RNC Chairman: We're Going to Make Sure CNBC Doesn't Host Another GOP Debate

By Susan Jones | October 30, 2015 | 5:44am EDT
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus says Wednesday's debate hosted by CNBC "was just nothing but a crap sandwich," and he promised that all future debate formats are "going to be reevaluated."

He also guaranteed that "we're going to make sure that CNBC isn't hosting and moderating another debate with our candidates." (CNBC was never scheduled to host any additional Republican debates in this election cycle.)

Fox News's Sean Hannity asked Priebus, "[D]o you have to now reconsider, in other words, going forward, that maybe these liberal networks don't deserve the access to these candidates?"

"Well, 100 percent true," Priebus responded. "I mean, CNBC is a little different. But from here on out, I can assure you of that. And I guarantee you we're going to make sure that CNBC isn't hosting and moderating another debate with our candidates. There's no doubt that MSNBC is not, obviously, hosting any RNC or candidate forums or debates.

The Republican National Committee in August 2013 voted to ban NBC and CNN from moderating any Republican debates if those networks proceeded with plans to air programming seen as favorable to former Secretary Hillary Clinton.

"But you're 100 percent right," Priebus told Hannity on Thursday. "Here's what I will tell everyone. Everything's going to be reevaluated and reset. Every debate on the calendar is going to be reevaluated, reset, look at the format, the moderators, everything. The candidates are going to -- we're going to have meetings with all the candidates. We're going to make sure that we can do everything possible to make sure that last night doesn't happen again.

"I mean, you can't -- once the lights go on and the curtain goes up, you can't quite stop it, but we can do more to prevent it. So every debate from here on out is going to be reevaluated."

Preibus told Hannity he's furious about the way CNBC moderated the debate, and he would have pulled the plug on it if he could have:

"Oh! I just can't tell you how pissed off I am! I mean, when you take a deep breath and you take a step back and you say, OK, this is clearly a victory for these candidates on the stage because what they did was extraordinary. I thought every one of them -- I mean, Ted Cruz's line -- you know, we're calling that the Cruz missile.

"But all the rest of them, too, did such a good job...it was insanity. I mean, just sitting there, seething through this thing -- I mean, other than, you know, thinking about hitting the circuit breaker in the auditorium that crossed my mind.

"You know, these are people who put on a pretty decent show in the morning on CNBC. They did a debate four years ago that was a decent debate. Obviously, we had assurances that it was going to be straight-up finance, which is what they do every day. And what was delivered was just nothing but a crap sandwich."

Preibus said the Republican Party wants debate moderators "to put on a fair show," but "that didn't happen last night. There's no question. I talked to Dr. Carson today, too, and we're going to be getting together with his people here, with all the campaigns, at the RNC.

Hannity told Priebus, "In fairness, I don't blame you. I don't think anybody really could have anticipated that" (referring to the biased and antagonistic debate moderators).

"Well, I know," Priebus responded. "But here's the thing. We are -- we co- sponsored -- we've co-sponsored these debates. So although it's easy to just -- listen, I do blame CNBC, but I also take responsibility for the fact that now we've got to do everything in our human power to make sure that never happens again. So you know, that's why we have to -- we have to take the bull by the horns here."

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