Carson: Debate rules ‘good for me personally’ but hurt the process
© Greg Nash
 
“I am very worried that out of broadcasting convenience our party is about to exclude voices from our debate programs that are critical to making our party bigger, better, and bolder,” he wrote in a letter released Friday.
 
“The rules may be good for me personally, but they are not good for the process.”
 
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Carson’s message comes days after Fox News and CNN announced restrictions on who will appear at their debates.
 
Fox will limit its stage to only the top 10 candidates in the national polls, while CNN will host two flights — one of the top 10, and one of all candidates with at least 1 percent in the polls.
 
As of now, Carson finds himself squarely in the top 10, with a Fox News poll from earlier this month finding him tied in first with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. 
 
But the crowded field includes a number who could find themselves out of the top 10 come the first debate in August, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
 
Carson praised the large field and noted it includes more candidates than a “typical debate format can handle.” But he called on the party to come up with a format that would be inclusive.
 
“This type of rule has been used to keep ‘fringe’ candidates off the stage,” he wrote.
 
“None of these men and women deserves this exclusion.”
 
The accomplished neurosurgeon turned presidential hopeful also wrote a letter to the RNC before the networks announced the debate rules calling for all candidates to participate in the debates.