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Hullabaloo


Thursday, October 15, 2015

 
Send in the clowns

by digby



Via Politico:
On the call, according to three sources who were on the line, Corey Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager, said that if the debate does not include opening or closing statements and is longer than two hours total, including commercial breaks, the real estate mogul would have to reconsider his participation.

Neither Lewandowski nor Trump's spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, responded to a request for comment. 
The fiery exchange was one of many on the 29-minute call, which the RNC abruptly scheduled after several campaigns complained a day earlier about CNBC’s planned format for the Boulder debate — particularly the stipulation that candidates not be allowed to give opening and closing statements.

Two top RNC officials, Katie Walsh and Sean Spicer, began the call by telling campaigns that Chairman Reince Priebus had been in contact with CNBC over the matter of opening and closing statements and by saying his job is to advocate for the candidates and that they wanted to make sure he was clear on what their demands were. RNC officials wanted to know what the “red line” was for each campaign, and whether crossing that line would mean they wouldn’t attend.
Then things went south.

First, Jason Miller, a top strategist for Ted Cruz, said his campaign would consider bailing if there weren’t opening and closing remarks. Then, Chris LaCivita, an aide to Rand Paul, chimed in: “If we don’t have opening and closing statements, CNBC can go f--- themselves.”

After Lewandowski spoke, others chimed in — including Beth Hansen, who called the conference call a “debacle.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, an adviser to Mike Huckabee, expressed concern that not all candidates would have equal time to speak during the debate.

Then it was Marco Rubio campaign manager Terry Sullivan’s turn. Rubio would be present at the debate — he’d be in Boulder “hell or high water,” regardless of the final decision, but he wanted the campaigns to speak with one voice and agreed with other campaigns on the need for opening and closing statements.

Peter Flaherty, an adviser to Jeb Bush, voiced his position — that the former Florida governor intended to participate in the debate no matter what, but that he’d like there to be opening and closing statements.

Ken McKay, Chris Christie’s campaign manager, expressed concern about stating his position on an open conference call line.

Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff, tried to abruptly cut off the call. Before the call could end, Christian Ferry, a representative for Lindsey Graham, who’s been relegated to undercard debates, chimed in. If any of the top-polling candidates didn’t want to participate in the Colorado debate, Graham would gladly take their place.

Actually, this may be more appropriate when you think of the stakes:

.