Rise of conservative displeasure over Politico/NBC debate

Earlier this month, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin mocked the D.C.-based news outlet Politico, describing it in an email to The Daily Caller, as “puppy-kicking, chain-smoking, porn producers.”

But if predictions of a Palin presidential bid in 2012 prove correct, the former Governor will subject herself to being thoroughly questioned and interrogated by the very same news outlet that has become the object of her contempt.

Shortly after Palin’s Politico-bashing comments erupted in a firestorm in media circles, Politico and NBC News announced plans to host the first Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in the spring of 2011. Some conservatives, however, are not happy with the idea of what they view as two left-of-center media outlets hosting a Republican debate.

Conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, in fact, penned a widely-circulated column in which he told probable GOP candidates to “just say no to Nancy Reagan”.

“Can we be honest? They are all liberals. All of them. Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP’s primary electorate,” wrote Hewitt.

When contacted by TheDC, Hewitt reiterated that sentiment, saying that the problem with NBC and Politico hosting a debate is that the panel of moderators would likely be typical, inside-the-Beltway journalists. Not only that, but the spring of2011 is just too early for a presidential debate.

“The first Republican presidential debate should be at the Reagan Library, but not until the fall of 2011,” Hewitt told TheDC. “And the panelists should be non-usual suspects…the key is getting new voices that are not the usual suspects.”

Now, a wave of conservative displeasure with the proposed debate is rising.

Charles Krauthammer, conservative commentator and Washington Post columnist, spoke out against the debate on Hewitt’s radio program.

“You know, here’s where I think you really need some kind of leadership. Either it’s the RNC chairman or some other Democrat, the Republican candidates themselves, or maybe some of the old, wise men in the Congress who should say there should be no debates until, say, the first of September or the first of August,” said Krauthammer. “It’s much too early to have fights.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is also expected to run for president in 2012, told TheDC that though he was perplexed by the announcement, Republican candidates should still participate.

“I am curious who decided that was the first debate,” Gingrich told TheDC. “Any two candidates could create a first debate. The Tea Parties could create a first debate.”

“However I would hope that whenever it is held, the announced candidates would go to the Reagan library no matter who is covering it,” he added.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels also appeared on Hewitt’s show, saying that as someone who might be considering a presidential run, he too, thought spring 2011 was too early.” Well, it would be too early for me, I’ll tell you that both as someone who might think about it, but just also as a citizen,” said Daniels.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform told the DC that if he had his way, the Republican primary debates would be hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the media would be invited guests.

“All the debates should be open to the media, but they should be held for the purpose of letting Republicans explain to Republicans why they should vote for them in the primary,” said Norquist, “Instead, we’ll get nitpicking from left-of-center journalists asking questions that will impress their fellow journalists.”

“The first three debates ought to be run by the RNC…or hosted by a governor who’s not running,” added Norquist. “I’m not interested in the kind of questions a pundit would ask…Why would we let someone who doesn’t have anything to do with the process ask the questions?”

  • RachaelGiddy

    I think there are many candidates who will not be ready for a debate in the Spring. I think this really short changes the American electorate. Those who may be better will not be ready yet, so those who are “obvious” will be the only ones to participate.

    I do think this was intentional by NBC and Politico, forcing the hand of the obvious and eliminating quality.

  • citizenryan

    Not many conservatives or conservative politicans are fans of MSNBC or the Politco. But let’s face one truth, being President is a lot harder than answering questions from talking heads who don’t like you and loath the ideas you stand for. If you want to be President, you need to deal with fools like Olbermann and Matthews. I think that a good Republican nominee should be able to bat down their questions and ridiculous premises with ease.

    Don’t get me wrong, having the first debate 18 months out from the election is just silly. The prolonged primary season is awful. But not because it drags on for so long. It’s bad because it exposes the canidates to too many opportunites to make mistakes. It therefore gives the media the chance to jump all over them and severly damage the candidate’s chances.

    Any one who has to make hundreds and hundreds of appearances and face so many debates is bound to make a mistake. It’s just going to happen. Exptemporaneous speeches are hard. Do it over and over and over again and something is going to go wrong You’re going to mis-speak, get a date wrong and/or not articulate your point the way you want. You are going to screw up. The longer the primary season lasts, the greater the chance one of these things is going to happen and damage your campaign.

    There is a difficult balance to strike however. You need to get out there and get known. You need to spread your message. Voter benefit from getting to know a canidate over a longer period of time. But as we get to know that candidate, the candidate has to be weary of over exposure that allows them to make the one simple, off-the-cuff campaign killing mistake (see: Dean, Howard). It’s not the way it should be (we should shouldn’t jump all over the the inability to consistenly make flawless exptemporaneous speeches), but that’s the way it.

  • Swen

    From this article:
    “But if predictions of a Palin presidential bid in 2012 prove correct, the former Governor will subject herself to being thoroughly questioned and interrogated by the very same news outlet that has become the object of her contempt.

    “Shortly after Palin’s Politico-bashing comments erupted in a firestorm in media circles, Politico and NBC News announced plans to host the first Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in the spring of 2011.”

    Why? Why would she do that? And Newt seems to be talking a different story now than he did in his C-Span interview where he said: “There’s no possibility that I would ever go to a debate and have Olbermann or Chris Matthews asking questions. I watched the debate a couple of years ago and it was an embarrassment because they were so relentlessly hostile and they were so left-wing that every question they asked of the Republicans was designed to embarrass and divide the Republicans. And every question they asked the Democrats was designed to make them look good. Well why would we participate in that?”

    Yes, why indeed? It would be absurd to think that being grilled by Olbermann or Matthews could possibly help her or the Republicans in general, so why play their game? Just say No! Saying “No!” has worked pretty well for the last two years after all.

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    Notice that all the attacks to the GOP or anything that could be resembling conservative way of thinking are ALL EFFORTS DIRECTED TO Gov Sarah Palin….no to anyone else in the republican or republican-like side / consrevative sepectrum …but only and only Sarah Palin.

    They (liberal-democrat factions) makes-up stories, exagerates whatever they do think might serve a destructive-purpose,…but never, ever nothing of substance nor anything on basis of posture on a prticular meritorial point…in others words,… there is not inventive of any kind but at random incoherent attempts.

    However, inspite those low latitiud efforts,… the american public is very well aware of reality as it unveils bofore us in the american drama.



    However, the american public was understimated by the democrat left extremists and KNOWLEDGE TOOK PLACE and so,.. THE FALSE AND UNFOUNDED POPULARITY OF OBAMA IS CRIPPLED BEYOND REPAIR….now he is in the open,…and so WE,THE PEOPLE are on the way to PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE FUNDAMNTAL VALUES OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY.__

    A BRIEF NOTE ; Gov Palin cleaned-up Alaska of CORRUPTION., and advanced the state in very productive vectors…it is not far fetch to view something similar accouring in Washington DC with her in the presidential arena.____


    Democrats are AFRAID of Limbaugh,Hannity,Michael Steele,Ann Coulter,Laura Ingraham,Michele Malkin,Glenn Beck, ‘WE’,THE PEOPLE’ of this great country,

    …however, when comes to the ggod governor, liberal-democrats are not really afraid of Sarah Palin, instead they ALL ARE…MONUMENTALLY TERRORIZED BY GOV SARAH PALIN, who everyone knows she could delivers much better presidential leadership than Obama.

    Palin’s ‘Alaska Formula’, adjusted to nation-wide proportion can implement efficient answers to the economic arena.____

    After all EVERYONE KNOWS that she has MUCH MORE, BY FAR, much more DIRECTORAL – EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE, than Obama and Biden together. The public knows this, and so,the electorate are having second thougths about this current administration.__

    At this time in history of our great country, PATRIOTS are in demand, for what we have at helm of our nation are evidently individuals of not such platform … a rogue group with quite different agenda of what this great country of our is all about.

    WE-THE PEOPLE, want and need individuals of good character integrity and honesty,…people willing to give the good fight for our great land…those are the TRUE AND REAL PATRIOTS.____

    Sarah Palin fits the ranks.____

    Now here is the interrogant; WHO IS THE REAL TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT….PALIN…or…OBAMA?

    Input anyone?

    Opinions welcome.

    Daniel Cabrera

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  • Jakerbaker

    Isn’t this a instance of the media controlling the electoral process?
    If there is a Democrat primary, how many of their candidates would participate in a debate managed by FOX and The Weekly Standard.
    I would have a hard time voting for any republican candidate who would be stupid enough to allow NBC and Politico to control a Republican debate.

    How about Daily Kos and Huffington holding the debate.