GOP Candidates Agree on Debate Shake-up

They want opening statements, 'parity' of questions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2015 5:14 AM CST
GOP Candidates Agree on Debate Shakeup
Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul take the stage during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado on Wednesday in Boulder, Colo.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

The debate about the GOP debates looks set to rumble on. Reps from at least 11 campaigns met at a hotel in the DC suburbs for a strategy meeting on Sunday night and emerged with a list of changes they want made after last week's widely criticized CNBC debate. The New York Times reports that the campaigns have agreed to demand 30-second or longer opening and closing statements for all candidates, an even distribution of both speaking time and the "parity and integrity" of questions asked, and vetting of any on-screen graphics about the candidates to be aired during the debates.

The campaigns agreed that they, not the Republican National Committee, should take charge of negotiating terms with the networks, the Hill reports. "They'll continue to do logistics and all that kind of stuff. But they're a partner. They're not our boss," says Ben Carson's campaign manager. The campaigns were split on several issues, including reinstating the next NBC debate, which Jeb Bush's people wanted and Donald Trump's team didn't, and doing away with "undercard" debates, which reps from the Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum campaigns called for, the Times reports. A source tells the Washington Post that the campaigns agreed early on that any changes can wait until after next week's Fox Business Network debate. (More Republican debate stories.)

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