Several Republican presidential hopefuls are calling for changes in future debates among the candidates, but two of the candidates who campaigned in Iowa Monday are not joining that call. John Kasich said he’s not spending his time thinking up new debate criteria and intends to show up for the next debate.
“Look, I don’t like the whole formats in the debate. I don’t like 30 seconds and 60 seconds. I don’t think Harry Truman could get elected president under this format and then it gets to be about who’s got like of clever little answers,” Kasich said. “Now, if that’s the game we’re going to play, then, you know, that’s the game we play.”
Representatives of nearly a dozen GOP candidates met Sunday night to discuss changes after concerns about the televised debates erupted during last week’s CNBC debate. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie chastized the moderators for the tenor of their questions. Kasich, though, isn’t piling on.
“I’m governor of Ohio. I get questions all the time, O.K., and my only comment is that I didn’t get asked any questions in that debate that I felt were below the belt,” Kasich said. “I mean, what am I supposed to go around just attacking people because everybody else is? I’m not interested in doing that.”
Carly Fiorina did not send anyone from her campaign to the meeting about debates.
“We were here in Iowa, talking to voters, instead of being in D.C., talking about debates,” Fiorina said Monday. “I’ll debate anybody, anytime, anywhere.”
Fiorina, though, faults both CNN and CNBC for failing to allow conservatives to serve as debate moderators.
“The RNC established a set of rules that said there would be a conservative media partner, but in reality there really haven’t been,” Fiorina said. “So Hugh Hewitt in the CNN debate got, like, one question out of 30. CNBC didn’t even make a pretense of having a conservative partner. They have conservative commentaries on CNBC, Larry Kudlow would be an example, but he wasn’t even on the stage, wasn’t allowed to ask a question.”
Fiorina campaigned in Pella Monday morning. Kasich appeared at events in central Iowa. Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee also campaigned in Iowa Monday. The next debate for the GOP candidates is scheduled for November 10, on the Fox Business Network.