PALM BEACH, Fla. – What if there were a presidential debate, and no one came?
The Republican Party is reportedly threatening to ban its White House candidates from televised debates if networks go ahead with plans to air movies celebrating the life of former first lady Hillary Clinton.
Breitbart.com reports that Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus sent stinging letters Monday to NBC and CNN, spelling out the threat.
“The RNC sees the odd programing move as an in-kind contribution to Clinton’s presumed campaign for President in 2016,” said reporter Mike Flynn. “As a result, the party will formally bar Republicans from partnering with the networks on any primary or presidential debates in 2016.”
Priebus wrote to CNN: “I find CNN’s actions disturbing and disappointing. Your credibility as a supposedly unbiased news network will most certainly be jeopardized by the decision to show political favoritism and produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign.”
His letter to NBC states: “I find this disturbing and disappointing. NBC cannot purport to be a neutral party in American politics, and the credibility of NBC News, already damaged by the partisanship of MSNBC, will be further undermined by the actions of NBC Universal executives who have taken it upon themselves to produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign.”
The summer meeting for the RNC is Aug.14, and Breitbart reports Priebus will seek a binding vote by the full RNC to bar the party from partnering with, or sanctioning, any primary or presidential debate with the two networks.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh, the leading on-air voice for conservatism in America, thinks the Republican Party should go further than this threat over any movie about Mrs. Clinton.
Limbaugh said on his national radio program Monday: “The chairman of the RNC is saying, ‘Look, if you guys do this Hillary stuff, you’re giving her whatever, a four-hour miniseries commercial. Screw that! You do that, and we’re not showing up at your debate.’ Well, let’s not show up at the debate anyway, because they’re gonna do the four-hour Hillary infomercial whether they do the movie about her or not. Or whoever the Democrat candidate is.”
“The question is why should the Republicans actively participate in something designed to defeat them? Why should the Republicans actively, willingly, happily participate in debates moderated by people who want to make sure people at the end of the debate do not like them and will not vote for them?” he continued.
“I actually think the chairman of the RNC could send this letter and simply say, ‘We’re not going participate anymore in debates moderated by your journalists.’ And don’t make the Hillary movies part of it. OK, so they cancel the Hillary movies. It’s OK then to let NBC’s biased moderators and journalists savage Republicans in debates? My point is, the GOP, the RNC ought to pull out of all of these debates that show up on MSNBC, on NBC, on ABC or CNN. There’s nothing to gain.”