CLEVELAND, Ohio — Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus, according to an RNC spokeswoman, will stand behind Salem Communications’ Hugh Hewitt — at least for now — as a co-moderator of the next GOP debate despite Hewitt’s public criticisms of frontrunner Donald Trump’s candidacy.
On Meet The Press this Sunday, Hewitt opined that he believes Trump does not have the “temperament” to be president of the United States. He doubled down on that on Morning Joe on MSNBC on Monday morning.
“Hugh Hewitt has interviewed every major Republican candidate this cycle and demonstrated an ability to ask tough, fair and balanced questions that Republican voters care about,” Allison Moore, an RNC spokeswoman, told Breitbart News when asked in response to the Meet The Press incident whether Hewitt can be a fair moderator when he doesn’t like the GOP frontrunner. “We expect his handling of this debate to be no different.”
With Hewitt out there publicly ripping Trump on more than one occasion, it’s raised concerns that perhaps after what happened in the recent Fox News-sponsored debate that he might not be much better of a moderator. Despite the obvious efforts by Fox News to swipe at Trump—efforts that clearly failed as evidenced by post-debate polling—RNC chairman Reince Priebus defended moderators Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier on the spin room floor after the debate.
“Yeah, I think the moderators were fair,” Priebus said when asked by Breitbart News if he thought Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace were fair in the questions they asked. “The candidates have availed themselves to the process. So no one forced candidates to come on stage and answer questions so when candidates availed themselves to the process and availed themselves to the press, they opened themselves up to the process. So you know what? It really doesn’t matter whether it’s fair or not.”
If Hewitt continues ripping Trump, it’s unclear how this situation will develop. But after the fiasco here in Cleveland post-GOP-debate, things could get very interesting. Hewitt’s debate, which he will be co-moderating with CNN’s Jake Tapper, is more than a month away. It will take place on Sept. 16 in Simi Valley, California, at the Reagan Library.