Of all the key issues the 2016 Republican presidential candidates promised to address during Wednesday’s third debate, “liberal media bias” is the one that repeatedly came up. After the CNBC-hosted debate, which the GOP claimed was unfairly stacked against not one, not two, but every single Republican on stage, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus sent a letter to NBC News announcing the party’s withdrawal from participation in any further debates sponsored by NBC.
Addressed to NBC’s chairman Andrew Lack, the letter begins, “I write to inform you that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016.”
CNBC, which was widely criticized by Republican candidates and voters alike for asking unfair and even offensive questions of the candidates, is being accused of failing to give the GOP “a full and fair opportunity to lay out their vision for America’s future.” According to Priebus, “We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.”
During Wednesday’s debate, CNBC moderator John Harwood asked Donald Trump if he was running a “comic book version” of a presidential campaign, and both Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz sent letters to their supporters following the debate asking for them to aid in what Cruz called a “war on the liberal media.”
It should also be noted that a number of media outlets, including Slate, Politico, and the Washington Post (all of which are generally considered left-leaning) dubbed CNBC the “biggest loser” of the debate.
In a response to Priebus’ letter, NBC issued a statement in which it called the decision a “disappointing development.” Still, NBC says, they “will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”
Read the entirety of RNC Chariman Reince Priebus’ letter here.