Well, it’s getting sillier. In quick summary:
- First, a Republican attorney drafted a letter to submit to networks hosting the remaining debates, complete with juvenile demands, and which he composed after meeting with most of the campaigns.
- Next, one candidate went straight to media criticizing those demands, causing some others to follow suit, each one hoping to look manlier than the other.
- Then media (even Fox News) jumped on the bandwagon to criticize the demands.
- And now the campaigns are divided about what to do with a second, watered-down letter of demands to media, which was created after the first one got leaked to the press, but which is still just as stupid as the first one.
- And a third letter was just proposed by one of the campaigns, too.
Here are the details:
Ben Ginsberg is a Republican attorney who met with representatives of 12 of the 15 Republican presidential campaigns. Upset over the challenging questions that CNBC’s debate moderators subject them to in the October 28 debate, they come up with a list of demands that other networks and hosts must abide to in the future debates.
For example, they specifically rejected what they called “lightning round” questions – even accusing the networks of “gotcha” and “frivolous” questions – which the campaigns said they wouldn’t answer. The campaigns even demanded that the hosting networks “take responsibility” for questions asked by the audience. The bratty demands then turned more juvenile, such as restricting microphones and particular camera angles – even preventing the networks from showing an empty podium because it might insinuate a candidate was in a restroom.
“The Trump Campaign will continue to negotiate directly with the host network to establish debate criteria that will determine Mr. Trump’s participation.”
Ginsberg et al then came up with a watered-down renovation of their original letter, and that took out most of the childish demands. That variation apparently wasn’t good enough, though, because even Fox’s Megyn Kelly criticized it. Reading the new list on Monday’s broadcast, she snorted “And then maybe, like, a foot massage?”
CNN complained about it, too, and its host Kate Bolduan stated no intentions of compliance:
“You’re not going to tell a CNN control room, or any other network’s control room, what the director shots are going to be.”
And then other campaign’s started jumping on the Trumpwagon. Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and John Kasich all announced they wouldn’t sign the new letter.
Some offered different reasons, though, and some of which seemed even sillier than the original letter. Christie and Kasich battled over whose reply would be the manliest. Cruz stipulated the debates should only have established conservatives as moderators. And Fiorina’s campaign said it wouldn’t sign because it really wanted the debates to be restricted to the farthest-right of all media:
"(W)e encourage the RNC to sanction conservative networks such as the Blaze and One America News to host and moderate a debate."
As for the other 10 Republican candidates? Well, on the evening of November 3, Carson’s campaign told the others that it would have a new, more concise letter.
So far only Bobby Jindal agreed to add his signature to Carson’s letter, though. The remaining eight presidential wannabes haven’t responded.