Ah, the power of Trump. Billionaire businessman and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump exercised some of his considerable power on Friday when he got CNBC to acquiesce to his demand that the next Republican debate be limited to two hours instead of the original three the network was planning on.
Trump, along with fellow candidate Ben Carson, sent a letter to CNBC saying that they wouldn’t participate “if it is longer than 120 minutes, including commercials, and does not include opening and closing statements.”
Their demand drew a negative response from Carly Fiorina during an appearance on The Kelly File on Fox News Thursday night:
Well, I think apparently they’re worried about answering questions for three hours. For heaven sakes, we have 10 candidates on stage. I don’t think three hours is a long time.
“They also apparently asked for prepared statements,” Fiorina continued. “You know, prepared statements are what politicians do. … So, honestly, here are two outsiders supposedly. Donald Trump and Ben Carson—they sound a lot like politicians tonight to me.”
Trump and Carson decided to band together in this case after the last debate hosted by CNN went on for a mind-numbing three hours, not including the undercard debate.
Not only were the candidates tired, but so was the audience.
CNBC made the right decision, notwithstanding Fiorina’s criticism. With the economy set to be the main debate topic and CNBC lining up mostly economics reporters to ask questions, a three-hour debate was a guaranteed snoozer and ratings loser.