Ben Carson's planning a GOP debate revolt: Campaign manager says he wants to round-up competitors and ditch the RNC

Clearly the logical next step in the GOP's anti-media uprising

By Sophia Tesfaye
October 29, 2015 5:58PM (UTC)
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After being called out for his relationship with a shady medical supplement company during last night's third Republican presidential debate on CNBC, Ben Carson's campaign has taken the standard Republican anti-media shtick and redirected its ire at the Republican National Committee (RNC), threatening to lead a revolt of the campaigns against upcoming party-sanctioned debates.

Carson's campaign manager, Barry Bennet, told the Washington Examiner that he planned to organize competing campaigns to pressure the RNC to make what he called "wholesale change" to future debates.


"I think the families need to get together here, because these debates as structured by the RNC are not helping the party," Bennet said immediately following the end of Wednesday's night CNBC debate.

"I think at this point, if five or six of us get together, who generate the largest portion of the audience, we can force change," he insisted confidently, threatening to commandeer the debate process away from RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

"There's not enough time to talk about your plans, there's no presentation. It's just a slugfest. All we do is change moderators. And the trendline is horrific. So I think there needs to be wholesale change here," Bennet explained.


Bennet told the Examiner that he plans to call Donald Trump's and Carly Fiorina's campaign managers this week to rally them against the RNC sanctioned debate process. "I will call those guys and say listen, we can choose our own network and our own format. We don't need to be led around like prize steers," Bennet said.

For his part, RNC chair Reince Priebus went straight into CYA mood even before the debate ended, adding to the anti-CNBC pile-on and vowing to fight for a better next debate. (The next debate is on the Fox Business Network, so I doubt Priebus will have much trouble delivering on that promise):

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Ben Carson Cnbc Gop Gop 2016 Gop Debate Reince Priebus Republicans Rnc