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Clinton for President in 2016? Republican Party already worried

August 06, 2013 11:15 IST

The Republican Party has warned several mainstream United States news channels against airing programmes on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is seen as a potential Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential polls.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, in a letter to news networks CNN and NBC, threatened to withhold Republican presidential primary debates in 2016 if the networks don't drop their plans to air programmes about Clinton, ahead of her likely candidacy for President's post in 2016.

While NBC has announced plans to air a mini-series, CNN is producing a documentary.

If the productions are not cancelled prior to the start of the RNC's Summer Meeting, according to a Republican statement, Priebus will seek a binding vote of the RNC to prevent the committee from partnering with these networks in 2016 primary debates, or sanctioning debates they sponsor.

"It's appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN, who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton's campaign operatives," Priebus said.

The letters were sent to Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide.

"Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment," he said.

"If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC's Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner
with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor," Priebus said.

Meanwhile, a latest poll revealed that 65-year-old Hillary, who has not announced her bid yet, and the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are among the "hottest leaders" in the country.

Christie at 53.1 degrees on the thermometer, Clinton at 52. 1 degrees, and Warren at 49.2 degrees, are "hotter" than President Barack Obama at 47.6 degrees, said the independent
Quinnipiac University poll on major political figures of the US.

In another surprise, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand matches Obama with 47.6 degrees, although 75 per cent of voters don't know enough about her to take her temperature.

Indian-American Governor from Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, was ranked 10 with 45.2 degrees.

"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's score is not surprising given her lengthy political career and especially strong support among Democrats and women," said Peter A Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But Governor Christopher Christie's rating is impressive given that his experience -- less than four years as governor -- pales compared to Mrs Clinton's resume.

"What is interesting is that only two of the 22 figures rate better than the absolute middle of the scale, not exactly a ringing endorsement of the nation's political establishment," he said.

Lalit K Jha