Here's what the rebelling Republican candidates are demanding after the CNBC debate fiasco
Aides to the various Republican presidential candidates gathered in Northern Virginia on Sunday to band together and demand changes to future debate formats.
The meeting came after Wednesday night's CNBC debate, which was fiercely criticized by Republicans for questions they described as biased — and by others for its disorganization.
And in a remarkable feat among campaigns with widely diverging interests, they were actually able to achieve some consensus.
According to The New York Times' Ashley Parker, here were their demands:
- 30 seconds or more for opening and closing statements.
- "Parity and integrity" for the questions.
- No "lighting rounds," in which the candidates are forced to give fast, often one-word answers.
- Approval of graphics displayed during the debate. (This was apparently a demand of Jeb Bush's campaign. During the CNBC debate, a graphic depiction Bush's career ignored his eight-year stint as Florida governor.
Draft of the demands that will sent to networks:
This list of demands is relatively modest compared with the widespread outrage that followed the CNBC event. The Republicans bitterly complained of questions they felt were overly nasty, such as one asking real-estate mogul Donald Trump if he were running a "comic book" version of a presidential campaign.
See notable moments from the latest Republican debate:
CNBC defended its debate format, arguing that candidates for president should be able to handle tough questions. But that was not enough to quell the furor. The Republican National Committee on Friday even went as far as to suspend a February debate with NBC News, a sister network of CNBC.
The candidates weren't able to come to a consensus on everything at the Sunday meeting, according to Parker and Politico's Alex Isenstadt. Some of the lower-tier candidates are eager to be on the main, prime-time stage, while Trump's campaign has no interest in sharing the dais with 13 other people.
"One flash point in the meeting, according to several people in the room, came when Jeb Bush's campaign manager Danny Diaz urged the group to reinstate the planned Feb. 26 debate with Telemundo, which the RNC suspended this week," Isenstadt wrote. "Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski pushed back hard, threatening to boycott the event entirely."
He further reported that the coming Fox Business Network debate, on November 10, would not be subject to the candidates' demands. It's unclear whether the networks will acquiesce, or what the candidates will do if the networks refuse their demands.
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