Republicans to vote on debate boycott because of special TV programs on Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton in Washington January 23, 2013. Credit: Reuters
Hillary Clinton in Washington January 23, 2013. Credit: Reuters

Delegates to a summer meeting of the Republican National Committee are scheduled to vote Friday on a possible boycott of 2016 presidential debates sponsored by CNN and NBC if the networks go ahead with plans for special programs on Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Republican leaders last week sent letters of protest to both networks complaining that a planned CNN documentary and an NBC miniseries amount to political ads for the former secretary of state, who is seen as a likely 2016 contender for the White House.

The vote is scheduled for the last day of a three-day gathering called “Making it Happen,” where Republicans are discussing ways to use technology and other means to connect with a wider range of voters, following Mitt Romney’s failure to unseat incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama in November.

CNN officials have said their documentary, due to appear in theaters and on television in 2014, is not yet complete, while NBC said its mini-series is being produced by an entertainment unit, which is independent of the news division.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had said that if CNN and NBC did not scrap their Clinton programs, he would seek an RNC vote saying the Republican Party would not work with the two networks on its 2016 primary debates or sanction the debates sponsored by them.

In preparation for the next presidential election, Priebus said the party would consider holding its 2016 nominating convention in June or July, rather than August, to reduce the amount of time Republican candidates spend competing against one another. An earlier convention also would allow the Republican nominee to focus on the Democratic opponent.

“Our party should not be involved in setting up a system that encourages the slicing and dicing of candidates over a long period of time with moderators that are not in the business of being at all concerned about the future of our party,” Priebus told reporters this week.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, seen as a likely 2016 Republican contender for the White House, addressed the meeting in a closed-door session Thursday. New England Republicans including Maine Governor Paul LePage and former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown also mingled with delegates from state party organizations.

Clinton, the former first lady and U.S. senator from New York, has not yet said if she will run for president in 2016 as she did in 2008 but Republicans at the meeting clearly saw her as a threat.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday said Republicans needed to change their tone to focus on new ideas, rather than focusing on “anti-Obama” messages, to prepare for 2016.

“I don’t think we beat Hillary Clinton in a personality fight because the news media will prop her up,” Gingrich said.

Republicans are holding their regular summer meeting in a Boston hotel next door to the convention center where Romney delivered his election night concession speech nine months ago. They moved the meeting, originally due to be held in Chicago, to Boston as a show of support after the April 15 bombing of the city’s marathon.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Local

Kevin Kayvon Edson: Finish line hoax suspect sent…

The man who allegedly left a backpack near the finish line on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was due in court on Wednesday.

Local

Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers, a fast casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg and subject of a new A&E Network’s original series, “Wahlburgers”, announced expansion plans in North America,…

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

Movies

Slideshow: Check out Johnny Depp looking weird through…

Johnny Depp says he looks like himself in "Transcendence." He usually doesn't. Here's a slideshow of his weirder faces.

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.