Committee member: RNC rules change ‘intended to dissuade a primary challenge’ to Trump

Committee member: RNC rules change ‘intended to dissuade a primary challenge’ to Trump
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A member of the Republican National Committee's (RNC) Rules Committee believes that committee members are pushing through a proposed rule change that is intended to dissuade any primary challenges to President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE in 2020.

RNC committeeman Randy Evans, who represents Georgia on the committee and serves on the GOP's panel for primary debates, told BuzzFeed News that the committee is about to vote on an RNC proposal to eliminate a standing committee on primary debates.

“Obviously this is intended to dissuade a primary challenge to the president,” Evans told BuzzFeed.


Evans says the proposed change is a clear move to protect Trump and gives too much power to the media to frame campaign debates. Originally, the rule was meant to prevent GOP candidates from participating in unsanctioned debates by imposing penalties, such as disqualification from sanctioned debates.

RNC co-chair Bob Paduchik indicated the committee is not currently needed.

“We felt it was unnecessary,” Paduchik told Rules Committee members on Thursday, according to BuzzFeed.

Evans told Buzzfeed that he is only taking issue with the potential rules change out of concern for "unintended consequences.” He ultimately voted for the rule change, according to Buzzfeed's report from the RNC's spring meeting taking place this week in Miami.

Several Republicans, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have hinted at the possibility of running against Trump in 2020, but so far no Republican challengers have officially announced a bid.

If Trump were to face a primary challenge, RNC officials said, Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has the authority to reestablish the committee.

“Nothing that was made in the changes today removes her power to do that and to decide at that point how the RNC interfaces with the primary debate process," RNC committeeman John Hammond told BuzzFeed.

The final vote on the proposed rule change is expected on Friday, after it passed in an unanimous vote by the Rules Committee on Thursday.