CNBC has accepted the demands made by leading Republican presidential candidates in its upcoming Republican presidential debate.
GOP frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson had threatened to pull out of the debate if the debate wasn’t limited to two hours and if they weren’t provided the opportunity to make opening and closing statements. Losing the leading candidates would have been devastating for ratings.
However, with commercial breaks also being considered into this two hour time limit, the actual debate will last less than 90 minutes. With more than ten GOP candidates set to appear on stage, their air time will most likely be extremely limited. And with much of the time being spent on opening and closing statements, the moderator will undoubtedly have a very difficult time asking every desired question.
Needless to say, there will be a very short time window for an actual debate to take place. That being said, there was little that CNBC could do, as the presidential candidates hold all the power in the situation. If they don’t participate, the debate is essentially worthless.
The previous debate ran for more than three hours, leading to some candidates looking visibly exhausted during the later stages of the debate. Additionally, the candidates felt that it was difficult for them to get their primary messages across without opening or closing statements.
However, unlike Trump and Carson, GOP candidate Carly Fiorina was perfectly fine with the original structure of the debate.
Fiorina said, “Well, I think apparently they're worried about answering questions for three hours. For heaven sakes, we have ten candidates on stage. I don't think three hours is a long time."
The campaigns for the two candidates still need to approve the new format of the debate.
Spokesperson for the Republican National Convention Sean Spicer said, “We are having an ongoing conversation with CNBC and the candidates.”
The final format should be determined by the network in the coming days. The debate will take place in Boulder, CO.
CNBC has declined to comment on the matter.