Donald Trump and Ben Carson — the two Republican frontrunners — support the Republican National Committee’s move to “suspend” its relationship with NBC News for a GOP presidential debate in February because of frustration with how CNBC handled this week’s debate.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks provided a statement to The Daily Caller: “The campaign supports the RNC’s decision to suspend the debate on February 26th due to the total lack of substance and respect exhibited during Wednesday night’s debate. We look forward to pursuing alternatives along with the RNC to ensure candidates are given ample opportunity to outline their vision for the future of our country.”
“We are have no objections to the RNC’s decision,” Carson spokeswoman Deana Bass said in an email to TheDC. “The debates must focus on the American voters and not on network ratings or moderator egos.”
Other campaigns expressed support too.
“The RNC letter is a good first step,” Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart said. “After the past few disappointing debates, we want to avoid another debate where the moderators become the story. Gov. Huckabee wants to talk about his commitment to protecting Social Security and Medicare.”
Stewart said they are still “having conversations with other campaigns and the RNC” about future debates.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus sent a letter to NBC News chairman Andrew Lack on Friday saying that because of what happened at this week’s CNBC debate, “we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016.”
“CNBC billed the debate as one that would focus on ‘the key issues that matter to all voters—job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.’ That was not the case,” Priebus wrote.
NBC said in a statement: “This is a disappointing development. However, along with our debate broadcast partners at Telemundo we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”