Top Republicans Seek To End Most Debating, Replace It With Infomercial

CREDIT: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Ben Carson watches as Donald Trump takes the stage during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Ben Carson is seeking to rally Republican candidates to end most actual debating at future Republican debates. Instead, candidates would spend most of their time taking turns delivering speeches.

Carson’s campaign is convening a meeting of various campaigns on Sunday night. The campaigns will discuss Carson’s proposal, which includes “a minimum of five minutes for opening and closing statements with all major declared GOP candidates on stage.” There are currently 14 candidates that have regularly been appearing in debates. Giving them five minutes each for opening and closing statements would take 140 minutes, which is more than the total time for a typical two hour debate.

Carson also would like to reduce the total number of debates, calling them a distraction from campaigning.

Another suggestion from the Carson team is “to strip the cable and broadcast television networks of the rights to carry the debates and instead air them over the Internet, perhaps via Facebook or YouTube.” This could actually create more time for debate by eliminating commercials.

The meeting comes on the heels of the CNBC debate, which was broadly criticized as chaotic. The candidates have subsequently claimed that the questions by CNBC moderators were biased and inaccurate.

CNBC focuses almost exclusively on business concerns and one of the questioners at the debate launched the Tea Party with a rant on the network. The questions challenged by the candidates were actually accurate.

Ted Cruz has subsequently called for all future debate moderators to be registered Republicans. Cruz suggested Sean Hannity or Rush Limabugh.

Under pressure from the campaigns, the Republican Party has “suspended” a debate with NBC News in February. In a letter from RNC chair Reince Priebus wrote, “The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith… the network is an arm of your organization, and we need to ensure there is not a repeat performance.”


On CNN, Congressman Keith Ellison said it was a standard tactic for Republicans to claim the media outlets are liberal in the hope that they overcompensate.

Some Republican candidates, including John Kasich, have distanced themselves from criticisms about debates, saying challenging questions are simply part of the process.

The next Republican debate is scheduled for November 10 on Fox Business.