Carson: Don’t televise GOP debates

Ben Carson’s campaign is suggesting that future Republican presidential debates only be broadcast over the Internet, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The suggestion that the future debates not be televised is one of several calls for reforms from one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination after a debate last week on CNBC that was widely criticized by the candidates.

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“We also think there are too many debates,” Carson spokesman Doug Watts told the Wall St. Journal on Saturday. “They’re all bunched up and they really do take a lot of time away from the campaign and they take a lot of financial resources for us to be able to work on them.”

Carson is leading polls in Iowa, which hosts the first contest in the GOP primary in February. He also has surpassed Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump aide: 'Hillary is the one who’s got a gender gap' Trump aide: Picking a woman or minority as VP would be 'pandering' Trump adviser: He will 'soften' on Muslim ban MORE in some national polls, giving him leverage in the loud debate over changing the debate process.

Carson’s campaign manager, Barry Bennett, is holding a meeting with GOP campaign representatives on Sunday night to discuss changes to the remaining debates.

The retired neurosurgeon’s campaign says future debates could be carried on Facebook and YouTube, unnamed sources familiar with the situation told the Journal. They believe doing so will strip television networks of their power to control the formats of the debates.

The campaign also says the forums should prioritize lengthy statements from candidates rather than frequent moderator intervention.

“He’s throwing out suggestions,” Watts said of Carson. “I don’t think he’s saying, ‘This is what we want.’ He’s giving some suggestions and some context. He’s saying, ‘This is what we have on our minds.’”

There are eight debates left in the primary election cycle. The next one, hosted by Fox Business Network, will be Nov. 10 in Milwaukee.

The Republican National Committee pulled out of a scheduled debate early next year with NBC, CNBC’s parent network, in response to the complaints about last week’s debate.

 

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