Reince Priebus warns that Republicans are watching how the cable news network characterizes their party
MSNBC is “on probation” after apologizing for a tweet that suggested conservatives hate biracial families, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night, and he vowed the Republican Party would remain a watchdog over the network.
“It's sort of like being on probation,” Priebus said on “Hannity” regarding MSNBC.
“But the fact of the matter is, we're here, we're watching them, and it's our responsibility — and it's mine in particular, I think, also — to stand up for our party, and so that's what I did today and I'll do it again.”
Priebus was responding to a tweet sent from the official MSNBC Twitter account Wednesday night that referred to an interracial family in a new Cheerios commercial.
“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” the original tweet read, with a link to the MSNBC story on the ad.
MSNBC twice apologized on Twitter before deleting the tweet, following uproar from commenters on both sides of the aisle.
Priebus said he called MSNBC President Phil Griffin Thursday morning to express his displeasure with the sentiment of the tweet and instructed Republicans not to appear on the network until Griffin himself issued a public apology. That apology came Thursday afternoon.
“I can take it. That's what you get when you're chairman of the Party,” Priebus said. “But some of these things that are done about families and people's appearance and gender, race, blanket statements about people on the right side of our party — I'm just not gonna stand up as chairman of the party and take it.”
Priebus said this action was the “first step” in an effort to keep a closer eye on the network and how it characterizes the Republican Party, particularly when it comes to issues of race and gender.
“Now we have to stay on top of it.”