(AP) Monday, 18 Jan 2016 09:35 PM
Instead, the RNC has awarded the debate to CNN to run a day earlier in a location to yet to be named — just five days ahead of Super Tuesday, the when 15 primaries and caucuses will be held.
The RNC made the move via a conference call vote on Monday “after negotiations with NBC failed,” Politico reports, citing “two sources familiar with the call.”
“The Republican National Committee has decided to move forward without NBC’s participation in our February debate in Houston, Texas. The RNC has awarded the debate to CNN, who will broadcast it on Thursday, February 25th in Houston at a location to be decided,” Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement, CNN Money reports.
Monday’s decision fulfills the promise Priebus made when Priebus suspended NBC after the heavily criticized Oct. 28 debate hosted by its CNBC cable network.
“The RNC’s sole role in the primary debate process is to ensure that our candidates are given a full and fair opportunity to lay out their vision for America’s future,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the RNC, wrote in an Oct. 30 letter to the network. “We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.”
In his letter, Priebus accused CNBC moderators of engaging in “gotcha” questions that were “petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates.”
“What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas,” Priebus wrote at the time.
Leading pollster Matt Towery told Newsmax TV at the time that Priebus was pressured by irate Republicans into making the move.
“He was under such pressure. There was a huge debate within the RNC earlier this year and a large faction wanted to cut organizations like CNBC and NBC out to begin with,” Towery said on Oct. 30 on “Newsmax Prime” with J.D. Hayworth.
“He’s had to do this so that’s where we are. It means the Republicans will have a format that might be a bit more friendly to them as we go into these critical months of January, February and March.”
© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.