Ben Carson: RNC, CNBC Should Release Debate Criteria ‘As Soon As Possible’

Second Debate
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Republican National Committee (RNC) and CNBC won’t reveal the GOP primary debate criteria, which will tell us what candidates will be on the primetime debate stage.

CNBC will host the debate, on October 28 in Colorado, but the network – along with the RNC – won’t reveal polling and cut-off criteria for the GOP candidates, something GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said is “kind of unfair.”

“I think it’s because they don’t know what the criteria should be, which is kind of unfair,” Carson told Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle during Breitbart News Sunday.

Although Carson is polling second nationally out of the GOP candidates and won’t have a problem making the primetime debate stage, he thinks the criteria should be released sooner rather than later.

“I would want them to release them as soon as possible actually, so that if there is any protest there is time to deal with it,” he added. “It could be the strategy is – wait until the very last minute to release them, there won’t be anytime for protesting, just move on with it – I suspect there may be something to that, I don’t know.”

Carson explained to Boyle he hopes to get into more substantive topics during the upcoming debate.

“My strategy is not to get sucked into getting into the mud when talking about my fellow candidates like some people fell for that service last time,” Carson said. “I’m just not going to do that. I’m hopeful we’re going to get into substantive issues.”

Carson isn’t the only presidential candidate to suggest CNBC and the RNC should release the debate criteria “as soon as possible.” GOP presidential candidate Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief strategist suggested the same in an interview with Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle.

Curt Anderson, a chief strategist for Jindal, speculated that the secrecy behind not releasing the debate criteria might be in order to hurt lower polling candidates and help more establishment GOP candidates such as Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. John Kasich.

There’s all sorts of theories on what the criteria will be. You have the RNC who famously said during the Fox debate that they’re not legally allowed to be involved now saying that they’re working with CNBC on the criteria. What does that mean? I don’t know. I kind of smell a rat here though.

“Anderson, the former political director at the RNC in the late 1990s, said he suspects the RNC is improperly, on the donor class’ behalf, getting involved in the primaries to eliminate disfavored candidates from debates,” noted Boyle. “The voters should decide who should be in the race and who shouldn’t, Anderson told Breitbart News, instead of the RNC and liberal network executives “screwing around with democracy.”

Since the second GOP primary debate, hosted by CNN, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped out of the race. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry suspended his campaign prior to the CNN debate. With both Walker and Perry out of the running, 15 candidates remain in the GOP field, but it is yet to be decided who will make the cut-off for the CNBC debate.


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