The news comes on the heels of a harsh cover story from National Review, penned by 21 conservative columnists, calling Donald Trump a “menace to American Conservatism,” to which Trump and the RNC fired back.
“National Review is a dying paper, it’s got – its circulation is way down. Not very many people read it anymore. I mean, people don’t even think about the National Review, so I guess they want to get a little publicity, but that’s a dying paper,” Trump said Thursday night, speaking at the Outdoor Channel awards show, which includes the annual “Shot Show.”
“Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself,” National Review’s cover story out Friday reads.
Trump says, though, that the GOP is beginning to accept him. “I think they are warming up. I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call ‘establishment,’ from people – generally speaking, conservative Republicans that want to come in our team,” Trump added.
And he may be right, as National Review publisher Jack Fowler wrote Thursday that his publication was being stripped of its hosting duties for a GOP debate with CNN in late February.
“Tonight, a top official with the RNC called me to say that National Review was being disinvited. The reason: Our ‘Against Trump’ editorial and symposium. We expected this was coming. Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald,” Fowler wrote.
RNC spokesperson Sean Spicer confirmed to ABC News that National Review will no longer be participating in next month’s GOP debate.
National Review was originally meant to share hosting duties for the debate with NBC, but earlier this month the broadcaster was also disinvited and CNN was given the debate.
The 2016 GOP presidential campaigns agreed on Sunday evening to cut the Republican National Committee (RNC) out of the debate negotiation process and instead deal directly with networks moderating debates, Breitbart News has learned.
Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager for frontrunner Donald Trump, confirmed to Breitbart News via phone on Sunday that the “biggest consensus” of five separate points the GOP campaigns agreed on was cutting the RNC out of the negotiations with the networks, as the campaigns would each like to negotiate with the networks directly.
In response to the revelation that the RNC will be cut out of the process, RNC chief spokesman Sean Spicer – the party’s point man on handling debates until now – said the RNC stands ready to help the candidates in any way they can.
“The RNC is fully committed to serving the interests of our campaigns,” Spicer told Breitbart News. “We support the best format to present their vision to lead America forward.”
A campaign manager with another campaign who wished not to be identified confirmed to Breitbart News that the RNC will no longer be handling debate format and that the “campaigns will take the lead” on that. The RNC will still handle basic logistics, though, that campaign manager said.
The second point of agreement was that they want information from the networks on things such as qualification criteria earlier than before, Lewandowski said, and third was they want “greater parity and greater integrity” in questions. A fourth point of agreement, according to Lewandowski, was they want debates to last no longer than two hours – including commercials – and a fifth is they want each candidate to get at least 30 seconds apiece for opening and for closing statements.
“Mr. Trump has won the last three debates, and he is willing to continue to debate his opponents,” Lewandowski told Breitbart News. “However, the moderators of the debates should not be the story. Instead, the candidates’ responses to questions is what the American public should hear.”
The meeting happened at the Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia, in Old Town on King Street just outside Washington, D.C.
Most of the details of what various campaigns wanted was already made public heading into the meeting. “Ben Carson’s campaign manager, Barry Bennett, was hopeful that the group could agree on one two-hour debate with every candidate onstage,” the Washington Post’s Bob Costa and Dave Weigel reported.
They also quoted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager Sarah Huckabee Sanders, laying out a previously public demand from campaigns.
“One of the big goals is allowing for more substance and equal time,” Sanders said. “It does make that difficult if there are multiple candidates but the debate’s capped at two hours.”
But the revelation that the RNC will no longer be a part of the debate process has not yet been reported until now.
During the meeting, too, according to Costa and Weigel, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign manager Danny Diaz pushed unsuccessfully for Telemundo to get reinstated as a moderator – something Trump would boycott.
“Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz recommended that Telemundo be reinstated after being dropped along with NBC,” Costa and Weigel wrote. “But the campaign of businessman Donald Trump, represented by manager Corey Lewandowski, threatened to boycott a debate if the Spanish-language network that Trump has clashed with was granted one.”
Telemundo was supposed to partner with NBC News, but after CNBC’s horrendous moderating job in Boulder, Colorado, last week lost its upcoming debate along with partner network NBC News.
This revelation also means a last-ditch effort by the RNC to keep control of the process has failed. Politico reported right before the meeting that the RNC named a new official to handle debates along with Spicer. Politico’s Mike Allen quoted RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh as having emailed campaign managers for all 14 GOP candidates’ campaign managers half an hour before the meeting to say she has placed RNC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sean Cairncross in charge of the debates with Spicer.
“I have asked Sean Cairncross, Chief Operating Officer of the RNC and former Chief Counsel to take the central role in the debate process, specifically as it pertains to working with Sean Spicer and negotiating with the networks,” Walsh emailed the campaign managers.
The Sunday evening meeting was initiated by Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign. Carson, who along with Trump sits atop GOP polling, had pushed for all the GOP candidates including those polling extraordinarily low to be granted a place on stage. Most of the other top polling candidates’ campaigns did not agree to that. Campaign staff for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is polling at or below 1 percent, and for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pushed for being included on the main stage of debates.
“Representatives from the undercard campaigns of Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.) told reporters that they would focus on what Graham adviser Brett O’Donnell called ‘equal treatment’ for their campaigns – two debates, each with seven randomly selected candidates,” Weigel and Costa wrote.
It was at the urging of Graham’s struggling campaign that highly controversial GOP establishment lawyer Ben Ginsberg was present, emails obtained by Breitbart News ahead of the meeting showed. Ginsberg’s controversial history of working to change RNC rules – he did so in 2012 – has drawn the ire of conservatives who believe he’s working on behalf of the establishment to game the process to hurt conservatives.
The New York Times reported after the meeting that Ginsberg “is drafting a letter – without the R.N.C.’s input – that the campaigns plan to send to the networks within 48 hours.”
“Mr. Ginsberg called the committee immediately after the meeting to convey the group’s next steps,” the Times’ Ashley Parker wrote.
The Republican National Committee voted on a strategy on Friday to try to prevent Republican presidential candidates from participating in 2016 primary debates with CNN and NBC.
In an unanimous vote at the committee’s summer meeting in Boston, the committee vowed to not partner with CNN and NBC for debates if they don’t drop their planned productions on potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which they call “little more than extended commercials.”
NBC Entertainment says it plans to produce a miniseries on the former secretary of state. CNN has announced plans to produce a documentary on Clinton.
Here is the resolution language adopted by the RNC:
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF MEDIA OBJECTIVITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY AND OF AN ORDERLY PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY DEBATE PROCESS
WHEREAS, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton; and
WHEREAS, these programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election; and
WHEREAS, airing this programming will jeopardize will the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks; and
WHEREAS, Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, contributed the maximum amount to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign committee, contributed $25,000 to Obama’s 2012 Victory Fund, and this year contributed $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee; therefore be it –
RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee calls on CNN and NBC to cancel the airing of these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that if CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor, and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee shall endeavor to bring more order to the primary debates and ensure a reasonable number of debates, appropriate moderators and debate partners are chosen, and that other issues pertaining to the general nature of such debates are addressed.
Come on folks, how hard are the letters B L O and G? Maybe they should get their heads out of their, well, that place their heads should never be, and realize that most of us do this EVERY day, not for cash, or fame, but because we LOVE this nation and are fighting like Hell for it. We do not have whiteboards, or talking point memos. No we are not scripted, programmed talking heads What we do have is original ideas, principles, and a burning desire to help deliver the Conservative message. So, given these facts, why did the RNC report ignore bloggers? Stacy McCain ponders that question
Even when the report does mention “social media,” it’s in the context of getting out the vote or having the party apparatus find a better way to reach voters.
I would not be surprised if the RNC spoke with some of the salaried conservative media class who share the Washington professional circuit. But did they reach out to the Army of Davids who are the anti-thesis of the consultant model because we mostly don’t get paid or make much money blogging, we do this in our “spare” time, and we are outside D.C.?
Did the RNC get any input from the great unwashed conservative blogosphere? You wouldn’t know it from the report if it did . . .
Read the whole thing. The idea of “citizen-journalism” is quite nearly alien to the consultant class. The teamwork concept of voluntary collaboration mystifies people for whom politics is a paid gig. Take away their consulting fees, and these guys wouldn’t have anything to do with politics.
There is nothing wrong with applying the entrepreneurial spirit to politics — “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn” — so long as the rewards bear some relation to results. As I’ve often said about the hindsight criticisms leveled at the Romney campaign, nobody would have cared what they got paid, if only they had won the election.
The massive stumbling clusterf–k of the Romney campaign’s ”Project ORCA” exposed the fact that greedy incompetents were being paid ginormous fees to do jobs they didn’t actually know how to do. There is a difference between making a living and making a killing, you see.
The GOP ignoring bloggers is akin to a coaching staff leaving motivated, talented players out of his game plan.
TED AND PAT OPAROWSKY
NEWT AND CALLISTA GINGRICH