RNC moves to control presidential primary debates
May 8th, 2014
05:08 PM ET
8 years 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.

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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. Thomas

    It is the first step by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus effort to gain more control over the Republican presidential nominating process.


    Republican Neocon Control

    May 8, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    --Republican Party is pretty much gone to dogs. Not even. Fool will ever consider these war loots.

    May 8, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Moderate Sean

    For a party that wants very little government control over the lives of Americans, they don't seem to feel that those within their own party can decide for themselves what debates to participate/not participate in. Seems a bit hypocritical over controlling, doesn't it? It's the old axiom, "Do as I say, not as I do!"

    May 8, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "It is the first step by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus effort to gain more control over the Republican presidential nominating process."

    Reince Priebus a king-maker in waiting? How appropriate for the "leader" of a political party which offers nothing but control, greed, and power.

    May 8, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Typical of these "freedom-lovers" to try to control people ...

    May 8, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Anthony

    Republicans believe in free speech only if it suits them.

    May 8, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Agreed. The establishment needs to just get out of the way and let the conservative wing of the party take control. The Democrats long ago moved aside for the extremist socialist wing of the party, why is the Republican party so behind?

    May 8, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Who cares? The GOP/Teatrolls are a religious cult at this point. Someone should convince them all they'll get to live in a conservative utopia filled only with white people, machine guns and Ford F150s if they all just drink the poisoned koolaid.

    May 8, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    The Tea Party will try to grab attention with opinions and programs that quite frankly are pulling the GOP apart.
    The loony is out of the bag and the GOP is having trouble stuffing back in.

    May 8, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Ol' Yeller

    Ooohhhh, a shot across the bow of the tea baggers. The rnc wants their party back. The showings so far by the tea bagger candidates this year is that they have lost their mojo and will go the way of all the past whacko parties. They have likely served the purposes of their master koch brothers and without them their 'grassroots (I laugh out loud everytime some teabag nut says this) party is kaput. All they will have left is failin' palin and sugar daddy to spout their nonsense. paul has already abandoned them and has started his slow crawl away from libertarians, too. He will now kiss the ring of his true masters, if he wants any chance of a presidential run..
    What will the tea baggers do now? They will shut up and get back in line behind the neo cons, licking their wounds and talking about their short lived glory days.

    Rubes.... good riddance.

    May 8, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Former republican, now an independent

    Control and punish is fast becoming the theme of this new extremist Republican Party. It is beginning to look like the the RNC is headed by Reince Putin!

    May 8, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Gwiz

    There they go again sticking there nose into what is supposed to be an unrestricted and free from interference

    May 8, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. ChrisM

    Hahhaha. Republicans trying to control TP republcians. Ain't that a hoot. If you take vowels out of Reince Priebus , you get RNC PRBS.

    May 8, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. rbdave

    Presuming that MSNBC is still being blacklisted for being fair & balanced, has anyone contacted Comedy Central about hosting a debate?

    After all, we expect a repeat of 2012...a show which resembles a bunch of clowns auditioning for the role of Bozo.

    May 8, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. secular integrity

    What about their right to free speech?

    May 8, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. American

    I love hearing about this stuff. Way to checkmate yourself, GOP!

    May 8, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. Chuck

    If your message is bad for the country, it's best to limit it's distribution.

    May 8, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Of course! The fewer of these, the less the opportunity for the Republicans to make fools of themselves. Limiting the damage is a wise move... Unfortunately, they seem to do it every day anyway...

    May 8, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Hopefully they will not try to tell the voters ho to vote for again.......that worked out very badly for them, last time.

    May 8, 2014 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Gary

    The RNC finally see's what the rest of the country knew years ago. Their candidates are a bunch of nasty idiots. Sadley, as far as they're concerned, the nastier the better.

    May 8, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  21. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    God forbid that normal people get to see what it is they really stand for

    May 8, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Aww Reince... We loved watching Perry stumble and Mitt bumble through the primaries! You mean Little Rand and Frothy Rick aren't going to pick Jeb apart? Tee Hee!

    May 8, 2014 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  23. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Won't vote for a republican, regardless of how underhanded they get between now and election day.

    May 8, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Ali

    And yet they want to fool us like they fooled the uneducated Southerners. Republicans will give us freedoms...just keep dreaming.

    May 8, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. ghost

    They have been that way since 2009. They say the President is doing something all the while they are the ones doing it. Ex. They say "The President is hurting the economy while they are blocking every jobs bill put before them". Check it out for yourself..

    May 8, 2014 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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