RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared that CNBC “betrayed” both the RNC and the candidates on Friday’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel.
Priebus said, “the truth is is that we were betrayed, and I think the candidates were betrayed by CNBC, and we need to look out for the candidates in these future debates. But the truth is is that what they promised was straight up finance, it’s all spelled out you there in the letter, and that wasn’t delivered. They promised that they would have an open-ended question up front kind of like a pseudo-opening statement about freedom or finance, something that was within the realm of CNBC’s mission, that didn’t happen. Instead it was about your greatest weakness. The questions were argumentative, petty, putdowns in many cases, purposely pitting candidates against each other. Everything that they promised not to do, everything, from the beginning to the end. And so, look, CNBC is an arm of NBC. I am not going to allow us to move forward until we communicate with the candidates, getting obviously, some serious conversations of what it is that all of the candidates can agree on, and then take those suggestions back to the networks to make sure that what happened two days ago doesn’t happen again.”
He added, “the first thing that has to happen is talk to the candidates, see what it is that they want and what we need to advocate for. So, that’s the first step. I mean, it’s all about, obviously, putting the candidates in the best light possible, so communicating with them is always first. But, look, I mean you saw across the board, most of the candidates, I think I saw some anyway were praising the fact that we did this, and they agreed with it. So, look, we’re going to be on offense in regard to these debates, and what happened the other day was a betrayal. It was embarrassing, and, look, like I said the other day, you know, the fact is, we have to protect these candidates moving forward, and obviously, today was a big step in that direction.”
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