Christie: Move to undercard debate is a transfer, not a demotion
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says being left off of the main stage at the next Republican primary debate isn’t a blow to his presidential campaign.
 
“I don’t see it as a big blow at all, and I don’t see it as a demotion,” Christie said on CNN’s “The Lead” on Friday.
 
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Christie, who has qualified for the previous three top-tier debates, instead described the move as a “transfer.”
 
“The fact is, we’re going to be on the stage, we’re going to be debating, people are going to be watching,” he said.
 
The governor said the media will still give him attention if he performs well at the undercard debate.
 
The fourth primary debate, hosted by Fox Business Network on Tuesday, will reduce the number of participants on the main debate stage from 10 to eight.
 
Christie will be joined in the matinee contest by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was also relegated to the undercard for the first time, as well as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Sen. Rick Santorum.
 
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former New York Gov. George Pataki, who had appeared in earlier happy-hour debates, will not be included in either event.