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Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus on Monday defended letters he sent to NBC and CNN demanding the networks drop planned film projects on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, arguing that the GOP needs to "control the referees" in 2016 primary debates to protect its brand.
"The fact that these folks, including many people that are at NBC, one of which is a major bundler for Barack Obama, would be surprised that we would actually exercise our own right to filter who deposes our candidates and who doesn't," Priebus told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "I think I'm being very reasonable here."
Priebus accused the last election cycle's moderators of promoting the Democratic Party and characterized the 23-debate schedule in the 2012 campaign as a "traveling circus."
"My point is this. We have to control the referees that we're bringing into our playground," he added. "Right now I can't trust two organizations that are willing to spend millions of their own dollars in promoting a candidate that they know is gearing up to run for president."