Carson rips Fox debate moderators over speaking time

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Ben Carson on Friday balsted the moderators of Thursday night's Fox News debate in Iowa, saying they intentionally passed him over for questioning because he refuses to attack his rivals.

“You’re not going to go to the person who's not going to fling mud,” Carson told The Hill in a phone interview late Friday. “This is entertainment. Our country has become sort of more like ancient Rome with the coliseum. Everyone wants to go to the coliseum and they want to see the blood and the gore even though society is deteriorating around them.”

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According to an analysis by NPR, Carson got the least amount of speaking time of any of the seven candidates on stage – six minutes and 11 seconds – .

Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzMeet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Party chairs see reversal of fortune McConnell: Trump White House will have ‘constraints’ MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco RubioSunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Fla. Senate candidate bashes Rubio The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Fla.) each got double the speaking time of Carson, clocking in at more than 13 minutes each. Cruz and Rubio are running second and third in most polls of Iowa, behind front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Primary isn't 'rigged,' just 'dumb' Trump University judge to unseal documents Dole: Gingrich should be Trump's running mate MORE, who skipped the debate. 

Carson is in fourth place in Iowa, according to the RealClearPolitics average. But even those who trail Carson – former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota Overnight Regulation: GOP slams new Obama education rules Paul blocks chemical safety bill in Senate MORE – notched more talking time than he did at the debate.

“It would be nice if the moderators tried to be a little more equitable,” Carson said. “I understand they want to stoke controversy and they know that I probably won’t get into a big fight with someone, so they’d rather go some place they can stir up a fight.” 

“But at some point maybe it’d be good for them to recognize that the debate is for the purpose of disseminating information to the voters, and really talking about the real issues and finding out from all the candidates what their positions are on certain issues,” he continued. “That would make a lot more sense.

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