Supporters of Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul briefly disrupted Thursday night’s Republican debate to protest the Kentucky senator being excluded from the main stage.

“We want Rand!” the protesters chanted.

“Alright,” moderator Neil Cavuto said after the demonstrators stopped their brief protest.

Earlier this week, the Fox Business Network announced that Paul had not met the qualifications to be on the main stage for Thursday’s debate — something Paul has contested. The libertarian firebrand vowed to boycott the undercard debate, saying he would not participate “in anything that’s not first tier because we have a first tier campaign.”

Speaking with TheBlaze just hours before the debate, Paul said he felt he had made the right choice.

“You have to make a strategic decision,” he said. “On the one hand, there’s only three weeks left and if you are designated by the media — you accept the label of second tier, I think you are telling the voters, ‘Well I guess it’s over.’”

Paul added, “Or you could make the choice that we made and say, ‘You know what, we’re not a second tier campaign. We’ve raised $25 million, we just announced 1,000 precinct chairs in Iowa and guess what we are first tier and we are going to take our message to the voter. We chose the latter, because we really do believe we have a chance.”

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