The Republican National Committee formally decided Friday not to partner with CNN and NBC News for any presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle, a rebuke of the networks’ plans to air programs about Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Top RNC leaders voted unanimously on a resolution stating that the national party will not partner with the networks nor sanction any primary debates they plan to sponsor and broadcast. (Read a full copy of the resolution below.)
Cable and broadcast television networks have sponsored and produced dozens of presidential primary debates during the recent presidential election cycles, often partnering with state parties or other political organizations in order to draw candidates to the televised events. During the 2012 cycle, top networks sponsored at least 20 debates that stretched from May 2011 to February 2012; CNN hosted seven debates, while NBC News, CNBC or MSNBC hosted four.
And as Politico’s Dylan Byers notes, the ban will extend to Telemundo and CNN Espanol.
Personally, I think this is an idiotic move. One, if the Hillary documentaries were biased, that’s an easy talking point in the debate; two, since Reince Priebus keeps saying the GOP needs to reach out to Latinos, why boycott Telemundo?; and three, if Republican candidates are afraid of getting outwitted by Candy Crowley at a debate, maybe they’re not presidential material in the first place.