The Republican National Committee formally voted Friday not to partner with NBC News or CNN for any of the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates as punishment for both networks' plans to air upcoming specials about Hillary Clinton.
The vote by RNC leaders at their summer meeting in Boston was unanimous, according to The Washington Post. In opening remarks, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus said it was "time that we do what’s right for our party and our candidates."
Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich at a GOP primary debate hosted by CNN in Mesa, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2012. (Getty Images)
"And by the way, this is the right thing to do for voters. They’re not going to get a real debate of substance if it’s run by a network who wants to help out Hillary Clinton," Preibus said. "We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other outlets. We’ll still reach voters, maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will just have to watch on their competitors’ networks."
As the Post noted, NBC and CNN don't need the RNC's permission to host debates, but the resolution will likely keep other state party officials and conservative organizations -- and thus candidates -- away.
Amid the problems between the RNC and NBC and CNN, reports surfaced that the RNC considering conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as potential debate moderators. An RNC official told TheBlaze Thursday that it was "too early" to discuss future debate moderators but did not flatly reject the notion either.