GOP Debate Boycott is politically expedient

2013-08-06 12:33
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who was one of the Republican Party's candidates for 2012, is pictured in this file photo at the Black Hawk County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa. (File, AP)

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who was one of the Republican Party's candidates for 2012, is pictured in this file photo at the Black Hawk County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Chicago - According to a News24 article on Monday, Republicans threatened NBC and CNN with a boycott of their networks because both plan producing and flighting movies about Hillary Clinton, who is widely presumed to be the next Democratic presidential nominee.
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairperson Reince Priebus, who surprisingly retained his job without an opposing candidate after the party’s dismal 2012 election, sent a letter to the two networks claiming that if they don’t pull these plans, “I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor.”
At first I thought it rather peculiar that Priebus would take issue with news networks creating and televising documentaries about probably the most newsworthy woman in the USA, until I cast my mind back to the 20 Republican primary debates that preceded Mitt Romney’s eventual nomination in August last year. Quite simply, the glut of performances by a field of weak and mightily bizarre candidates was not good for the party’s PR machine – it is in the party’s best interests to cut the number of debates, and Priebus is taking this gilded opportunity with both hands, to cut the number of debates without looking like he is running away from what happened the last time Republicans gave it a go.
There is not a political campaign of any sort with a team large enough to keep pace with some of the candidates who ran (specifically I am thinking of Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain), and in fact the RNC’s autopsy report which was published in January called for the amount to be reduced: “The number of debates has become ridiculous, and they’re taking candidates away from other important campaign activities.”
Now, Priebus is motivated to cut the number of debates anyway – while officially this is because of a Hillary Clinton documentary and the high number of them, it is worth pointing out the scrutiny Republican candidates got in late 2011 and 2012, and recalling why Republican leadership was hoping the ground would swallow them up at times.
Such terrible candidates under such scrutiny so often is a far more likely reason Republicans took the opportunity to bash networks over perceived bias. They are going to be cutting debates anyway, and are taking this opportunity gladly, because among the strong candidates the party will have running in 2016, you can bet your life on a few extremists jumping into the pot, along with predictable aggression.
Personally, I can’t wait. Neither can Jon Stewart or the cast of Saturday Night Live.

  - Simon Williamson is a freelance writer. Follow @simonwillo on Twitter.

Send your comments to Simon

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!


I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Mobile Marketing Manager

Western Cape
Recruit Digital
R15 000 - R22 000 Per Month

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It is hard to keep some sort of balance when the natural rhythm has flown out the window. The best thing to do is try not to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.