Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office Trump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Trump flexes new digital muscle MORE (R-Ky.) isn't going quietly after being dropped from the prime-time stage at the Republicans' next presidential debate, literally flipping off the media during an interview.
Paul reiterated during a radio interview
on Thursday that he thinks "it's a mistake for the Republican Party to want to limit the debate and make it smaller."
"I think you have to make a strategic decision about what's good for your campaign," he said during the interview with ABC News Radio's Aaron Katersky broadcast on Periscope
Paul argued that his boycott of the undercard debate is largely backed by his supporters.
"Ninety-nine percent of our supporters are calling in and saying —," raising his middle finger, "for the media, that's where you can go."
Fox Business has said that the Kentucky senator, who has appeared in the prime-time event at the previous five GOP debates, didn't meet the criteria
for Thursday's main debate, based on his polling figures.
Paul said he will boycott the undercard debate, held for low-polling candidates, urging
supporters on social media to "turn off" their TV and instead follow an online "national town hall" featuring him.
He has also gone on a media blitz
leading up to the debate this week, arguing he presents a unique voice in debates and accusing the media of trying to decide the election for voters.
“I don’t think anybody in the media should decide or have an artificial designation on who can and who cannot win, and that’s what it does,” Paul said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
—This report was updated at 12:04 p.m.