MSNBC host Chuck Todd on Monday explained that the Republican National Committee (RNC) was "smart" to bar CNN and NBC from hosting debates because about half the the 2012 presidential candidates just wanted a national platform to get a talk show, radio show or some other deal with Fox News.
At its Summer Meeting last week, the RNC approved a resolution to pull debates from CNN and NBC if the networks went forward with plans to air shows about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The resolution also suggested that the party might penalize candidates who participate in unsanctioned network debates.
During the 20 or more 2012 primary debates, Republican candidates repeatedly made damaging statements that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said did more harm than good to his party chances.
"If the RNC is trying to limit the number of debates, that’s smart because that will mean what? About half the Republican field from 2012, if they didn’t have the debates they wouldn’t have run. Right?" Todd explained during a Morning Joe discussion on Monday. "They simply ran for exposure to get a talk show, or for exposure to get a radio deal, or a columnist, or a deal with Fox, or whatever. Whatever it is, their reasons for running, it wasn’t really because they thought they had a viable shot."
"You know, one of the things on the whole celebrification of the presidential cycle is that it has allowed for this underbelly of candidates that, whether it’s Herman Cain or Dennis Kucinich, people like that to say, 'Hey, I can show up, I get to be on national television, on various cable networks, or various, you know.' So, if you do that, then that is smart, tactical politics," he added.
"Imagine if the RNC put the same effort that they've been putting in this to get immigration reform passed."
Watch this video from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast Aug. 19, 2013.