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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Priebus on MSNBC

Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday to defend his threat to pull his party’s presidential primary debates off of NBC and CNN if those networks continue production of films about the life of potential 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton.

“My point is it really doesn’t matter because I have to set a debate calendar that has the best interest of our party and our nominees in mind,” Priebus said.” And if I’ve got NBC doing a miniseries with Diane Lane portraying Hillary Clinton on a four-day miniseries, I’ve got to tell you it makes my choice of moderators much easier and that’s the only point I’m making now.”

The Clinton miniseries is still in early stages of production, said an NBC representative in a statement. “NBC Entertainment has many projects in development, and this particular miniseries—which has nothing to do with the NBC News division—is in the very early stages.”

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Priebus why he felt comfortable appearing on Morning Joe — a product of NBC.

“I’m not going to have you moderate the Republican debates in our primary. I mean, there’s a difference,” Priebus said. “Because you’re not actually interested in the future of the Republican Party and our nominees. That’s not a slam on you, Mika. I have to choose moderators that are actually interested in the Republican Party and our nominees [emphasis ours]. And it’s not going to be NBC if they continue to go forward with this miniseries.”

The requirement that a moderator be “interested” in the candidates in a way Brzezinski isn’t suggests that the moderator would need to be partial to the GOP. The chairman has suggested that right-wing radio hosts would make good moderators.

A major voice from the left, Media Matters‘ David Brock has also called for NBC and CNN to cancel production on the Clinton projects.

“Given that this project could coincide with a potential Clinton campaign, the timing raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election,” Brock wrote in letters to both NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker.

During his interview with Priebus, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough brought up the HBO movie Game Change, which depicted Sarah Palin as a challenging and defiant vice-presidential candidate that neither her nor Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) staffs could tolerate.

“[HBO] made her into a cartoon character,” he said.

“Surprise, surprise,” Priebus sarcastically responded.

Nicolle Wallace, a senior advisor to the McCain-Palin campaign, was on the Morning Joe set Thursday morning and sat silently for the whole Priebus interview. Wallace and Palin became increasingly at odds with each other as the campaign went on.

Wallace said the portrayal of Palin in Game Change was “true enough to make me squirm.”

Priebus’ insecurity likely stems from an idea that anything highlighting Clinton’s accomplishments will certainly cast a dark shadow over their nominee. Or perhaps he’s just creating a pretense to hold fewer debates — a stated goal of the so-called GOP autopsy.

Watch the interview from MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

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25 Responses to WATCH: RNC Chairman Makes More Debate Demands

  1. ” I have to choose moderators that are actually interested in the Republican Party and our nominees ” Translation: We got to have someone who’ll lob softball questions to our candidates so they don’t look like total ass’

    • The problem with that is if they lob enough softball questions, they will all come across as clueless mooks who know nothing about what is happening in our country.
      That reminds me of Senate hearings held during Dubya’s administration. Whenever any of his people were being questioned, the Republican Senators would spend 15 of their allotted 20 minutes gushing praise over the witness and his or her accomplishments, and the next 5 minutes demanding more time to ask their questions. This as opposed to the Democratic Senators who would say “Thank you for your service and accomplishments. Now, please explain why you took what actions you did?”

      • Unfortunately, from the hearings I’ve watched, things are pretty much the same now except Dems are doing the gushing and Repubs asking nonsensical leading questions to try to trap the witness into saying something that can be twisted as used. Not that I spend that much time watching. Perhaps that’s their plan.

  2. Five signs the Republican party CONCEDES that it can only win by cheating: #1 Demands TV “debates” dictated by Fox News sensibility, #2 Promotes voter suppression with voter ID laws; #3 Stands for reduced hours at polling places, #4 Will not be “dictated to by fact-checkers,” and #5 Widely recognized as the party of dirty tricks and mid-slinging. How long will voters put up with it?

    • You nailed that. When you don’t have a vision for the future, you have to resort to tactics, like in a war.

  3. There are far too many mini-series around these days. That being said, who cares what this jackass thinks of them? If he wants “moderators” interested in the good of the party, he’s going to limit the debates to Fox and maybe ABC, the only places he can get the kind of partisan environment he wants.

    • I think Hollywood scares the Hell out of the GOP. Perhaps Ted Cruz could
      do some checking for Communist Propagandists. Different days, S.O.S.

      • Heck, I think he could be CAST as a communist propagandist in a mini-series, he so much looks and plays the part.

  4. As was pointed out, the toughest most telling question that wound up hurting all
    the GOP candidates, was asked by a Fox moderator. The question asked, who
    would raise taxes on a 10 cuts to 1 tax raise basis? None said they’d take the deal. And, thus showed a big part of the Nation what utter cowards, and slaves to the
    extreme elements of the GOP, all of them were. Only the T-Party base cheered.
    The albatross hanging around all their necks. None had the courage to pull it off,
    and distinguish themselves as a leader. Prebus illustrates they haven’t learned
    a damn thing. And I think the American people are fully aware the Presidency is a
    tough job. Calls for an individual that doesn’t need a hand picked host, to present
    a propaganda piece, hand fed to the Party faithful like an episode of American Idol.

    • What Priebus wants isn’t even as challenging as an episode of American Idol, as low as that bar may be; at least, it is a competition. Priebus wants a total set-up, like Jay Leno’s American All-Stars, where hand-picked idiots try to out-do each other in devising stupid answers, for laughs not votes. Maybe Priebus should also run his version of American All-Stars late at night. I don’t know what all the fuss is about, as it can all turn up on Youtube the next day, right?

    • The sad part is not too am y people are watching NBC, CBS is beating NBC in the rating sand the c ale channels offer more interesting shows than does NBC. Still I hope NBC doesn’t cave,let the RNC try to keep the potential cnadidates off of tv when they run.

  5. Doesn’t matter how many debates the GOP clown car has. The candidates will still try to out flank each other on the right. Having a shock jocks like Limbaugh/Coulter/Hannity/O’ Reilly, Beck, Huckabee, or Palin, will only assure that the candidates stay on the extreme right, making it much harder for the nominee to get to the center. That would be the death knell of the national GOP, to put on a total right wing scripted show in prime time. So the Chairman’s threat is empty. Plus it will really enrage all the people who like Hillary and respect her for the years of public service. If you really want to rile up the moderate to left base then just have the networks cave in to the republicans. Then you will really see a turnout.

  6. You know, if they hadn’t brought up this documentary on Hillary, no one would have probably noticed and perhaps not watched it. Now, we’re ALL interested in seeing it and it was because of this Republican idiot that brought it to the forefront. Boy, do the Tea Party Republicans EVER look at the consequences of their actions? Apparently not! This could have slipped by in mediocrity without the RNC making such a big stink about it! Talk about stupidity!

  7. Of course Reince wouldn’t want Mika to moderate a debate. She would actually ask them questions of relevence. These republicans clowns could never have sat at the dinner table in her house. She was actually used to political debates because of her father.

  8. I interpret Priebus demands as the end of freedom of the press, and an attempt to dominate public opinion by controlling the flow of information. Had Priebus been in politics 6 or 7 decades ago, Goebbel would have been in trouble.

    • Hey, that’s been the primary objective of the GOP all along. I’m sure this isn’t the first you’ve noticed it.

    • I think that because we’re 3+ years out from the presidential election, that people are not getting too cranked up right now about this stuff. Also, thinking people could well consider Priebus to be totally irrelevant. Have a little cheese with that whine, Rinse!

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