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The 2016 GOP presidential campaigns agreed on Sunday to cut the RNC out of the debate negotiation process and deal directly with networks.
Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager for frontrunner Donald Trump, confirmed to Breitbart News via phone on Sunday that the “biggest consensus” of five separate points the GOP campaigns agreed on was cutting the RNC out of the negotiations with the networks, as the campaigns would each like to negotiate with the networks directly.
In response to the revelation that the RNC will be cut out of the process, RNC chief spokesman Sean Spicer—the party’s point man on handling debates until now—said the RNC stands ready to help the candidates in any way they can.
“The RNC is fully committed to serving the interests of our campaigns,” Spicer told Breitbart News. “We support the best format to present their vision to lead America forward.”
A campaign manager with another campaign who wished not to be identified confirmed to Breitbart News that the RNC will no longer be handling debate format and that the “campaigns will take the lead” on that. The RNC will still handle basic logistics, though, that campaign manager said.
Campaigns were angered at the RNC for its handling of the CNBC debate because the event was advertised to be a two-hour discussion of economic issues but veered wildly from that theme and the moderators struggled to maintain control.
The format for the next debate on Nov. 10 in Milwaukee to be hosted by Fox Business Network was left alone for the most part. The other five debates going forward could see some changes, the official said.
The RNC, aware of a rebellion brewing among the campaigns, had sought to defuse the situation. The RNC dumped NBC News, a partner of CNBC, from hosting a Feb. 26 debate in Houston on Friday and on Sunday, it announced it had appointed its chief operating officer, Sean Cairncross, to help negotiate debate terms with the networks.
But that wasn’t enough. The campaigns said at the meeting that they needed a better understanding up front of what the host network’s telecasts would include because, as another campaign official said, there has been a bad flow of information between the networks and the RNC to date on what the candidates should expect.