Following the CNBC debate train wreck, Republicans on social media demanded that the Republican National Committee (RNC) do more to maintain respectable debate standards.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus took a stand today with a letter to NBC, actually suspending the network and all of its media properties from debate coverage.
“The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to NBC chairman Andrew Lack on Friday. “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.”
… In his letter on Friday, Priebus argued that CNBC assured the committee that the debate would focus on substantive policy issues like jobs and taxes, but he said the network failed on that count. He also said it failed to guarantee relatively equal speaking time for the candidates. “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,” Priebus wrote in the letter to NBC. “What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.”
It’s good to see the GOP actually showing a spine for once. Somebody needs to preserve the integrity of the primary debate process, and to prevent these sparring sessions from becoming all-out cage matches like Senator Ted Cruz called the CNBC event.
The discussion the day after a presidential debate should be about the issues and what the candidates said- not about the debate moderators. This is not about whether or not the candidates can “handle” tough questions, it’s about getting back to the actual job function of a debate moderator. Moderators aren’t supposed to be wearing jerseys, they’re supposed to be the referees.