- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 28, 2016

The lower-tier Republican candidates chafed Thursday against their failure to resonate with voters as they squared off in the “undercard” of the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, blasting the press for denying them the attention they said they needed to gain a foothold.

“This is what the media has been doing over the last year in trying to segregate and take Iowans out of the process,” said former Sen. Rick Santorum — the winner of the caucuses in 2012 — as he pleaded with Iowans to upset the prognosticators and deliver him another win.

The debate — the seventh of the primary season — also saw former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III make his first appearance at a debate. He found himself trying to explain to an Iowa audience why he’s not competing for their votes in Monday’s caucuses.

“This is not the place where I’m choosing to begin my campaign,” he said.

The undercard debate featured four candidates, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and businesswoman Carly Fiorina rounding out the field. The prime-time debate later Thursday was to feature seven candidates.



But both affairs, aired on Fox News, were overshadowed by GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s decision to not appear at the debate but instead to hold a rally to raise money for veterans.

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