Reagan Library announces first 2016 GOP debate
A little ahead of even the schedule I expected but it appears the Reagan Library has announced intentions to hold a Republican primary debate in September, 2015. It must be noted that the Republican National Committee, which recently took greater control over the primary debate process, has yet to officially sanction this debate.
Report from the Associated Press:
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation announced Thursday that it will invite GOP presidential candidates to attend a televised debate at California’s Reagan Library in September 2015.
The announcement comes two years before voters will decide President Barack Obama’s successor. In some ways, the next presidential contest is already up and running. Prospective candidates in both parties have been jockeying for position while helping colleagues in midterm contests from Iowa to New Hampshire in recent weeks.
It’s unclear if the Republican National Committee will sanction the debate, set for Sept. 16, 2015. The RNC recently adopted new rules to limit the number of primary debates. [Emphasis added]
As noted, we’ll see how the RNC responds to this debate. Perhaps they were on board but the question will be what moderators they decide on. It remains to be seen just how the RNC will control these debates and how strongly their new rules will be enforced. As in 2008 and 2012, the Reagan Library GOP debates were co-sponsored by NBC News which will likely mean moderators that don’t pass muster with the RNC.