RNC moves to freeze out networks on debates
August 16th, 2013
12:08 PM ET
1 year ago

RNC moves to freeze out networks on debates

Boston (CNN) - The Republican National Committee approved a resolution Friday vowing to sideline CNN and NBC from the presidential primary debate process in 2016 unless the networks abandon plans to produce programs about Hillary Clinton.

CNN recently commissioned a documentary film about Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, that is scheduled to run in theaters and on CNN sometime in 2014.

NBC, meanwhile, is developing a dramatic miniseries about Clinton, who is considering a second presidential bid and would almost certainly enter the race as the Democratic frontrunner in 2016.

"For the first time our party rules allow us to take action on these debates. So it is time that we do what's right for our party and our candidates. And by the way, it is the right thing to do for our voters," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at the meeting.

In a statement released after the vote, CNN responded: "CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. The CNN broadcast date has not been determined. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. The project is in the very early stages of development, months from completion with most of the reporting and the interviewing still to be done. Therefore speculation about the final program is just that. We encouraged all interested parties to wait until the program premieres before judgments are made about it. Unfortunately, the RNC was not willing to do that."

The seven-point resolution, which passed by voice vote, describes the television projects as "little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton," promises that the RNC "will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor" unless they halt production of the programs.

The language also notes that Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, contributed to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and President Barack Obama's re-election bid in 2012.

The measure goes to the heart of what Republican insiders believe was a major problem for the party during the 2012 primary process – a marathon debate schedule that kept GOP candidates off the campaign trail and led several of them to make a string of damaging statements in full view of the national electorate.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney staked out hard-line immigration positions in several primary debates – he famously called for illegal immigrants to "self-deport" – and the comments were used against him to devastating effect by the Obama campaign during the general election.

A group of Republican officials who were asked to draft a post-election "autopsy" report and plot a path forward for the party called the number of primary debates in 2012 – 20 in all - "ridiculous."

The RNC "shall endeavor to bring more order to the primary debates and ensure a reasonable number of debates, appropriate moderators and debate partners are chosen, and that other issues pertaining to the general nature of such debates are addressed," Friday's resolution said.

The committee has no formal power to prevent Republican candidates from participating in network debates, but they could decide to enact penalties for candidates who might choose to ignore the resolution.

Before the vote, Priebus earned a standing ovation from the 168-member committee when he accused the two networks of "obvious bias" and said CNN and NBC "won't be hosting a single Republican primary debate."

"We're done putting up with this nonsense," he said. "There are plenty of other news outlets. We'll still reach voters. Maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will just have to watch on their competitors' networks."


Filed under: RNC
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Steveo

    @Lynda/Minnesota

    "My political leanings don't have the priority in my life. My Christian faith does. That is what colors my opinions."

    Well said, Steveo. I respect your opinion for speaking out thus.
    ------------–
    Thank you Ma'am!

    August 16, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Gary

    For those who only watch NBC or CNN, here's what you'll miss.

    Welcome to the Republican Debates.
    Senator Paul, What color is the sky?
    Paul. " Obama's bad, Obama's bad, Obama's bad"
    Senator Cruz, what is 2+2?
    Cruz. " Obama's bad, Obama's bad, Obama's bad"
    Gov Perry, is fire hot?
    Perry. " Huh?, what was the question?"
    Gov Christie, How many calories in a Big Mac?
    Christie, " Hey! knock that crap off, I only hugged the guy"
    Sean and Rush, what did you think about the debate?
    "They knocked it outta the park"

    August 16, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. L

    So they say they are for free speech huh? The RNC is a joke and historians will have a field day at their lame attempts to destroy our Democracy. They need to understand they only control Fox Crazy News Station and no one else. CNN, NBC and other Credible news organizations should simply refuse to cover any GOP primaries or Candidates. That would help them understand we are not interested in there terrible, destructive platform or their unintelligent Candidates. I would welcome the opportunity to miss their silly debates, and if they are carried only on Fox, I won't watch. I think a lot of people tune in just to see the GOP's cringe worthy answers, and they already know these far right zealots have no hope of winning a national election ever again.

    August 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Tony

    I have a better idea. CNN, NBC and other non-FOX networks should stop covering the Republican National Convention, the one that nominates the Republican presidential candidate. Let the RNC find out who needs whom.

    August 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. ApostasyUSA

    Fox News was created in the 90's to sell the Republican talking points to Americans. It worked for a while but now they are fading away and good riddance. Republicans are terrible people and even worse leaders.

    I think Hillary is going to be President whether Republicans like it or not.

    Look, Republicans couldn't beat "Barry", what makes you think they can take Hillary? HA!

    Go back to your silly 24/7 propaganda campaign called fox news and wallow in your ignorance Republicans. No one and I mean no one is going to miss seeing your fake debates.

    August 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People

    I think it is a perfect suggestion, now ban ABC and CBS and hold all the debates on Fox moderated by Lush, then in 2017 have an "autopsy" to find out what the Hell happened...

    Stupidity: doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    August 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Do you get out there and say to other conservatives that we are to love all of God's children (everybody), Black, White, Gay, straight, no matter one's religion or creed. We are love each other as Christ loved us – right?"

    To give Steveo credit, he has been open to what his personal feelings are. I wouldn't chastise him for a political party out of control by coloring him as some sort of bigot. There are many good people who support the GOP. Drawing a broad brush against all Christian GOP supporters isn't the best way to get folks to open their minds and hearts.

    August 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Clarity

    Basically it is censorship that the the RNC is seeking!

    August 16, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. boungiorno

    grandma and gramps were right, BUT we didn't heed their advice; and Sooo, as the old saying goes; YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 16, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Steveo

    @Just a thought

    Steveo said,
    My political leanings don't have the priority in my life. My Christian faith does. That is what colors my opinions. I guess I don't have to mention how I feel about abortions and gay marriage BUT that does not give me the right to shout people down or mistreat folks over it either.
    --
    Wait as a Christian, who does that comport with the racially biased part of your conservative base? Do you get out there and say to other conservatives that we are to love all of God's children (everybody), Black, White, Gay, straight, no matter one's religion or creed. We are love each other as Christ loved us – right? You must really be conflicted...I feel for you in your fence straddling in your tacit support (thru apathy) of the hate within your party ranks which then directly conflicts with your faith.Wow I got confused just stating this...can't imagine what its like for you
    ----------–
    Wow, just wow. First of alI I can only speak for my faith! Mine! That is why I told DD I don't believe everything that comes out of a conservative's mouth is right and everything that comes out of a liberal's mouth is wrong. It appears you missed that! No wonder you confused yourself in your own statement. You STILL don't get it. I disagree with racism no matter what party it originates. You need to be reminded that racist folks exist on the left as well does that mean you support it? All I can tell you is this, one day I wil be judged for me, not for you not for a political party but for me!

    "Do you get out there and say to other conservatives that we are to love all of God's children (everybody), Black, White, Gay, straight, no matter one's religion or creed. We are love each other as Christ loved us – right? You must really be conflicted"

    Did you bother to ask the NAACP, the CBC, Jesse or Al to speak up about that kid who got beat up on that school bus? They spoke up about Zimmerman, as they should have BUT where are they now? In short, you might just want to reconsider the throwing of stones my way!

    August 16, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Captain

    How is a Hillary Clinton docudrama anything but a two hour campaign ad? Will it include all her troubles with her husband and his skirt chasing over the years? Will it talk about Whitewater and the Vince Foster murder? Will it talk about her foundation and the corruption it contains? And finally, will it show the truth about Benghazi? Will she claim "what does it matter?" again? I don't think so. The Media, including NBC, MSNBC and CNN are in the tank for Hillary and have lost any claim at being objective journalists. Is Fox News slanted? Sure they are, but if Fox News and the Fox Network planned on running two hour campaign docudramas for the candidate they favored, wouldn't the Democrats complain and take them to court, not to mention the ACLU getting involved. All parties should step aside and let the process play out without their interference.

    August 16, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "Do you get out there and say to other conservatives that we are to love all of God's children (everybody), Black, White, Gay, straight, no matter one's religion or creed. We are love each other as Christ loved us – right?"

    To give Steveo credit, he has been open to what his personal feelings are. I wouldn't chastise him for a political party out of control by coloring him as some sort of bigot. There are many good people who support the GOP. Drawing a broad brush against all Christian GOP supporters isn't the best way to get folks to open their minds and hearts.
    -------–
    Wow... talk about well stated. IF the democratic party would be open and sympathetic to the views and feelings of people of faith, instead of constantly demonizing us, they might get a lot more support from us. Why they wont, I'll never know. There's no room for us in their "big tent" I guess.

    August 16, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Revolution

    You libs are a hot mess! Clueless all the way to the slaughter house. I'm enjoying the show tho...

    August 16, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. DG

    Last I checked, the news ratings for Fox News is way above the rest anyway, so most people will be tuned in if it occurs on this station. Maybe we can silence that liberal minority to fade away into oblivion and we can take our country back to it's former state of glory! We certainly aren't there now by any means. Let me know if your happy yet with all your agenda's on the left, how are they working out for you? Living in a box yet?

    August 16, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. dh

    So bush lies about iraq that killed 4,000 americans is ok with you? Or bush ignoring emails from bin ladin telling hom he was going to attack us...then he did on 9/11!! Killing another 3,000 americans!! Or bush collapsing our economy then handing the mess to Pres Obama!!!
    Bush should be under the jail. The repubs even cut the bugets for security at our embassies!! Where was your outrage when the bush had 11 embassy attacks during his 8 years, killing many more than 4? Get your facts straight. Americans told you republicans TWICE, we do not want you!!!

    August 16, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Steveo

    @Lynda/Minnesota

    "Do you get out there and say to other conservatives that we are to love all of God's children (everybody), Black, White, Gay, straight, no matter one's religion or creed. We are love each other as Christ loved us – right?"

    To give Steveo credit, he has been open to what his personal feelings are. I wouldn't chastise him for a political party out of control by coloring him as some sort of bigot. There are many good people who support the GOP. Drawing a broad brush against all Christian GOP supporters isn't the best way to get folks to open their minds and hearts.
    --------
    Thank you Lynda. I have said before I lean right but vote issues. A good idea is a good idea no matter where it begins

    August 16, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Nodack

    Republicans are scared _hitless of Hillary. They have gone into destroy her at all costs years before the election. They have several Republican groups already dedicated to attacking Hillary 24/7 until it gets closer to the elections where FOX can take over the full time duties of smearing her. I can only imagine all the scandals they will be able to think of by then.

    Good luck with that Republicans. You are the official we hate everybody and do nothing party. You think Americans will vote for that? Good luck.

    August 16, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Hal

    Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Hey GOP morons, you have no creditibility anyway and nobody is going to vote for you except for your brain dead stupid fox watchers, GOP idiots , can't wait till you get blown out in the midterms and 2016, GOP losers the most hated political fake party in the USA!!!!!
    ------------------------------------------------
    I take it you are an obama supporter?

    August 16, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. under the radar

    What about equality in the process. Oh that's right, the GOP/RNC believes they are above all else.

    August 16, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. 2L

    Just checking to see if anyone cares – apparently not

    August 16, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. kirk

    Funny Garry funny.sad too

    August 16, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. brilliant strategy

    Oh darn, less debates? So, the Repubs think it is a good thing to limit the exposure of their candidates...damn, these boys are geniuses!!!!

    August 16, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. matrixnov

    Are you kidding me – this is just again showing the American public who & what the RNC has become – beholden to the Christian Coalition, Tea Party & right wing zealots that will limit access to their roundup of clowns on parade – listen this parties ready to throw Christie overboard for being a "lefty" – the party of hate, obstruct, destroy and refusal to do the peoples work & actually govern is NOT a legitimate political party – it is a neo-fascist organization that encourages its members to be well armed, pack heat, ignore the democratic process, use lies & mistruths to characterize your opponents as UN, in this case UNAMERICAN – all they are looking for is beer halls and a weirdly mustachioed character to make this sick, lame, truly disgusting objectionable, offensive hate based party complete!!!

    August 16, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    This is the rebranded Republcan Party with new ideas? Nothing has changed under the leadership of chaiman Priebus. The Republican national brand under his leadership is an embarassment.

    August 16, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Laverne

    She has not even confirmed she is running even though she probably is. I think it's hilarious and it shows how worried the republicans are about Hilary Clinton. They know she will mop the floor with anybody on the other side with her knowledge, experience, candor and yes her womanhood not to mention the Obama campaign machine and ground game will far surpass anything the other side has to offer!

    August 16, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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