Skip to comments.RNC considering Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin as debate moderators?
Posted on 08/15/2013 7:58:09 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
If Reince Priebus wants to apply pressure on broadcasters to reform both the presidenial primary debates and their own attempts to monetize Hillary Clinton for their own benefit, this is certainly one way to do it. Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner picks up on a comment last week from RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, who said in a Sirius XM interview that there are other fish in the sea — and Bedard’s sources say they are very big fish indeed:
Miffed that their candidates were singled out for personal questions or CNN John King’s “This or That,” when he asked candidates quirky questions like “Elvis or Johnny Cash,” GOP insiders tell Secrets that they are considering other choices, even a heavyweight panel of radio bigs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.
They told Secrets that they are 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.
The move comes as several conservatives are pressuring the party to have Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin ask the debate questions. “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,” said one of the advocates of the radio trio hosting debates.
The benefits of this are readily apparent. These three radio hosts command large audiences, far larger than a typical presidential-primary debate would attract. Furthermore, they would attract the people that the GOP most needs to energize for a national election — grassroots conservatives and highly-engaged voters. Partnering with these three would vastly improve the perception of the RNC, both for partnering with favorite New Media voices and for continued defiance to the mainstream media.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some dangers involved in this strategy, though, and perhaps none more than the larger-than-life nature of the talk show hosts themselves. Especially with Limbaugh and maybe Levin as well, the candidates might come across as tepid and colorless in close comparison. (Think of it in terms of the danger of picking a more telegenic and charismatic running mate for a nominee.) Limbaugh, Levin, and Hannity are entertainers and activists, who know how to work on the edge to drive debate and change. The candidates may end up having to follow them to the edge to keep up if they aren’t disciplined enough to keep their balance, and that may produce some problems in a general election.
At the very least, it would be fun to try that in a format that allows candidates real time to answer in detail. It can’t be worse than what we have now, anyway. I’d still argue that the best format would be to eliminate moderators altogether and allow small groups of candidates — no more than four at a time, and preferably only two or three — discuss issues amongst themselves so as to get the most substantial look at their principles and approaches. Maybe the RNC can do a few of both kinds, while keeping control of the debates entirely in-house.
Update (AP): Dave Weigel argued last week that conservative moderators would make for more compelling Republican debates. Would the entire field participate, though? Mark Levin told Cavuto a few days ago that he’d do what he could to ensure that Christie’s not the nominee; Limbaugh and Hannity may end up opposing Christie too. Would Christie show up for a debate moderated by them under those circumstances?
Update (Ed): I think Christie in particular would feel compelled to attend. His attractiveness is based on his blunt style and willingness to take on opponents. If he ran away from Levin, it would undermine his entire raison d’être for Republican voters. I think that’s also true for other candidates, too; voters would ask, “If he/she can’t handle Levin …”
My vote is for Levin. With his knowledge of the Constitution, he would make the pretenders look stupid.
Would rather see Chris Wallace, Charles Payne or Larry Kudlow.
I’d like to see Mark Steyn moderating a presidential debate.
Hannity? He's a great American, but would be too predictable for the forum.
I agree on Levin. He’d stick to his guns under the spotlight.
The fact of the matter is anyone can pretend to be a conservative long enough to make it through a debate. The problem is that our media won’t speak to the BS a candidate has pulled that proves they’re pretending.
The time to fight was last year, but Mr. nicey nicey go along don’t rock the boat was the nominee and thus head of the party. Dope!
Limbaugh, maybe. Hannity? not on your life.
Chris Wallace??? If you want someone from Fox Brett Baier would be as far better choice.
Mark Levin would be excellent if only to watch the lapdog media reaction. It’s about time!
For equality, both party’s debates need to be hosted by these guys, just as they are now and in the past, have always been hosted by their liberal versions.
Had to google Payne and found this:
The other two guys are your typical pro-amnesty types.
Steyn as moderator would be must-see TV!
Great. GOP establishment wants one of the establishment hacks to keep any debate within the accepted subject matter. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that all of them aren’t bought and paid for.
So? All candidates in the 2012 GOP primary showed up for debates moderated by all-marxist panels/moderators...you know damn well they were voting democrat/communist on Election Day.
Hewitt’s another pro-amnesty guy.
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