Trump Throws Wrench in GOP Debate Revolt

As Christie, Kasich, Fiorina say they won't back demands
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2015 9:27 AM CST
Trump Throws Wrench in GOP Debate Revolt
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump taks with reporters before speaking at a No Labels Problem Solver convention Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Manchester, N.H.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

The Republican campaigns' joint effort to change upcoming GOP debates has cracked. After a meeting Sunday, the campaigns issued a three-page letter calling for no "lightning round" and the temperature in debate halls to be "below 67 degrees." But as New York puts it, "the revolt against the RNC was fun while it lasted." Donald Trump has announced that he'll negotiate with TV networks on his own, while Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina each say they won't sign the letter. Trump's campaign manager says he can "negotiate the best deals … which will ultimately help all of the candidates," per the Washington Post. But Ben Carson's camp says his undertaking is all for show. "Trump's basically asking for the same thing" as the other candidates, a rep says. "He's just going to do it with his own letterhead."

Still, Trump's move is a blow that "would undercut the leverage that the Republican campaigns have in pressing the networks to meet their demands," reports the New York Times. An RNC rep says the candidates "will be and always should be determining the best format for them." However, network execs are obviously frustrated. "We agreed to this and now you’re saying you're not agreeing?" says one. "Do you want Ben Carson deciding who your moderators are? The answer is no," adds another. Fiorina's campaign, which didn't send a rep to Sunday's meeting, says she doesn't care "whether it’s 67 degrees or our green room isn’t as plush as another candidate." Likewise, Christie says his rivals should "stop complaining. Do me a favor, set up a stage, put podiums up there and let's just go. Okay?" (Obama poked fun at the candidates' complaints last night.)

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