RNC Admits That Debate Audience Was Stacked With Party Donors

RNC Admits That Debate Audience Was Stacked With Party Donors

About that audience during last night’s debate…. they were kind of loud. And noisy. And they sure did not like Donald Trump. At one point early on in the debate, Trump derisively called the booers in the audience “lobbyists.” Well, they may not have all been lobbyists per se, but they definitely were party donors.

The Republican National Committee’s Sean Spicer confirmed to Breitbart News pre-debate that the RNC proper distributed 367 tickets while the state party and locally elected officials received 550 tickets. Meanwhile the debate partners—CBS News, the Peace Center, and Google—received another 100 tickets. That means more than 1000 tickets—1,017 by Spicer’s admission—went not to voters in the upcoming election and not to campaigns for equal distribution to their supporters but to special interest distribution of those connected to the party, mostly high dollar donors. Only 600 tickets were distributed equally among the six remaining GOP campaigns, which to be fair to the RNC is the highest number of tickets distributed as such so far this election cycle.

Breitbart News is also reporting that Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Lindsey Graham were both given “scores of tickets” to hand out, and neither of them are fond of Donald Trump.

The audience played a huge part in last night’s debate, for better or worse. (I personally found them horribly distracting.) Donald Trump usually plays off the audience reactions, and after what was easily his worst debate performance to date, his campaign manager is upset at how the tickets were handed out.

But Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is calling for the RNC to drop all donor tickets and stop handing them out to special and monied interests entirely. Lewandowski says at all the rest of the debates from here on out, Spicer and the RNC must equally allocate all tickets among the various campaigns so they can distribute them equally and fairly to their supporters—and cut out all the donors and special interests who get tickets.

“I think the RNC does a terrible job in allocating the tickets, to be honest with you, There’s an opportunity—there’s 2,000 seats out there, there’s six candidates on stage, they should just divide them evenly so everyone has them, but instead they just give them to the donor class, they give them to the lobbyists and to all the special interests,” Lewandowski said in the spin room. “It’s not fair, it’s not equitable. So I think what they should do moving forward is take the total number of seats available, allocate them across the board and let the candidates bring their people in, because that’s who should be here, not the donors.”

While the tickets can definitely be handed out more fairly, there is no amount of complaining that is going to make the RNC change their rules. (Or the DNC, for that matter – both sides stack the audience with party donors and give the candidates tickets to bring in supporters.) If you don’t like the way a debate is run, then you can choose not to participate. Donald Trump has already found out what can happen when you don’t participate in a nationally televised debate. Even though the campaigns may hate it, and it means that regular voters don’t get in, it’s the RNC’s party – and they get to make the rules.

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