Politics

CNBC Changes Debate Format To Accommodate Trump And Carson's Demands

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Donald Trump, Ben CarsonDonald Trump, Ben Carson

The threat of non-participation in the CNBC debate by front-runner Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson has worked in their favor as the station has agreed to their demands of limiting it to two hours and allowing for opening and/or closing statements.

In an Oct. 15 joint letter to CNBC Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Cuddy, obtained by NBC News, Trump and Carson wrote that they would not attend the debate unless certain conditions were met.

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"Neither Mr. Trump or Dr. Carson will participate in your debate if it is longer than 120 minutes including commercials and does not include opening and closing statements,” the candidates wrote.

The letter was written in response to a debate agenda sent to each Republican candidate's campaigns by CNBC in partnership with the Republican National Committee (RNC).

“The @GOP should not agree to the ridiculous debate terms that @CNBC is asking unless there is a major benefit to the party,” Trump tweeted in response to the agenda, on the evening of Oct. 15.

CNBC has reportedly agreed to adhere to their demands.

"They said those conditions are 'all but certain,'" as long as all the campaigns sign off on the new format, a source with one of the campaigns told CNN.

RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told CNN that "we are having an ongoing conversation with CNBC and the candidates” and the finalized format for the debate should be determined soon.

"Fantastic news for all, especially the millions of people who will be watching!" Trump tweeted the morning of Oct. 16 after hearing the news.

Trump and Carson were not the only candidates who opposed the CNBC debate format, Opposing Views reported.

Both Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul Of Kentucky  also reportedly objected to the original format.

Former Gov. of Florida Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said they would be there regardless of what format the debate took, but they added that they did prefer to have opening and closing statements.

Now that the demands of Trump and Carson have been agreed to, all of the candidates should be present at the CNBC debate on Oct. 28 in Boulder, Colorado.

Sources: CNN, NBC News, Opposing Views / Photo Sources: Gage Skidmore/FlickrJohn Pemble/Flickr