- The Washington Times - Monday, May 25, 2015

Ben Carson has penned his second open letter to the Republican National Committee concerning the upcoming GOP presidential debates, which will only include the 10 best-polling candidates according to new restrictions set by host networks Fox News and CNN.

Initially, Mr. Carson urged the RNC to let all GOP hopefuls participate in the high profile debates beginning Aug. 6, asking consideration for himself and fellow hopeful Carly Fiorina.

The national polls, however, turned out to be in Mr. Carson’s favor; he is now on the Top 10 list after a Fox News poll found him tied with Jeb Bush in first place.

Nevertheless, he expounded on his concerns about the broadcasts, again calling for inclusiveness in an open letter released at the weekend.

“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. The rules may be good for me personally, but they are not good for the process,” Mr. Carson wrote. “We are blessed to have so many qualified candidates running for president, more than a typical debate format can handle. Surely we could find a format to allow every voice to be heard.”

With potential candidates including Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich to Sen. Lindsey Graham, the field of GOP presidential hopefuls currently ranges from a low of 12 — all the way up to 30, depending on who’s doing the counting. Candidates “must place in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls,” according to the Fox News criteria; CNN’s rules were similar.

“In the past, this type of rule has been used to keep ‘fringe’ candidates off the stage. None of these men and women deserves this exclusion,” Mr. Carson concluded.

As for Ms. Fiorina, her campaign manager Steve DeMaura issued his own statement, saying the campaign expects to meet the standards.

“We are confident that Carly’s growing momentum and support will meet and exceed whatever inclusion criteria Fox News and the RNC set. Fox News has deep political expertise and we are hopeful that whatever criteria they settle on will accurately reflect both the state of the race and the realities of the nominating contest,” he said.

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