Leading GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson have each signed a letter sent to CNBC Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Cuddy objecting to the terms set forth for the Oct. 28 GOP debate in Boulder, Colo. At issue: a proposal to make the debate longer than two hours and to do away with opening and closing statements.
“Neither Mr. Trump nor 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 letter reads.
The second GOP debate of this cycle–which turned out to be CNN’s most-watched program ever–ran more than three hours, much to the chagrin of the candidates. Trump himself tweeted that CNN was “milking it.”
Tonight on On the Record, Trump told Greta Van Susteren, it’s not about the candidates as much as it is about the voters: “I can stand for five hours, I can stand for 10 hours but it’s unfair to the viewers.”
“It was agreed to two hours and now all of a sudden yesterday they came up with this additional long period of time whatever it may be but it was originally agreed that it was going to be two hours. I mean, the networks are making a fortune off of this stuff. They never made money, they always lost money with it but now they are making a fortune – I wonder why? – but now they are making a fortune with it so, you know, it’s a little bit tough.”