Fox News is using CNBC's announcement that it would change the format of its upcoming GOP presidential debate following presidential candidate Donald Trump's demand that the network do so to applaud Trump's negotiating skills.
CNBC Announces New GOP Presidential Debate Format, Adhering To Trump's Demands
New York Times: “CNBC Gives In To Donald Trump On Details Of The Debate.” On October 16, CNBC announced changes to their October 28 Republican presidential debate format, shortening the originally-scheduled three hour debate to “two hours, including commercial breaks,” and allowing candidates opening and closing statements, both of which were accommodations Trump demanded:
CNBC will allow the Republican presidential candidates 30-second opening and closing statements at a debate this month, bowing to the demands of Donald J. Trump and other leading candidates that they be allowed to introduce themselves.
The Oct. 28 debate at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo., will last two hours, including commercials, another accommodation to Mr Trump, who was unhappy with a three-hour debate last month in California.
Mr. Trump and Ben Carson, who are leading in many polls of the Republican field, led the push on the opening statements and time limit, threatening to boycott the forum if their demands were not met.
“The campaigns have figured out if they act collectively they can effect change,” said one top strategist to a Republican hopeful. [The New York Times, 10/16/15]
Fox News Uses CNBC's Changes To Praise Trump's Negotiation Skills
Steve Doocy: “This Just Proves [Trump's] Core Principle, Which Is 'I Am A Great Negotiator.'” On the October 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said that CNBC's move proves Trump's “core principle, which is 'I am a great negotiator'” :
STEVE DOOCY: You know, this is all hypothetical because, according to Charles Gasparino, he has tweeted out that his sources inside CNBC say they will cave to Trump and it's simply based on the fact that they would prefer to have two hours with Trump than three hours without Trump.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Of course. If they're smart they'll do two hours with Trump and Carson.
DOOCY: Here's the other thing regarding Donald Trump, this just proves his core principle, which is 'I am a great negotiator.' He just negotiated the presidential debate from three hours to two hours. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/16/15]
Fox News Contributor Judith Miller: “Now We See What Donald Trump Would Be Like In Negotiation With Vladimir Putin.” On the October 16 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, Fox contributor Judith Miller applauded Trump's ability to influence CNBC, saying this provides an example of “what Donald Trump would be like in negotiation with Vladimir Putin” :
JON SCOTT (HOST): Judy, we should mention CNBC has not officially commented on this at all. But Trump says that they folded, that they wanted a three hour debate, he said, “If it's longer than two hours, I'm going to walk.” So give us your take. Is it good for the country that Donald, that the media are caving in or are giving way to the candidates' demands, or should there be more debate, more time on air?
JUDITH MILLER: Well, I'm not necessarily convinced that more time leads to a more scintillating or enlightening debate. I mean, you can get past two hours and not only are the candidates really tired standing up, but so is the audience. On the other hand, of course CNBC wanted a three hour debate if they could sell advertising at $150,000 for a 30-second clip, that's the Wall Street Journal estimate. But now we see what Donald Trump would be like in negotiation with Vladimir Putin. And I can just tell you that it appears that CNBC needed Trump more than he needed them and that gives you leverage and perhaps it shouldn't be that way but this is the marketplace and the marketplace has spoken and Trump has won. [Fox News, Happening Now, 10/16/15]
Gretchen Carlson: “If People Are Wondering Why Donald Trump Is On The Top Of The Republican Side Right Now, You Just Got To Look At This.” On the October 16 edition of Fox News' The Real Story, host Gretchen Carlson lauded Trump, saying “if people are wondering why Donald Trump is on the top of the Republican side right now, you just got to look at” CNBC's decision. Guest Mike Gallagher agreed, calling Trump “a dealmaker” :
GRETCHEN CARLSON: Let's move on to this now, though. Donald Trump claiming a victory over CNBC, as we're hearing the network may have scaled back its plans for a three hour debate after he and Dr. Ben Carson threatened to boycott it. Let's bring back in our panel, Mike Gallagher and Alan Colmes. Wow. I mean, if people are wondering why Donald Trump is on the top of the Republican side right now, you just got to look at this, right?
MIKE GALLAGHER: People called my radio show all day today saying, “He can get a network to acquiesce to his demand that this debate be two hours or less?” This is exactly why he's so popular. He's a dealmaker. Everybody's saying, and certainly his supporters are saying -- and there are more and more every day it seems, “He gets it done.” And CNBC looks terrible on this. [Fox News, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, 10/16/15]