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2016: RNC Awards Liberal Media Majority of Sanctioned Debates

Liberal media outlets will host six of the nine 2016 GOP presidential debates that the Republican National Committee (RNC) will sanction.

On Friday, the RNC announced the nine sanctioned debates from August 2015 through March 1, 2016 with three more that are pending. Though there is a pending “Conservative Media Debate,” conservative new media outlets and talk radio did not receive a sanctioned debate. RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer has previously said that conservative media outlets can often hold Republican candidates more to account than mainstream media outlets.

Fox News outlets will host three of the sanctioned debates while CNN, CNBC, NBC/Telemundo, ABC, and CBS will host the others. Left-wing MSNBC will not host a debate like in previous cycles. Given Rupert Murdoch’s favorable comments about potential candidates Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, conservatives may wonder how critical of establishment Republican candidates Fox News will be in the debates.

The nine sanctioned debates are listed below:

1. Fox News
August 2015
Ohio

2. CNN
September 2015
California

3. CNBC
October 2015
Colorado

4. Fox Business
November 2015
Wisconsin

5. CNN
December 2015
Nevada

6. Fox News
January 2016
Iowa

7. ABC News
February 2016
New Hampshire

8. CBS News
February 2016
South Carolina

9. NBC/Telemundo
February 2016
Florida

The three pending debates are:

Fox News
March 2016
TBD

CNN
March 2016
TBD

Conservative Media Debate
Date TBD
Locations TBD

RNC Chair Reince Priebus claimed the “sound debate process” and schedule would ensure that Republicans “will have a robust discussion among our candidates while also allowing the candidates to focus their time engaging with Republican voters.” The RNC asserted more control over the debate process to avoid clown shows where left-wing activists masquerading as “objective” media anchors like George Stephanopoulos try to set traps for and get unflattering soundbites of Republican presidential candidates to help the Democrat in the general election. Candidates who participate in any potential non-sanctioned debates will be barred from the sanctioned debates.

“It is exciting that Republicans will have such a large bench of candidates to choose from, and the sanctioned debate process ensures voters will have a chance to gain a chance to hear from them,” Priebus said.

After asserting that “the American people are tired of President Obama’s policies,” Priebus claimed that he was “confident the debate process will enable candidates to communicate their ideas and ultimately help us elect a Republican president in 2016 to get our country back on track.”

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