Every four years, the GOP lines up the usual suspects, plus a couple of newbies, form their circular firing squads, and let the shooting begin. They totally ignore Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment and provide the fodder for the Dims to use during the final campaign against the eventual GOP nominee.
That's just mistake number one - number two is they turn control of their debates over to their mortal enemies -- the MSM! To ABC, to CNN, yee gads, even to NBC!
The Republican National Committee should write their own rules on the debates.
1. Establish the number of debates to be held and the approximate dates.
2. Establish the minimum standards in which candidates get to participate.
3. Establish the format of the debate, allowing time for debate... you know, as in give and take... not two minute canned responses to one minute barbs.
4. Decide on the city, the venue AND THE MODERATOR(S) . Yes, you read that right..... why let some established anti-conservative - anti-Republican moderate at conversation between GOP Nominees?
5. Then, with the package put together, let the Debates go out for bid to the various networks and cable news networks for the right to air them. TV production time is very expensive - they should be willing to sign a nice check to the RNC for the hour or two hours of broadcast programming.
Republicans are supposed to be bid'ness people.... why not conduct these debates like a bid'ness venture? Instead of GOP assassins like Candy Crowley, or Andrea Mitchell or (I could name almost anybody in so called broadcast journalism here), let them choose a smart, knowledgeable moderator (or panel) like Bret Bair, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto, Eric Bolling, to moderate.
And when the original ten or so candidates get whittled down to two or three, why not sit them around a table with a qualified Socratic debate moderator (with no left wing personal agenda) and really have a debate.
And once the nominee is selected in the primaries --- why not insist on similar rules for any debates with the Dim candidate?