HOUSTON, Texas–The Republican National Committee (RNC) has proposed major changes for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Primary Debates. The changes include reducing the number of debates and getting rid of the left-of-center moderators like George Stephanopoulos and Chris Matthews.
The proposal passed by a vote of 152-7 according to Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Chairman Steve Munisteri. In a newsletter sent out to Republican activists and delegates in the run-up to next week’s RPT state convention, which will be held in Fort Worth June 5-7, Munisteri reported that he and the two Texas Republican National Committee Members, Dr. Robin Armstrong and Toni Anne Dashiell, voted in support of the proposal.
“I did so,” Chairman Munisteri stated, “because I felt there were two major problems with debate process last cycle. The first problem I had was that there were too many debates which resulted in the airwaves being filled with our candidates blasting at each other on a regular basis.”
Munisteri said the 23 debates will be reduced to between eight and twelve. “I think is a reasonable number. It’s large enough so that a grassroots candidate who performs well in debates has multiple opportunities to gain traction against well known and established candidates, yet it’s a small enough number to be able to cut down on the over-saturation of negativity that occurred last cycle.”
Chairman Munisteri said the other problem was having left-of-center and, in particular, Democrat leaning moderators conducting the debates. “I personally don’t believe George Stephanopoulos,” Munisteri explained, “is an appropriate questioner for Republican primary debates since he is a former member of the Clinton administration and a Democrat operative. Likewise for Chris Matthews who used to work for House Speaker Tip O’Neill.”
It was Stephanopoulos who helped create the fictitious Republican “War on Women” in January, 2012, when he asked former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), “Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”
“It is my hope,” Munisteri concluded, “that this commission, in its negotiation with the networks, will make sure that a condition of the network televising the debates would be that such partisan moderators not be included.”
Munisteri also reported the RNC is shortening the presidential primary season from February through May instead of the former January through July primary season. The goal is to is to move the RNC national convention up to either June 28th or July 17th, 2016, to give the Republican presidential nominee earlier access to RNC election funds and increase the time the candidate has to take on the Democrat opponent.
The RNC is on solid financial footing, according to Munisteri, who said the national party is debt free and has significantly outraised the Democrats. Munisteri said, the Democrats have “Substantial debts” on their books.
The Breitbart Texas team will be joining Chairman Munisteri and significantly over 10,000 Republican delegates, alternates and guests to the 2012 RPT State Convention in Fort Worth later this week. This convention will also conduct the “first in the nation” 2016 presidential straw poll to give Texans an early voice in the Republican presidential selection process.
The Chairman concluded his remarks in the newsletter stating:
I hope all of you that have been selected as a delegate or alternate to the convention will be joining me this week in Fort Worth. The convention is an important event as it determines what our party will stand for in the party platform, as well as providing a shot of enthusiasm for our candidates. The convention this year will be especially important because of its implications for 2016. This is because convention delegates will decide how we pick our national delegates in 2016 as well as conducting a presidential straw. I hope to see you in a few days in Fort Worth. Onward to Victory.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
This article has been updated. In the original version, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri mistakenly identified Chris Wallace as working for Tip O’Neill, though he intended to identify Chris Matthews.