Radio Iowa had the opportunity to interview Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus late this afternoon.
First question: have you been involved in any of the Trump negotiations? “I don’t think there’s any negotiation. If Donald Trump wants to debate, he can debate. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t have to,” Priebus said. “…I’m not thinking a whole lot about it.” AUDIO of his full answer.
Another debate-related question: For 2020, will you revisit the process for determining debates, who gets to choose who participates? “I think we’ll probably expand on that in four years…Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll own the license or the rights to a lot of the content that goes through these debates and we could potentially license out access, so this is the very, very beginning of the process…We have order now. We have some level of consistency…and now we’re going to take it to the next level,” Priebus said. Here’s the full AUDIO of the answer to that and a follow-up question about whether the candidates get to choose/veto moderators.
Final debate-related questions: Are you upset the Trump kerfuffle has detracted from the debate you helped set up? “We put out a calendar and we would hope and expect that our candidates would be at the debates for which they quality, but I’m not upset,” Priebus said. “I think candidates make the decisions they want to make for their own campaign strategy and I think that’s what you’re seeing.”
Are you going over to Drake (where Trump is holding his fundraiser, to be joined later by Huckabee and Santorum)? “No,” Priebus responded, laughing. “I have a debate here to run.”
AUDIO of Priebus’ answers to those final two questions.