The Republican National Committee looks like it’s trying to shake things up. Last week they threatened to block CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 primary debates if they air their planned features on Hillary Clinton. And now, the RNC wants to do away with the old model of having reporters and news figures ask the questions at debates.
It seems that the RNC is annoyed that Republican candidates were being asked personal and rather silly questions. Insiders at the GOP headquarters say that they are considering other choices to host these debates. They are looking to radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.
The Washington Examiner finds that the RNC is “eager to bring in questioners who understand Republican policies and beliefs and who have the ability to get candidates to differentiate their positions on core conservative values”.
Advocates of the idea are saying that, “It makes a lot of sense. We’d get a huge viewership, they’d make a lot of news and maybe have some fun too”.
When Reince Priebus was asked his opinion on the idea, he said “I actually think that’s a very good idea. I mean, there’s a lot of good people out there that can actually understand the base of the Republican Party, the primary voters”.
This could be an interesting play though, because many of these hosts have expressed opinions about potential candidates. For example, just this week Mark Levin told Fox that he will try and get voters to reject the moderate Republican, Chris Christie. He said, “I will do everything I can, in my little way, to make sure he is not the nominee”. Expressing these opinions would obviously be fine if they were kept to his radio show, but it is hard to keep the debates impartial when someone like Levin has already made his thoughts public.
It could definitely be helpful to have conservative commentators host the debates, but it is important to also have an impartial attitude towards each potential candidate as to be sure to give the viewers a choice.