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That frustration spilled over in the debate's aftermath and a handful of campaigns are set to air grievances in a private meeting this weekend. The candidates said they were going to exclude the RNC from the meeting.
Mr. Andrew Lack
Chairman, NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10112
Dear Mr. Lack,
I write to inform you that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016. The RNC’s sole role in the primary debate process is to ensure that our candidates are given a full and fair opportunity to lay out their vision for America’s future. We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.
The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith. We understand that NBC does not exercise full editorial control over CNBC’s journalistic approach. However, the network is an arm of your organization, and we need to ensure there is not a repeat performance.
CNBC billed the debate as one that would focus on “the key issues that matter to all voters—job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.” That was not the case. Before the debate, the candidates were promised an opening question on economic or financial matters. That was not the case. Candidates were promised that speaking time would be carefully monitored to ensure fairness. That was not the case. Questions were inaccurate or downright offensive. The first question directed to one of our candidates asked if he was running a comic book version of a presidential campaign, hardly in the spirit of how the debate was billed.
While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of “gotcha” questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates. What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.
I have tremendous respect for the First Amendment and freedom of the press. However, I also expect the media to host a substantive debate on consequential issues important to Americans. CNBC did not.
While we are suspending our partnership with NBC News and its properties, we still fully intend to have a debate on that day, and will ensure that National Review remains part of it.
I will be working with our candidates to discuss how to move forward and will be in touch.
Chairman, Republican National Committee
originally posted by: Willtell
poor poor republicans...poor babies
originally posted by: jjkenobi
a reply to: infolurker
Could you imagine the outcry from the left if Matt Drudge was the next DNC debate moderator? Or Sean Hannity? Oh my God they would be throwing their pumpkin spice lattes out their windows!! But it's fine for ultra leftist reporters to moderate Republican debates on ultra left wing news channels.
When the "moderators" have an agenda to ask useless questions for the purpose of promoting the Democrats, you need to pull out.
originally posted by: theantediluvian
The GOP has become a party of whiners.
If their candidates can't stand up to the rigor of questions not delivered by sympathetic moderators hand picked by their campaigns, whose fault is that?
originally posted by: buster2010
Why should NBC consult with their campaigns? Do these Presidential hopefuls expect to get all the questions ahead of time or do they just want to tell NBC what they will or won't talk about. If these candidates cannot handle any question that is given to them on the fly then they don't deserve the most powerful office in our nation.
originally posted by: darkbake
I heard from a friend who watched the debate that the questions were basically trying to make all of the candidates look bad and / or fight amongst each other. NBC is a liberal news organization, it is interesting to see how biased they are. Would Fox News treat a Democratic Debate the same way? Probably...