GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump tweeted Friday that CNBC has agreed to limit the next Republican debate, Oct. 28 in Boulder, Colo., to two hours. Trump has complained about the length of the last debate, which stretched to three hours and had earlier tweeted that he did not know why it was going to be longer than the "just-aired and very boring" Democratic debate, which was under two and a half hours.
And Trump was not the only one complaining.
NBC News reported Thursday that both Trump and Ben Carson, who is running second in the GOP race, had threatened to boycott the debate if it was longer than 120 minutes (including commercials), according to a letter to CNBC Washington Bureau chief Matthew Cuddy dated Oct. 15.
They also said they want opening and closing statements for all the candidates, which will further cut into the debate part of the debate.
The major candidate debate—there is an hour undercard debate as well—was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET, which means it will need to be over by 10, rather than stretch to 11 as the previous Republican debate did.
"To be clear, neither of our campaigns agreed to either the length you propose or your ban on opening or closing statements," they wrote Cuddy. "In fact, neither of our campaigns were even consulted."
The Republican debates have set ratings records for Fox and CNN, driven by the ever-quotable Trump (opens in new tab).
A CNBC spokesperson was not available for comment at press time.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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