Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

GOP Chief Suspends Deal with NBC for February Debate

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

GOP Chief Suspends Deal with NBC for February Debate

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Charging that Wednesday's CNBC-hosted debate was "conducted in bad faith, the Republican Party chairman on Friday suspended the party's partnership with NBC for its February primary debate. Chairman Reince Priebus was angry at CNBC for how it handled Wednesday's Republican debate, saying the network should be "ashamed of itself for not focusing more on economics and other issues.

Republican presidential campaign officials have since demanded a change in format that would allow more serious airing of issues. Priebus on Friday struck first.

"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, he told NBC.

"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, he said. "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 spokesman Brian Steel had responded Wednesday, "People who want to be President of the United States should be able to answer tough questions.

The next Republican debate, Nov. 10 in Milwaukee, will be hosted by Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal. Media organizations rotate sponsorship of debates.

Priebus wanted changes. "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,' the chairman said.

"That was not the case.

Conservatives have been livid about the debate. …

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