Unhappy with Debates, GOP Campaigns to Meet Without RNC

Cruz Takes Issue With Debate Questions 0:29

Republican presidential campaigns are planning to meet Sunday in Washington D.C. to discuss their frustrations with the primary debate process, NBC News has confirmed.

But the meeting will not include the Republican National Committee, which has worked with media organizations to help plan the debates.

The weekend gathering was first reported by POLITICO.

An organizer of the meeting says that 10 campaigns have signed on so far to what’s being billed as an effort to "find common ground on what the campaigns want the RNC and networks to address.”

Not every 2016 team has the same concerns; frontrunners are largely interested in limiting the number of the contests, which can be a huge drain on a candidate’s time, while lower-tier candidates depend on the media exposure provided by a primetime audience.

But sources tell NBC that almost all of the campaigns have expressed deep frustration with the RNC, which they say hasn’t fought for the interests of the GOP candidates.

Campaigns have expressed unhappiness with the process throughout the cycle, but objections grew after CNBC's Wednesday debate, which numerous candidates openly panned as disorganized and engineered to be contentious.

RNC head Reince Priebus tweeted his discontent Wednesday night.

But the 2016 campaigns are now moving to make their own demands instead of working through the RNC.

They hope to come to a consensus Sunday night on issues including the number of debates, the format – including the inclusion of opening and closing statements – and the length of the contests.

But it’s unclear if all campaigns will be able to come to an agreement or whether they will present an ultimatum to Republican officials and the networks hosting the debates.