Republican presidential front-runner and ratings magnet Donald Trump is threatening to bail on the next GOP debate if his demands for format changes aren't met, the New York Times reports. According to the Hill, Trump was upset about CNN's three-hour Republican debate and doesn't want a repeat at CNBC's upcoming Oct. 28 debate, which currently has no set running length. "Why is the @GOP being asked to do a debate that is so much longer than the just-aired and very boring #DemDebate?" Trump tweeted Thursday. He claims the lack of a set run time is just a ploy by CNBC to sell more commercials. The Hill reports Trump helped bring record ratings to the debates on Fox News and CNN, whom he said should send him flowers and a thank-you note.
But it's not just Trump complaining about the CNBC debate. Ben Carson joined Trump in threatening a boycott if the debate runs more than two hours, CNN reports, and the Times reports aides for Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee all raised concerns—largely about the plan to do away with opening and closing remarks—during conference calls with the Republican National Committee Wednesday and Thursday. “If we don’t have opening and closing statements, CNBC can go f--- themselves," Politico cites Rand Paul aide Chris LaCivita saying during the Thursday call. A representative of the poorly polling Lindsey Graham reportedly said his candidate would be more than happy to take the place of anyone who bows out of the debate.