During the Republican debate hosted by CNBC in October, presidential candidates were incensed by the contemptuous attitude they perceived from the event’s moderators.
The fact was most obvious when Ted Cruz called out the moderators. “The questions that have been asked this far in the debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” Cruz said. “Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over there? Marco Rubio, why won’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen.” Cruz added the candidates were there to “talk about the substantive issues people care about.”
The Republican National Committee (RNC) hasn’t forgotten either. The RNC officially severed its ties Monday with NBC for any and all upcoming debates hosted by the network.
Reince Priebus wrote NBC in October with his concerns. “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,” Priebus wrote. “We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.”
As to the continued relationship with NBC, the final word was given today. The Debate Committee of the RNC voted unanimously to cancel its partnership with NBC as a debate host for the RNC.
NBC responded in a 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.”
It is unclear whether the debate, previously scheduled on NBC for Feb. 24, will be rescheduled with another network or who the moderators will be.