Anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist says Republicans would be making a mistake to allow conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin to moderate the party's 2016 presidential primary debates.
Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, told The Hill
earlier this week that it would be better for GOP office holders to question the presidential candidates, rather than Limbaugh or Levin because they're entertainers and don't necessarily represent mainstream Republicans.
"What you want is Republican questions for Republican guys so that the Republicans can be informed in a primary," Norquist said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said recently that he thinks inviting Limbaugh or Levin to moderate would be a "very good idea" because they "actually understand the base of the Republican Party, the primary voters."
Priebus made the comment while the RNC was threatening to end its debate partnerships with CNN and NBC if they did not cancel a documentary and film focusing on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who many believe will run for president
again in 2016.
In addition to allowing elected Republicans to ask questions, Norquist also called for limiting the role of journalists or media personalities in the debates because he said their questions are often designed to do little more than "entertain the moderator."
"[We’ve got] Anderson Cooper asking all the Republicans about gay marriage," he told The Hill. "Then people watching it on TV go, 'Well, the Republicans seem pretty obsessed about gay marriage.' No, Anderson Cooper is fascinated by the subject of gay marriage."
"[Currently] the press comes in and says, 'We’re the neutral party' and then they ask all the non-neutral questions," he added. "I’d rather have, 'And now here’s the high-tech community asking high-tech questions.'"
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