RNC Chairman Implores Candidates To Skip Trump Debate
With Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann yet to be heard from, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is speaking out against the Newsmax/Trump debate and saying candidates should decline to appear:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus spoke out Thursday against an upcoming GOP presidential debate to be moderated by Donald Trump, saying it would be “malpractice” for him as the leader of the party not to think the debate was problematic.
“We appreciate what Mr. Trump has done, but if you’re still talking about potentially running as an independent candidate, I think that’s a problem,” Priebus said on Fox News. “I think that would be malpractice for me as an RNC chairman to not believe that that is an issue.”
Although Priebus repeated a previously made assertion that it was simply up to the candidates to “do whatever they want to do,” the RNC head repeated that Trump’s continued flirtation with a potential 2012 bid for the White House concerned him.
“I think that having a successful businessman serving as a moderator has a lot of volume. But the issue here is whether the moderator should still be a person who’s still batting around the idea of running as an independent. I think that should give some of these candidates some concern,” he said.
A number of Republican voices have also raised their eyebrows about the debate, including Sen. John McCain and strategist Karl Rove, who recently suggested that Priebus step in and “discourage” the candidates from appearing at the debate.
Priebus is right, of course, but one wonders if Bachmann and Perry will be able to resist the temptation of the additional publicity.