GOP state chairmen endorse Priebus call for networks to drop Clinton projects

Two state GOP chairmen on Monday quickly endorsed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’s demand that CNN and NBC drop two movie projects about the life of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The GOP chiefs from the two early voting primary states vowed to not cooperate with the networks on any 2016 presidential primary debates.

Priebus on Monday wrote to the heads of NBC and CBS and threatened to not partner with them on 2016 debates if they went ahead with plans to air two films about Clinton, a possible Democratic contender.

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“If they 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 stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor,” Priebus said in a statement.

This special treatment is unfair to the candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016 who might compete against Secretary Clinton ... and to the Republican nominee should Clinton compete in the general election,” he added.

Erika Masonhall, communications director for NBC News, said Monday afternoon that the news division was completely independent of NBC Entertainment, the group producing the Clinton movie.

The RNC letter also brought a flood of reaction from strategists and the media, with David Plouffe, President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, mocking the RNC demands.


Journalist Byron York of The Washington Examiner, said that Priebus’s letters could set the stage for Republicans to move the debates to media outlets they believe are more receptive to their message.

Some conservatives have criticized past debate hosts, alleging biased or unfair questioning during the 2012 election.

CNN’s Candy Crowley courted criticism after she corrected GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama waited two weeks to call the Benghazi, Libya, attacks as “acts of terror” during a 2012 debate.

This story was updated at 3:34 p.m.

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