With Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin effectively out of the running as potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates, their party has begun sending a clear message that it’s time to get serious.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus said recently that his party had put a sort of vetting process in place, in the form of a rule dictating that contenders are required to poll above a certain level in order to get a spot at the GOP debates. With so many candidates fighting for a spot, the threshold put in place by the RNC would ensure that only the top contenders be heard.
“You can’t do 20 people,” Priebus told conservative TV host Hugh Hewitt last month. “You have to have certain thresholds in place, so you have to be at 1 percent of the vote in Iowa, and that threshold can move like a slide rule based on the proximity to the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primaries, just like it did before.” According to The Hill, the thresholds “would be determined in coordination between the RNC and the media outlet conducting the debate.”
Romney’s third attempt at the presidency, according to Politico, didn’t materialize mainly because the GOP knew it would struggle to run an effective campaign for someone who has historically demonstrated “callousness toward the 47 percent,” especially in the face of the continued economic divide that remains an important issue amongst Americans. Palin’s recent rambling speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit effectively crushed her chance at a 2016 run, with many Republicans dismissing her bizarre speech and abandoning any vision of Palin’s America.
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With the GOP seemingly attempting to weed out “fringe characters,” a recent Fox News poll showed just who conservative voters having their sights set on for 2016. With Jeb Bush at the top, other popular Republicans like Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson aren’t far behind, though many doubt their ability to take on potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton given their recent histories of making controversial comments.
A large number of conservatives, however, have recently begun to notice Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose Iowa Freedom Summit speech resulted in him topping a Des Moines Register poll of potential 2016 candidates, as a possible frontrunner.
“Scott Walker wowed them in Iowa,” Rush Limbaugh said. “Scott Walker has shown the Republican Party how to beat the left. Scott Walker has the blueprint for winning and winning consistently and winning big in a blue state with conservative principles that are offered with absolutely no excuses.”