UPDATE: After this Breitbart News story, a report in the Washington Examiner indicated the idea to have Levin (along with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity) moderate debates “took on life when RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer was asked about debate hosting during a Sirius XM radio interview last week” on The Wilkow Majority with guest host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
Sean Spicer, the communications director for the Republican National Committee (RNC), said conservative talk radio host Mark Levin should ask 2016 Republican presidential candidates questions in debates during the next election cycle.
Appearing on The Wilkow Majority with guest host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 on Friday, Spicer said that “the people who are out there talking to grassroots” should be asking Republican presidential candidates questions in the debates.
“Mark Levin should… ask the questions,” Spicer declared.
He mentioned outlets on the right like Breitbart News are reaching audiences beyond conservatives–and they are “posting the numbers” to prove it.
Spicer was on the program to discuss the letters RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote to NBC and CNN threatening to not partner with them on debates in the 2016 cycle unless they do not air the Hillary Clinton documentaries both networks will reportedly be producing. Breitbart News first reported on the letters.
When Bannon, the host, asked Spicer how he would respond to grassroots conservatives who felt the RNC wrote the letters as a ploy to limit the number of debates in order prevent a grassroots candidate from gaining momentum, Spicer said the RNC actually wanted to give the grassroots more of a voice in the process by allowing news and radio outlets–and not the mainstream media–to have more influence over the debates.
“Why not let those sources play a larger role in how they question those candidates?” he said, noting conservative media outlets should play a bigger role in determining “what issues need to be addressed”
Spicer said grassroots conservatives are “going to sources that are not mainstream” so it was important such outlets are heard during the nominating process. In addition, he said the mainstream media “don’t own everything on the block anymore,” and “they forget that.”
Spicer said since the RNC fired off the letters to CNN and NBC, Republicans–from the establishment to the grassroots–have been proud of the party and have been saying “this is the party I want to be a part of.”
Spicer said he could not emphasize how even the simplest suggestion can be adopted and help make the RNC better and more receptive to the concerns that grassroots conservatives, bloggers, and activists have.
UPDATE: Spicer also suggested Bannon, along with Breitbart News Editor Larry O’Connor, should also be asking questions at some of the debates as well.