BOSTON — The Republican National Committee, responding to plans by two television networks to air programs about Hillary Rodham Clinton, approved a resolution Friday to block CNN and NBC from hosting GOP presidential primary debates.
The unanimous vote affirmed RNC chairman Reince Priebus' threat against the networks if they went ahead with programs about Clinton, a possible Democratic presidential contender. Priebus said CNN has "an obvious bias."
"That's a network that won't be hosting a single Republican primary debate," Priebus declared, receiving a standing ovation from GOP activists from across the country gathered for the committee's summer meeting in Boston.
In a statement, CNN said a division of the company planned to air a documentary about Clinton in 2014. "We encouraged all interested parties to wait until the program premieres before judgments are made about it. Unfortunately, the RNC was not willing to do that," CNN said.
Meanwhile, Fox Television Studios has decided not to help produce NBC's Hillary miniseries, company spokeswoman Leslie Oren said. Fox's participation attracted attention because it is owned by News Corp. and is a sister company to the Fox News Channel, where the project has come under attack from commentators.
Even before the Clinton dispute, Republican leaders favored plans to have fewer presidential debates with more friendly moderators. They think their 2012 presidential candidates spent too much time beating up on each other in last year's months-long primary season, contributing to Mitt Romney's loss.