UPDATED: Donald Trump and Ben Carson said Thursday that they will not participate in the next Republican debate because of plans to extend it over two hours and to do away with opening and closing statements.
CNBC caved, agreeing to both demands on Friday.
The network declined to comment on the matter, but Trump tweeted about the victory on Friday morning. “CNBC has just agreed that the debate will be two hours. Fantastic news for all, especially the millions of people who will be watching!” he wrote.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus indicated that an agreement had been reached with CNBC over the format for the next debate in Boulder, Colo.
Priebus tweeted that the debate would last two hours, with no opening statements but a 30-second close. At the start, there would be an open-ended question asked of all candidates, and a 30-second answer.
“Very positive discussions with CNBC about GOP Debate: 2 hr total time, 30 sec closing, 30 sec open end question to all at beginning.”
CNBC is hosting the next debate on Oct. 28. But Trump and Carson, in a letter to CNBC’s Washington bureau chief Matthew Cuddy obtained by NBC News, said that their campaigns were not consulted over plans to cut the opening and closing statements and to go over two hours with commercial breaks.
“Neither of those conditions are acceptable,” Trump and Carson wrote in a joint letter.
A spokesman for CNBC said, in a statement, “Our goal is to host the most substantive debate possible. Our practice in the past has been to forego opening statements to allow more time to address the critical issues that matter most to the American people. We started a dialogue yesterday with all of the campaigns involved and we will certainly take the candidates’ views on the format into consideration as we finalize the debate structure.”
This isn’t the first time that Trump has threatened to not make appearances. He has had at least one boycott against Fox News that lasted all of a week and told CNN they should give $10 million to charity for him to show up for the first debate because he is such a ratings draw.