The GOP wants to reduce the number of debates during the 2016 presidential primary, moving to penalize any candidate that participated in a debate not approved by the national party.
The New York Times says the national GOP wants to take control of the debate process, including approving moderators, to help stop insurgent candidates who used the large number of debates in 2012 to draw attention to their candidacies.
A few conservative stalwarts on the committee are nervous about the establishment’s consolidation of power over the primaries. “Do we want a committee of the national committee, which will surely be controlled by the national chairman, picking which candidates participate in all Republican presidential debates?” asked Morton Blackwell, a committeeman from Virginia.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is strongly considering a presidential run and is expected to receive Tea Party support if he does, offered careful praise for the move to limit debates. “I think maybe last time we had too many,” he said. “And so I think some of the rules changes, as long as they’re towards things that will enhance the party as a whole, are not a bad idea.”