No reason to have more of the same behavior by the commentators…..
The Republican National Committee has pulled out of its Feb. 26 debate with NBC News after widespread criticism from both the party and campaigns over this week’s CNBC debate.
“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 News chairman Andrew Lack.
“I have tremendous respect for the First Amendment and freedom of the press. However, I also expect the media to host a substantive debate on consequential issues important to Americans. CNBC did not.”
He went on to pan CNBC for “inaccurate or downright offensive” questions, specifically singling out a question to Donald Trump, who was asked whether he was running a comic book version of a presidential campaign.
“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,” he said.
“What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.
He added that the network didn’t deliver on the promise to focus the debate on key issues and to give the candidates an opening statement. The debate instead began with a question about the candidates’ weaknesses.
Donald Trump and Ben Carson had threatened to pull out of the debate unless candidates were given the opportunity for an opening statement, as many campaigns feel that helps to ensure the candidate’s message can come across even if they don’t spend as much time speaking.
The RNC still plans to hold a debate on that date that includes National Review, a conservative publication that partnered with NBC for the upcoming debate.
Candidates criticized the debate along similar lines during the contest itself, with Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) bashing the moderators for political bias and unfair questions. And Priebus issued a rare press release immediately after the debate expressing the party’s unhappiness with CNBC.
That frustration spilled over in the debate’s aftermath and a handful of campaigns are set to air grievances in a private meeting this weekend. The candidates said they were going to exclude the RNC from the meeting.