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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 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.