IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

RNC's Priebus threatens networks

Associated Press

NBC and CNN are planning to run specials on Hillary Clinton in the not-too-distant future, and it appears Republican Party officials aren't taking the news well.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee threatened on Monday to refuse to partner with CNN or NBC on any presidential primary debates if the two networks move ahead with plans for television projects on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Reince Priebus, the chairman, said in letters to the two networks that he considered the projects to be a "thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election."

Priebus is being cheered on by state Republican officials in Iowa and South Carolina, who are also threatening to exclude CNN and NBC from co-sponsoring presidential debates in the 2016 cycle unless the networks abandon their Clinton projects.

But it's Priebus who's being especially aggressive, saying he intends to hold a "binding vote" at the RNC's summer meeting, blocking NBC and CNN from partnering on party sanctioned debates. In fact, the RNC went on to say presidential candidates would be "punished" -- how, we don't know -- if they agreed to participate in debates aired by the networks.

Hmm. It was just a few months ago when Republican Party officials agreed that the party needs a broader reach to the American mainstream, and should look beyond Fox News and far-right blogs like Now Priebus is looking to dictate to NBC and CNN, threatening to exclude them during the next presidential race?

Brian Beutler added, "[I]t's sad commentary on the state of the GOP that the allure of gaping at the Republican primary train wreck is a source of negotiating power for the party."

David Plouffe, chimed in, too, suggesting the RNC stick to debates in a "hermetically sealed Fox studio" so that swing voters may not hear the "crazy s*#t" the party's eventually nominee might say.