ICYMI: RNC Chairman Priebus on “Morning Joe”
WASHINGTON — This morning, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus joined Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss NBC’s plans to air a miniseries promoting Hillary Clinton. The RNC announced this week it will not partner with NBC—or CNN—for Republican presidential primary debates in 2016 if the networks don’t drop their plans ahead of Hillary Clinton’s likely candidacy for president in 2016.
View transcript excerpts below and watch the clip here: http://ow.ly/nKkOA
Read the Chairman’s letters to CNN and NBC: http://ow.ly/nEK6S
JOE SCARBOROUGH: …So I’m sure you’ve been following it. We have been debating this aggressively so yesterday, Mika and I were debating and we brought in Fox versus MSNBC. This morning, we open it up and Chuck Todd just trashes NBC Entertainment in a way that I think is going to get him in big trouble…So what is your take?
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: …You know, actually NBC News and NBC Entertainment made my point for me when NBC News tweeted about Jay Leno having Barack Obama on the entertainment side of the aisle. The fact of the matter is I watch Brian Williams on the same channel that I watch Jay Leno and Sunday Night Football. It’s a distinction without a difference…
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: You know the difference between news and entertainment, come on.
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: …My point is, it really doesn’t matter, because I have to set a debate calendar that has the best interests of our Party and our nominees in mind. If I’ve got NBC doing a mini-series with Diane Lane starring on behalf– or portraying — Hillary Clinton on a four-day mini-series, I’ve got to tell you, it makes my choice of moderators much easier. That’s the only point I’m making now. It’s not to make news. The fact of the matter is; this happened now. So I wrote the letter now, so that before NBC goes any further, I give them fair warning.
BRZEZINSKI: If I may, I think you are making news and it’s very savvy of you. But there is a difference. I think viewers know it and you know it. Between NBC news and NBC entertainment. You got me on CNN…
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: Well, Mika, I don’t think there’s a real difference there… I have to tell you, there are times when decisions that are made by NBC, whether it’s entertainment or whether it’s the news that are going to have an effect over the entire brand. I mean, the umbrella brand might suffer because of the decisions that are made. You can’t be everything to all people. And if NBC is going to do that they are going to suffer the consequences….
SCARBOROUGH: …Maybe it’s just because of my personal prejudices towards the way Hollywood has treated liberals in the past and Democrats in the past. I totally agree with the Chairman…
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: …Our Party never really had control over the rule-making authority on these debates. Now we do. This is totally in the weeds. But this is actually the first time that our Party’s going to be able to set a debate calendar and then hold our candidates to the debate calendar that we make. They’re very excited about the fact that I’m talking about this. They think it’s about time. Now, this is one small part of my day. I’m going to county parties, we’re talking to volunteer centers in Wisconsin and we’re setting up an early ground operation here for the 2014 election…
SCARBOROUGH: Donny, it drives Republicans, conservatives like us crazy, because you have liberals will be the moderators for Republican debates and they’ll spend 30 minutes out of the hour talking about creationism and contraception and these liberal moderators will play to type. Not because they’re trying to be biased, because that’s their world view of us. That we’re all knuckle-draggers, that we’re all Neanderthals. So why shouldn’t we have control of who asks our presidential candidates questions?
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: …You’ve all been spending a lot of time talking about it, but I’m not spending the rest of my day talking about this issue. I’m actually trying to find and make sure we have the right volunteers and the right paid people on the ground here in Wisconsin. I have to make sure we do well in 2014, and I’m going to have a 15-hour day ahead of me, so it’s not like this is the world of the Republican National Committee. This is one piece of the day. I think I’m being very reasonable here. And I’m simply raising a flag and telling NBC, look, you can go forward and there’s going to be plenty of time. Why now? What are you going to do if Hillary runs and loses, won’t there also have to be another four day miniseries about that? Why now?
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: Mika, listen, I’m not going to have you moderate the Republican debate –
BRZEZINSKI: Why not?
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: I mean, there’s a difference.
BRZEZINSKI: Why not?
CHAIRMAN PRIEBUS: Because you’re not because you’re not actually interested in the future of the Republican Party and our nominees. It’s not a slam on you, Mika, but I have to choose moderators that are actually interested in the Republican Party, it’s not going to be NBC if they continue to go forward with this miniseries…