeHuckabeeGOP in the debate. Both solid & good guys,” the real estate mogul and GOP presidential candidate tweeted Friday morning.
Trump’s suggestion comes a day after Fox Business announced its lineup for the Nov. 10 GOP debate. Participation was based on four recent polls and requires candidates to have an average 2.5% or higher.
Eight candidates will be on the main stage: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, and Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, are in the undercard, as are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former U.S. senator Rick Santorum. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former governors of New York and Virginia George Pataki and Jim Gilmore didn’t make the cut for either.
In the past, Trump has said candidates who are polling poorly should drop out of the race.
“If a person's been campaigning for four or five months and they're at zero or one or two percent, they should get out," Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday. He later said on “Good Morning America” that Jeb Bush should “absolutely” drop out of the 2016 race.
“He doesn’t have a chance," he said of Bush, whose campaign has been struggling lately.
Trump also took a shot at Carson, the GOP front-runner, saying the retired neurosurgeon should drop out of the race because he “doesn’t have the experience” to be president.
Carson recently took the lead among the GOP candidates in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll, with 29% of support from GOP primary voters. Trump, who has been leading the GOP field since he announced his bid in June, is in second place with 23%.