Republican National Committee End NBC Partnership, CNN Will Host February GOP Debate
The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced Monday it has officially cut ties with NBC and will partner with a different media outlet for an upcoming Republican debate following their fallout over the CNBC GOP debate in October 2015.
In a statement, RNC chairman Reince Priebus confirmed the cancellation of the RNC partnership with NBC, which was initially scheduled to host the Republican primary debate in Texas on Feb. 26. Instead, CNN will host the debate on Feb. 25.
"The Republican National Committee has decided to move forward without NBC's participation in the February debate in Houston, Texas. The RNC has awarded the debate to CNN, who will broadcast it on Thursday, Feb. 25 in Houston at a location to be decided," reads the statement.
Despite the severed ties, Priebus stated the RNC will maintain its partnership with NBC's sister network Telemundo, the second largest Spanish-language network in the nation.
"The RNC is ensuring the partnership with Telemundo and conservative partners National Review and Salem Communications will continue as planned," he said.
Preibus' announcement comes almost two months after CNBC hosted the Republican presidential debate in Boulder, Colorado on Oct. 29, 2015. According to the RNC, the debate moderators were biased and asked the GOP candidates loaded questions. For instance, GOP front-runner Donald Trump was asked if he was running a "comic book version" of a campaign, complained Priebus.
At another point during the debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was asked if he "hated" his job in congress since he has notoriously missed a number of Senate votes. Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz insisted the debate "was not a cage match."
Immediately following the debate, Priebus announced the RNC's intentions to cancel its partnership with the network in a letter to NBC Chairman Andrew Lack, calling the moderators unprofessional.
"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," Priebus said.
Priebus added that the CNBC debate was "conducted in bad faith" and CNBC is a reflection on the NBC News brand.
"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," Priebus said.
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