Republicans Plan Fewer Presidential Debates in 2016

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 09:04 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The Republican Party should "end the stupid way we conduct presidential debates," Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday -- and Texas Gov. Rick Perry couldn't agree more.

"Hell, yeah," Perry called out, eliciting peels of laughter at the Scottsdale, Ariz., meeting of the Republican Governors Association, Bloomberg News reported.

It also drew a tweet from NBC News reporter Kelly O'Donnell.

Perry's delight is understandable: it was during a November 2011 debate that Perry famously forgot the third of the three federal agencies he'd disband if elected president.

The Republican National Committee is proposing far fewer debates in the next election cycle, Bloomberg News reported.

Perry, who has announced he will not seek re-election in Texas, hasn't made clear whether he plans another presidential campaign in 2016.

The possible candidate said in September that he still thinks about his debate gaffe on occasion.

"I put it behind me and go on about it," Perry said. "It happened. You know, it may happen again."

Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus has made a concerted effort to call out the absurdity of the debate schedule in recent months, The Hill reported, noting that the GOP held 20 debates during the primary season last election.

Earlier this year, Priebus threatened to not partner with CNN and NBC News during the debates unless they canceled planned programming on Hillary Clinton, considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination if she runs.

Those plans have since been canceled.

In a report commissioned by the RNC after President Barack Obama won re-election, Republicans called the number of debates ridiculous and advocated for a leaner schedule of 10 to 12 debates.

"Debates must remain a central element of the GOP nominating process, but in recent years there have been too many debates, and they took place too early," the report said.

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