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GOP leaders shorten presidential nominating season

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Washington, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Seeking to shorten the Republican presidential selection process, the GOP moves to hold  its national convention in late June or early July in 2016, roughly two months sooner than usual. Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their coveted spots atop the presidential primary calendar. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Washington, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Seeking to shorten the Republican presidential selection process, the GOP moves to hold its national convention in late June or early July in 2016, roughly two months sooner than usual. Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their coveted spots atop the presidential primary calendar. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican leaders overwhelmingly voted yesterday to shorten their presidential selection process in an attempt to minimize damage from GOP candidates attacking each other.

“This is a historic day for our party,” RNC Chairman Reince Preibus declared.

He said the changes would not allow Republicans to “slice and dice” each other for six months or participate in “a circus of debates.” Republican candidates participated in 27 debates for the 2012 nomination.

Iowa and New Hampshire will retain their coveted spots atop the presidential primary calendar, and South Carolina and Nevada also secured top spots, as they have in the past, as part of a larger plan that could significantly reshape the 2016 presidential election.

The vote came as the Republican National Committee works to create an easier path to the White House for its next nominee roughly a year before campaigning begins in earnest for the next presidential contest. While President Obama’s second term began just one year ago, prospective Republican candidates already have begun visiting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire that hold outsize influence because of their early positions on the primary calendar.

New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada are scheduled to host the first four contests in February 2016 under the new schedule, while the remainder of the nation’s 46 states and territories would vote between early March and mid-May. The party’s national convention is expected in late June or early July, roughly two months sooner than has become the norm.

Officials from early voting states praised the plan, which establishes strict penalties for states that jump out of order, as Florida did in 2012.

Republican national committeeman Steve Duprey of New Hampshire described the changes as an “effective death penalty for any state that tries to jump the calendar.”

“This will be the best protection that New Hampshire has ever had for its primary,” he said.

The shift comes during the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee, a collection of party leaders and activists from every state that controls the GOP’s national infrastructure. The group expects to finalize additional changes, including setting a new date for its 2016 national convention, later in the year. Among other changes, the RNC intends to dramatically reduce the number of presidential debates and have more control over the moderators.

“Big reforms are coming to our presidential nominating process – reforms that put Republican voters, not the liberal media, in the driver’s seat,” Priebus said.

GOP leaders also complained that the party’s 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, was forced to suffer through a lengthy and expensive primary process that ultimately hurt his ability to compete against Obama. An earlier convention date, for example, would allow the party’s next nominee to access millions of dollars of general election cash months earlier.

Not everyone is pleased with the changes, which were approved by a 153-to-9 vote.

“I think we’re going too far in shortening this process,” Republican committeeman Morton Blackwell of Virginia said. “We need an adequate amount of time in order for presidential candidates to be tested.”

Committee members gathered in Washington, D.C., this week also began considering the location of its 2016 national convention.

Representatives from four contending cities – Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., and Columbus, Ohio – offered gifts and parties to help secure an early advantage. Las Vegas’s bid, fueled in part by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, gave GOP officials complimentary wireless Internet access and goodie bags with fleece jackets and leather binders.

The RNC is expected to select its next convention location no earlier than this summer.

I see a couple of comments here and let's be honest, the moderators of the past have been Left leaning like most of the press. They have acted to divide and conquer each candidate and damage them if they can. Republicans are interested in their candidates and we ought not feed the press frenzy, they don't treat Democrats the same. Once we reach a general election, let's not forget Candy Crowley giving support to Obama and it turned out that Romney was right anyway. The "press" has a responsibility to report the facts and let the people decide not to shape the debate. So the Republicans are dont the right thing.

As I remember it Fox news moderated 5 or 6 of the Republican debates and most of the rest in Republican friendly venues. If the candidates can't handle a debate between members of their own party how were they to handle Obama. They had a bunch of clowns running and no amount of the old cop out of blaming the media is going to change that.

The GOP changes were approved by a 153-to-9 vote. Appears Republican committeeman Morton Blackwell is missing the main point the GOP wants, that is to "NOT" have an adequate amount of time in order for presidential candidates to be tested........ Regardless of which party one affiliates themselves with, the LAST thing the citizens of this country should want is LESS information about the candidates.

What the people need is the "truth" about candidates. Period. Not a snow job on Hillary, they need to see clips of her ranting "why does it matter!".

Just curious - Just what did it matter at that point, it was after the fact and the damage was done. I see it is obviously more important to assess blame than make sure it doesn't happen again. That rant was well justified. You think events like Benghazi are something new. How naive. Show me just one of the GOP hopefuls that have had to deal with issues that our next President has had to, couldn't resist. Remind me and I'll admit I was wrong or say "I told you so."

"what difference does it Make" - Hillary is a presidential candidate that lied about Benghazi - she is a pathological LIAR - that makes a difference to most people

"dramatically reduce the number of presidential debates and have more control over the moderators", “slice and dice”, “a circus of debates.” - I guess the GOP is really the party that wants low informed voters. Pretty bad when the leaders have no faith in their own candidates............. "offered gifts and parties to help secure an early advantage" - at least they are honoring the most important thing……. Sounds like the GOP itself is starting to implode.

Your understanding of the reasoning behind the changes is so skewed that no amount of FACTS regarding the decision would satisfy you. The debt deficit deaminizing democrat party is 100% to blame - their low ball, gutter guerilla politics is their only debate plan as they cant win on the issues.

Again with the nonsense, outside of your little world, there is and never has been a moment in the history of the US where it was possible to assign 100% blame to any group. Even the founding fathers didn't all agree. Besides the dem's won the last two elections so where is this majority you constantly fantasize about? Certainly the rich can't complain about 2013 they added $524 trillion to their balance sheets.

FACT CHECK TIME - 1) $524 trillion is greater that the GDP od the entire world ? 2) Who won the 2010 historic smack down elections? - Responsible Republicans

There you go with your made up "facts" again.

Care to post what is incorrect? or - you could post an apology

FACTS for the LIDV . The GDP of the USA is equal to the nations DEBT - now go look at the oft repeated GCarson spoof and do the math

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