Debate will broadcast on Feb. 25, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announces Monday
The GOP presidential debate on Super Tuesday has been moved from NBC to CNN, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus announced Monday.
Following criticism of CNBC’s handling of October’s Republican debate, the RNC’s debate committee voted to cut NBC’s involvement in the debate coming up next month.
“The Republican National Committee has decided to move forward without NBC’s participation in the February debate in Houston, Texas,” Priebus said in a statement. “The RNC has awarded the debate to CNN, who will broadcast it on Thursday, February 25 in Houston at a location to be decided.”
Partnerships with Telemundo, National Review and Salem Communications will be unaffected by the move.
The RNC and Republican candidates previously took issue with the third GOP debate last October, accusing CNBC moderators John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla of biased and unfair questioning.
“CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement at the time.
“While I was proud of our candidates and the way they handled tonight’s debate, the performance by the CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates, and voters.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pounced after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was asked about fantasy sports and gambling.
“Fantasy Football! We have $19 trillion in debt, we have people out of work, and ISIS and al-Qaeda attacking us, and we’re talking about fantasy football?” Christie shouted.
In perhaps the most contentious moment, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scolded the moderators for what he alleged was a liberal bias.
“The questions asked in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” Cruz said. “This is not a cage match. Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?” adding, “How about talking about the substantive issues?” for good measure.