Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus vowed to stand firm on keeping the GOP out of debates on NBC and CNN if the networks don’t pull upcoming shows on Hillary Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton has been in the public eye for well over two decades, so you certainly cannot claim that a series about her political career is any sort of public service or informational docudrama on an unknown individual,” Priebus wrote to NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt. “Quite the opposite is true: it would be most accurately described as an in-kind donation.”
He vowed to take a binding vote at the RNC meeting starting Aug. 14 to agree to neither sanction nor partner on 2016 debates if NBC doesn’t pull the miniseries, starring Diane Lane as Clinton.
NBC said in a statement that “NBC News is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project.”
CNN, in its own statement, vowed to continue with its planned documentary.
“CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more,” the network said. “Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters.”
Priebus said on Fox last night “it’s just about a time that our party stands up and protects the party and our candidates from networks that are not in the business of promoting our party, they’re not in the business of promoting our candidates, they’re not in the business of doing anything but promoting the Democratic Party.”
“And I’m not going to sit around and watch this happen anymore. So, look, in a couple years ago, we had a 23-debate traveling circus, and I think it’s time we cut out those people that are actually spending their time and money promoting our opponents. I’m not going to sit around and let it happen anymore. That’s all I’m saying. They can go ahead and do it. I can say no,” he said.
“…The fact that these folks, including many people that are at NBC, one of which is a major bundler for Barack Obama, would be surprised that we would actually exercise our own right to filter who actually deposes our candidates and who doesn’t. I think I’m being very reasonable here.”
Priebus noted a wider debate problem of getting rules in place for more “reasonable exchanges” and putting a foot down against “a bunch of moderators who are in the business of making news at the expense of our party and our candidates.”
“Right now I don’t, I can’t trust two organizations that are willing to spend millions of their own dollars in promoting a candidate that they know is gearing up to run for president,” the chairman continued.
“If it’s no big deal and just sort of this even handed review of Hillary Clinton, fine. Then just wait two years and when she doesn’t run for president, then move forward with your documentary. Nothing is going to change. Hillary will be here for plenty of years for us to produce movies and documentaries about Hillary Clinton. That’s all.”