Rand Paul: GOP banned me from stage

Presidential candidate Rand PaulRand PaulTrump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Trump flexes new digital muscle Republicans question Trump's trip to Scotland MORE released a video Thursday night during the GOP undercard debate — which he boycotted — saying he refuses to be silenced and that the Republican Party needs to allow "dissent" and a "diversity of opinion."
 
"I may have been excluded from the debate tonight, but I won't be silenced," he said.
 
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Without his voice, he added, the libertarian wing of the party "wonders if they need to look elsewhere, outside of the party for representation."
 
Paul did not make the cut for the main stage of Thursday's presidential debates and decided not to take part in the undercard debate. He argued that he deserved a spot on the main stage and that without him, the party loses is unique perspective.
 
Instead, he asked that supporters join him in an online national Facebook town hall at 9 p.m. Thursday — the same time the main-stage debate is set to begin.
 
"Tonight I take the message directly to the people," he said. "Turn your TV off. Choose your own destiny. … Choose liberty, unfiltered and direct from the source."
 
In the video, Paul said the Republican party needs to be "bigger, better, bolder." It needs to be a party that welcomes everyone and allows diversity of opinion, he said.
 
"Tonight, I am banned from the debate even though I met the arbitrary and capricious polling standards," he said. "My voice is unique in the party and should not be banished."
 
Earlier this week, he said the GOP was "responsible" for his debate exclusion.

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