CNN To RNC: ‘Premature’ Decision To Limit Debates Is The ‘Ultimate Disservice’ To Voters

AP

Puzzled over what they say would be a “premature” decision to pull several 2016 presidential primary debates should a documentary on Hillary Clinton go forward, CNN on Monday called on the RNC to “reserve judgment” before committing what they call the “ultimate disservice to voters.”

In letters to both CNN and NBC, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus demanded that the networks drop their planned film productions of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or face losing their partnerships with the RNC for 2016 presidential primary debates.

“If you have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor,” Preibus wrote.

While NBC News said it was not involved with their respective project, which is commissioned by NBC Entertainment, CNN’s statement to the Huffington Post was much more confrontational:

CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters.

Both South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore and Iowa GOP Chairman AJ Spiker have endorsed RNC’s move.

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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