POLITICS

Reince Priebus: RNC Is Still In Control Of The GOP Debates

GOP candidates are now trying to change debate rules themselves.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the RNC is still in control of the GOP presidential debates, despite reports that the 2016 hopefuls are unhappy with how they've been handled so far. 

"The truth is, we're involved, we're in control. We're setting the calendar," Priebus said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "The ability to sanction or de-sanction a debate is with the RNC. And the candidates want that to be with the RNC because we have the leverage to make that happen."

The RNC decided to suspend its partnership with NBC News after last week's CNBC debate, which was widely criticized. Priebus also replaced his staffer in charge of organizing the debates.

Despite the shakeups, several of the campaigns met this weekend to join forces in order to exert greater control over upcoming debates. The RNC was not invited to the meeting.

ABC reported Monday that the campaigns are demanding a new set of guidelines, including an equal number of questions for all candidates and shorter opening and closing statements.

Priebus said that the RNC has the candidates' best interests in mind.

"What we're going to do is communicate with the candidates, listen to the candidates," he said. "We're going to fight for what the candidates want."

 

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