Good evening friends, It's great to be able to sit down with you again for our nightly Ask Ben chat. Keep texting in your thoughts and questions at 275-236 (ASKBEN).
I get a lot of questions about my views on the debate process, so I thought I'd discuss it some this evening. Public debates are an important opportunity for the American people to hear directly from their candidates. We spend so much time trying to spread our messages, but between the media distortions, the negative ads and political rumor mills, everything get's pretty jumbled. There is no room for that kind of distortion when we get on the debate stage, just as I will tomorrow night in New Hampshire. That's why I think it's important for every candidate to participate.
I have called for a change to the debate process in order to make sure all candidates are given more equitable opportunities to answer questions and that the stage itself is representative of the entirety of the Republican Party. We need to begin by getting rid of the "Coliseum' mentality that is driving moderators to instigate fights between candidates. We should be answering substantive questions about how we will fix the problems facing America today. That is why I always try to stay above the fray, even if it means sacrificing time in the spotlight. I am also interested in seeing a more collegial format -- where the candidates can discuss issues less formally, and with longer speaking times allotted. This will provide an opportunity for candidates to fully convey their positions on the issues rather than creating sound bites for the news.
No matter the format, I will eagerly take the stage at any debate. It is a privilege to be running for President, and I am immensely grateful to We the People for the support that they have shown me throughout this process.