Donald Trump has registered another victory after CNBC, the host of the next Republican presidential debate, caved to his demand for a shorter event which would include opening and closing statements.
With fellow “outsider” candidate Ben Carson, the real-estate mogul sent a letter to the network on Thursday in which he threatened not to participate without such changes.
Trump leads most polls concerning the 15-strong Republican field with Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with the same complete lack of experience in elected office, running second.
The CNBC debate, the third in the Republican primary campaign, was set to last two hours, not including commercial breaks. The two-hour running time will now include commercial breaks and opening and closing statements for each candidate.
That will further reduce the time available for back and forth – actual debate – between the 15 White House hopefuls.
On Friday morning, Trump took to a familiar platform, Twitter, to crow about his victory.
The move came after several rocky conference calls about the debate format between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and various GOP presidential campaigns. Several campaign organisations reportedly expressed displeasure, but no candidates went as far as Carson and Trump, in threatening to pull out.
Not every campaign had qualms. A spokeswoman for Carly Fiorina used the contretemps to take another shot at Trump, who has frequently sparred with the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive.
An RNC spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.