After the partisan debacle that was CNBC’s Wednesday night Republican presidential debate, Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, fired off a letter to NBC News announcing that the left-wing network will be booted from participating in the upcoming February 26 debate in Houston, Texas.
I write to inform you that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016.
The letter goes on to detail how, in NBC’s partisan zeal to disqualify every Republican on the stage, CNBC violated its good faith with viewers and violated its agreement to the RNC:
CNBC billed the debate as one that would focus on “the key issues that matter to all voters—job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.” That was not the case. Before the debate, the candidates were promised an opening question on economic or financial matters. That was not the case. Candidates were promised that speaking time would be carefully monitored to ensure fairness. That was not the case. Questions were inaccurate or downright offensive. The first question directed to one of our candidates asked if he was running a comic book version of a presidential campaign, hardly in the spirit of how the debate was billed.
The February debate was scheduled to include the participation of both NBC News and National Review. Priebus says the debate will still happen on February 26 and National Review will still participate.
The left-wing NBC News, at least for now, is out.
Partisanship was the least of CNBC’s problems. Wednesday’s chief moderator, John Harwood, was caught twice in outright lies. He lied while questioning Marco Rubio about his tax plan, and he lied to Donald Trump about CNBC’s push to extend the debate past the agreed upon two hour time limit.
NBC News responded with a short statement:
“This is a disappointing development. However, along with our debate broadcast partners at Telemundo we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”
The Trump campaign is on board with the suspension and gave a statement to the Daily Caller:
“The campaign supports the RNC’s decision to suspend the debate on February 26th due to the total lack of substance and respect exhibited during Wednesday’s night’s debate. We look forward to pursuing alternatives along with the RNC to ensure candidates are given ample opportunity to outline their vision for the future of our country.”
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC