Republican National Committee Drops NBC From February Debate

Blames 'Bad Faith' Questioning During CNBC Debate

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Credit: Jason Bahr/CNBC

The Republican National Committee has suspended its partnership with NBC for its February debate due to anger over how CNBC handled the GOP debate earlier this week.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in an open letter to NBC News on Friday that the CNBC debate had been conduced in "bad faith."

"This is a disappointing development," an NBC spokeswoman said in a statement. "However, along with our debate broadcast partners at Telemundo we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party."

The debate is scheduled to be held on Feb. 26 in Houston. The RNC said it will still hold a debate on that day and that National Review will remain a partner.

The RNC has taken issue with the questions asked by the moderators during the debate on CNBC Wednesday night.

"While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates' visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC's moderators engaged in a series of 'gotcha' questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates," Mr. Priebus wrote.

"We understand that NBC does not exercise full editorial control over CNBC's journalistic approach. However, the network is an arm of your organization, and we need to ensure there is not a repeat performance," he continued.

While ratings fell short of GOP debates that previously aired on Fox News and CNN, the prime-time face-off drew about 14 million people, setting a new record for CNBC.

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