Glenn Beck has formally requested to host a February Republican presidential debate that had been scheduled to air on NBC and Telemundo. The Republican National Committee withdrew its support for the event Friday, saying it could not “continue with NBC” after the widely-criticized CNBC debate.
Beck, in a letter sent to the RNC this afternoon, said he and his 4-year-old The Blaze TV are “prepared to produce a new kind of debate, in both substance and distribution.” Beck said he would seek to educate voters, and avoid questions that produce only “sound bites.”
“The Republican National Committee has been forced to watch candidates and voters being shortchanged in the first debates,” Beck writes. “Traditional mainstream media has treated the debates as comedies, as propaganda, and as ratings and revenue opportunities, even as they mock conservative candidates.”
Full text of Beck’s letter to RNC chairman Reince Preibus:
The Republican National Committee has been forced to watch candidates and voters being shortchanged in the first debates. Traditional mainstream media has treated the debates as comedies, as propaganda, and as ratings and revenue opportunities, even as they mock conservative candidates. It’s an outrage, and we know you feel the same way.
Our candidates for President of the United States deserve better. The Republican National Committee deserves better. And most importantly, American conservative voters deserve better, so that we are prepared to elect our nominated candidate as the 45th President of the United States next November.
Reince, TheBlaze TV and our associated media platforms reach more conservative Americans in more ways than any other method of broadcast distribution in America. TheBlaze TV is seen in over 12 million households. TheBlaze.com reaches 20 million conservatives a month. My radio program reaches 9 million listeners each week, plus millions more via streaming and through TheBlaze Radio Network.
We’d like to make our audience your audience, by hosting the ninth scheduled debate on February 26th. We are prepared to produce a new kind of debate, in both substance and distribution. In fact, this will be the first truly cross-platform, digitally engaged debate in the history of American politics, and one that we are confident will reach one of the largest blocks of conservative voters in history.
Our plan is straightforward. Rather than being moderated by journalists who ask all the questions, I will host, and I will invite the greatest new conservative thinkers and media voices in America to prepare and ask questions live and by video. Our panel will offer the candidates an opportunity to discuss substantial issues of importance with authentic answers that are thoughtful and elevating to the entire party.
Reince, this is an important change from past debates. We know that all of the candidates, for example, broadly support Second Amendment rights. We don’t need to hear sound bites reaffirming that. What we want to know today is how they will sell their beliefs to America, and how effective their message will be. Our questions will be designed to elicit those kinds of substantial responses that will make a real difference to the candidates and the Party, across a broad range of important issues.
Between the two-hour free broadcast and a post-broadcast Q&A, every candidate will have the same opportunity to answer every question, so that fairness and equal voice is offered to each of them. And the live broadcast plus post-show Q&As will be available for the foreseeable future as on-demand video content with full transcripts, available to all. By doing so, our body of questions and responses will become a digital library of conservative thought to guide voters as they make critical choices in the months ahead. This is also a profound and important change from past debates, where the candidates’ positions exit the public arena as soon as the news cycle ends. We also have a specific plan to make the debate available live to the Spanish speaking audience as well.
It’s no secret that my audience and I want to see the Republican Party once again live as the “big tent” for conservative ideals, and we have felt at times excluded from that process. By selecting TheBlaze TV to produce this debate, you honor and recognize the value of a critical voting bloc. And you need to know that we are committed to a fair and honorable production that will make every candidate, the party and our voters proud. But most important, at the end of our debate, voters will know not just where our candidates stand, but why, and how they intend to accomplish their goals.
We both know that the time for theatrics and hyperbole is over. These are serious days full of both promise and peril. My audience and I urge the Republican National Committee to make the February 26th debate meaningful, thoughtful, and responsive to the issues of not just conservative America, but to all Americans. Placing this debate on TheBlaze TV will fulfill that promise.
I appreciate your consideration.