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Trump, Carson Threaten to Pull Out of CNBC GOP Debate

GOP Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson are threatening to pull out of CNBC’s Oct. 28 Republican debate if as proposed the debate goes beyond two hours, according to published reports.

In a letter (opens in new tab) to CNBC Thursday, the Trump and Carson camps said neither candidate would participate in the debate if its longer than 120 minutes including commercials and does not include opening and closing statements, according to NBC News.  

CNBC had proposed that its debate would not include opening and closing statements and would run two hours plus an additional 16 minutes in commercial breaks, according to NBC.

In a statement Thursday, CNBC spokesman Brian Steel said: "Our goal is to host the most substantive debate possible. Our practice in the past has been to forego opening statements to allow more time to address the critical issues that matter most to the American people. We started a dialogue yesterday with all of the campaigns involved and we will certainly take the candidates’ views on the format into consideration as we finalize the debate structure.”

Previous Republican Presidential debates, powered mostly by Republican frontrunner Trump, have generated record ratings for Fox News and CNN.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.