Ben Carson Has ‘Concerns’ About First GOP Debate Polling Requirement

May 22, 2015 4:41 p.m.

Tea party favorite and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday voiced “concerns” over a polling requirement for GOP candidates seeking to quality for the first presidential debate of the 2016 cycle.

“I am writing you today about an issue that concerns me greatly,” Carson wrote in a letter to members of the Republican National Committee. “I am very worried that out of broadcasting convenience our party is about to exclude voices from our debate programs that are critical to making our party bigger, better, and bolder.”

Carson’s letter came a few days after Fox News announced that it would require candidates to average in the top ten of the five most recent national polls to be allowed to participate in the first Republican primary debate. If the debate were held today, Carson would actually qualify to be in the debate.

“The rules may be good for me personally, but they are not good for the process,” Carson said. “We are blessed to have many qualified candidates running for President. More than a typical debate format can handle. Surely we can find a format that allows every voice to be heard.”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Carson concluded his letter with, “I ask you to join me in seeking a solution that is inclusive of every voice.”

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) also argued that the new debate rules are a bad idea, however he would most likely not qualify for the debate, given the polling requirement. As Santorum himself noted Thursday, when he ran for president in 2012, he was lagging far behind most of the field at a similar point in the election cycle.

(H/t: Reid Wilson)

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: