After Candidates Push Back, GOP Debate to Be Two Hours Long

Donald Trump and Ben Carson had balked at the proposed 3-hour length.

— -- The Republican debate to take place on Oct. 28 will last for only two hours, according to sources at CNBC, after candidates pushed back on the proposed three-hour length.

Republican contenders Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson sent a joint letter on Thursday to CNBC, the network hosting the debate, saying that neither “will participate in your debate if it is longer than 120 minutes including commercials and does not include opening and closing statements.”

Trump told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Thursday night that he had previously “agreed to two hours” but his campaign was informed on Thursday that “they want to increase it by an hour.” Trump added that increasing the debate to three hours is “unfair to the viewers because it’s too much. ... They are doing it because they want to make more money.”

Less than 24 hours later, ABC News has learned that CNBC has decided to shorten the debate. Sources at CNBC told ABC News that the debate will last 2 hours and each candidate will have a 30-second closing statement.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that the format will also include candidate introductions and questions.

Donald Trump tweeted this morning that the two-hour length is “fantastic news for all.”