The first of 12 debates for Republicans seeking the party's 2016 presidential nomination will not take place until October, but with some 14 possible candidates emerging, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is already being asked how he plans to make the encounters manageable, according to The Hill
Interviewed on the "Hugh Hewitt Show,"
Priebus said that the early presidential debates would necessarily have to be limited to candidates who garner some appreciable support in the polls. That threshold could shift as the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primaries
draw closer in early 2016.
Priebus recalled that there were between 30 and 40 candidates running for the Republican nomination at the outset of the 2012 campaign. Rather than put them all on the stage, the RNC "put a threshold in place so that there was minimal standards of meeting before a person could actually qualify to be in the debate."
For now, no minimum requirements have been set. That would probably be done in consultation with media outlets hosting the debates, Priebus said.
At least 14 contenders — most averaging at least 2.5 percent in the polls aggregated by Real Clear Politics
— are being mentioned as candidates for the GOP nomination: Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee; Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; physician Ben Carson; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, according to the Hill.
The party will hold its 2016 presidential nominating convention in Cleveland from July 18 to July 21.
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