Donald Trump will not join his fellow Republican presidential candidates, and will instead negotiate his own deals with television networks concerning future debates, the Washington Post reported.
The real estate mogul’s decision came a day after officials representing 11 GOP campaigns put together a letter on Sunday to be sent to network hosts. According to the Post, two of his senior aides attended the meeting, but came away unconvinced that any agreement would offer him “the most possible airtime” during future events.
Barry Bennett, the campaign manager for Trump’s rival Ben Carson, downplayed any differences between the two camps, saying that Carson and Trump’s teams agree “90 percent of the time,” but that Trump is against allowing more candidates to be part of the party’s primetime debates.
“They don’t want more people onstage, because they think that would mean more people taking shots at him,” Bennett said. “I’d argue that putting more people onstage actually helps Trump the most, as everyone’s going to want to divide the time evenly.”
Politico reported late last week that Carson and Trump’s campaigns were among those who pushed for the meeting, along with advisors for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Faced with the prospect of losing control of the debates, the Republican National Committee announced on Sunday that it would appoint someone to work with both the campaigns and networks.