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
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.