RNC moves to control presidential primary debates
May 8th, 2014
05:08 PM ET
2 months ago

RNC moves to control presidential primary debates

Updated 6:11 p.m. ET, 5/8/2014

Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – The Republican National Committee is expected to approve a new penalty Friday that will punish candidates seeking the 2016 GOP presidential nomination if they participate in non-sanctioned primary debates.

The penalty is meant to give the national party more control over the presidential nominating process after party leaders watched a nasty, drawn-out primary in 2012 that included 20 major debates.

The RNC Rules committee approved the penalty Thursday as well as language that will create a new committee to oversee the GOP primary debate process including the timing, location and media partners for these events. The full RNC membership, which is meeting in this southern city this week to discuss political strategy, will vote on it Friday. The penalty is expected to easily pass.

Bruce Ash, a national committeeman from Arizona, said that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had informed the full RNC membership Thursday morning that he had spoken to the candidates who are said to be interested in running for the GOP nomination and the proposal was favorably received.

“They have all agreed to this approach,” Ash said. “Many of those candidates have advocated a much stronger approach and rigorous penalties.”

Before the vote, a few RNC members expressed concern that the national party was preventing candidates from deciding for themselves what primary debates they should participate in. But that concern was countered by advocates who argued the penalty was needed to ensure the GOP had more control over how the party picked its presidential nominee.

Gaining more control over the presidential primary debates is just one step Priebus is taking to try and gain influence over the presidential primary process. Priebus is also expected to schedule the Republican National Convention early in the summer of 2016 rather than late August/early September when the event is traditionally held. The rational is that by choosing the Republican nominee earlier, it will allow the GOP to focus its full attention on winning the general election in November.


Filed under: 2016 • RNC
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. PharmGrl

    Boy there's a lot of rancor toward the GOP on this board.
    But that's obviously because everyone on here knows or should know that Democrats are about to pay for the Biggest Bait and Switch in the History of the Planet by losing control of senate.

    May 9, 2014 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  2. storm chaser 101

    I would normally be for free speach,the more the merrier.In this case less is more.the last election cycle they just made each other look foolish and not ready for the job.

    May 9, 2014 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  3. BErnard

    Election should be control by the people not washington insider

    May 9, 2014 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    MMmmm, I see the party of strict interpretation of the constitution and " FREEDOM OF SPEECH" AND MONEY TALKS" Since when did a sawbuck speak, its a piece of paper!?
    Now, lovely old Rience Priebus wants to punish people In primary debates.
    Him speak with forked tongue!
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    May 9, 2014 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  5. MC

    Apparently free speech is not something the GOP wants top be involved in.

    May 9, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  6. Marie MD

    I take it that the kochs and adelsons of the world want to make sure their money is not wasted (but it will be).
    Doesn't the right claim that they don't want to control anyone unless you are a woman, gay, senior, poor, children, veteran etc., etc?
    Their talking points are a joke anyway.

    May 9, 2014 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  7. Name Shirley

    The hypocricy is amazing & does not cease to amaze me.

    May 9, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  8. king

    what does the repubs have for the american people where the economy is concerned, nothing! they want to rob our economy and push it to the multicorporations, and hope some trickle down on us. how did that work during the bush years, when a couple of corporation went belly up, and took the world economy for a dive. do we really want all this money in one little area, or do we want to spread it around a little so that if one or two corporations go belly up, we dont all take the dive with them like what happen to lemon brothers back in 2008. this economy need to shave some of the money going to big international corporations and leaving them uninterested to invest here when they see our spending money is depleted, and stop spending it back into our economy. they are building up china and hiding from the tax man in offshore banking accounts. the repub will protect this way of life with every ounce of power they have.

    May 9, 2014 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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