Audience members briefly broke into a “we want Rand” chant at Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate, referring to Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (R-Ky.), who just missed the cutoff for the main stage.

The chant prompted Fox Business Network moderator Neil Cavuto to stop midway through his question, but he laughed off the outburst after it stopped a few seconds later.

Paul could have attended the network's undercard debate, but he boycotted it, saying he had been unfairly kept off the main stage.

The Kentucky Republican used his exclusion from the debate to go on a two-day media blitz of all of the major networks. He gave multiple interviews on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, and staged a fake debate on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

CNN estimated Paul reached a total audience of 7 million viewers in the last 48 hours, while the last Fox Business Network undercard debate averaged 4.7 million viewers in November.

The network said Paul failed to meet the criteria for the debate's prime-time bout, which required candidates to poll in the top six in national polls or top five in Iowa or New Hampshire.

"Tonight, I am banned from the debate even though I met the arbitrary and capricious polling standards," Paul said in a video released Thursday night. "My voice is unique in the party and should not be banished."