Republican presidential candidates, from left, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham take the stage during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

I think the RNC Made a Mistake With the NBC Debate

Yes, CNBC gave the RNC every reason imaginable to sever ties with NBC over its debate. The fact is, though, that CNBC is not NBC. Yes, I think NBC leans left of center in an editorial bias, but then I think most major news networks do.

Nonetheless, it appears to be a done deal now.

But if NBC let Chuck Todd moderate the debate, every one of the candidates has gone on “Meet the Press” this year and faced his questioning already. And should the Republican get elected, he would still have to face questions from NBC’s White House correspondent.

Yes, I think one of the problems with a network debate is that they try harder to cater to what they think is their audience even though that is most likely not the Republican primary electorate — the only audience that right now matters.

Still, we have been deprived of a spectacle where the GOP candidates had yet another opportunity to win over the crowd by gutting a debate moderate live on television who did not know the audience to which he should cater.

And the thing is, I don’t think Chuck Todd would have steered far into lefty dogma and, if anything, doing this debate would have helped the eventual nominee prepare for the general election debates.

These debates are, in fact, one of the advantages the GOP nominee is going to have over Hillary Clinton. She’s doing her best to avoid them and avoid having to answer questions she has not previously screened.

UPDATE: It does appear the RNC is giving the debate to CNN, so the debate is not being abandoned altogether. That’s a good thing and CNN has proven itself capable.

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Erick Erickson

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