Something Big Was Just Announced About Next GOP Debate That Will Have Many Conservatives THRILLED

Townhall editor-at-large and Fox News contributor Mary Katharine Ham will join the ABC News moderator panel for the next Republican presidential debate on Saturday in New Hampshire.

RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer announced the addition Wednesday night.

Ham’s addition to the ABC News panel comes following October’s controversial CNBC debate, after which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described the moderators’ treatment of the Republican candidates as a “crap sandwich.”

Sen Ted Cruz scored the line of the evening, when he called out the moderators“This is not a cage match,” he said, and then began to go down the line of his fellow candidates on the stage, recounting the questions that they had received: “Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain?…Ben Carson, can you do math?…John Kasich, would you insult two people over here?…Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?…Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?”

“How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?” Cruz asked, which elicited loud audience applause.

Priebus responded to the event, promising that CNBC would not host another debate, and took it a step further by cancelling an NBC News debate scheduled for January of this year.

As reported by Western Journalism, the Republican Party’s decision to allow CNBC to solely moderate the debate violated Priebus’ own guidelines, which he laid out with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt early last year. “[W]e’re going to have a reasonable number of debates, and we’re going to have conservatives help in the moderating and the management of these debates,” Priebus said. 

One controversy brewing for Saturday night’s debate in New Hampshire is whether Carly Fiorina will be included. Due to the multiple candidates announcing the end of their campaigns this week, there will be no “undercard” debate. Under ABC News’ announced criteria, Fiorina does not qualify for the main stage.

In another letter to the RNC, she argued that eight candidates were allowed on the stage in 2012, and all the candidates who remained in the race after Iowa were invited to participate in the debates that followed.

Fiorina further contends that she outperformed others in Iowa who will be on the stage in New Hampshire, including Governors Chris Christie and John Kasich, and is polling better than Ben Carson in New Hampshire.

The former Hewlett Packard CEO is calling on the RNC to compel ABC News to let her on the stage.

Saturday’s night debate is scheduled to start at 8 P.M. ET, from St. Anselm College in Manchester.

h/t: Hot Air

The Huge Move Ben Carson Just Made Could Be A Very Bad Sign For His Supporters

After a strong beginning, famed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has struggled to keep pace with top-tier rivals in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

As a result, he has decided to eliminate more than 50 staff members from his campaign.

Not only is the staff being reduced, the salaries of remaining staff members are also being significantly cut. The campaign may soon return to commercial flights instead of flying on private jets.

The majority of the cuts will take place at Carson’s Northern Virginia campaign headquarters.

In response to an internal memo obtained by the Washington Post, campaign officials confirmed the actions and stressed that key aids in GOP primary contests will remain in place. They also said Carson is determined to stay in the the 2016 race.

It was further acknowledged that, after falling from the top tier and experiencing diminishing funds, Carson was forced to make major changes to his campaign.

After the resignation of several advisers, Carson’s senior staff went through a restructuring in late December. That restructuring will not be affected, the campaign says.

Armstrong Williams, a longtime confidant of Carson, said in an interview, “Dr. Carson is going to get his campaign lean — really lean. One issue for a while has been too much infrastructure, and he has decided to fully address it so that he can sustain his campaign until the convention.”

Carson, speaking with reporters Wednesday, said, “I make no bones about the fact that I am a person of faith. I believe it says in Matthew 7:20, that, ‘By their fruits, you will know them.’ I hope you will judge all the other people who are running for this position by the same standards.”

Rush Limbaugh Just Revealed A Candidate He ‘Really Likes’ That’ll Stun A Lot Of People

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh named a candidate he “really likes” in the Republican nomination presidential contest on his radio program on Tuesday, and it is a name that might be a surprise to some.

Describing him as a “full-throated conservative,” the political pundit spoke very favorably of Sen. Marco Rubio. “He was the first to get out there. He hustled to get out there. As such, it made him look like the winner,” Limbaugh said“He had energy. I thought it was a great speech that Rubio gave last night. It was energetic.”

Limbaugh took some time on his program to shoot down the notion that Rubio should somehow be viewed as Washington, D.C.’s choice for office. “I don’t like this idea that Marco Rubio is all of a sudden being labeled as an establishment candidate,” he said.

The conservative believes if the label sticks, “Rubio is gonna end up becoming an enemy of several Republican — or many perhaps potential Republican— voters.”

Limbaugh acknowledged Rubio’s bipartisan “baggage” of the 2013 Senate bill on immigration reform. “Nobody’s pure, and nobody is ever free of making mistakes,” he said. 

“Marco Rubio is no moderate, Republican centrist,” Limbaugh contended. “I don’t see Marco Rubio as anything other than a legitimate, full-throated conservative.”

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Limbaugh, who is a Florida resident, said, “I just remember the days that Marco Rubio was in the state of Florida, local politics, state politics, and then going national. He was considered, perhaps, one of the greatest potential heirs to Ronald Reagan, and now he’s being derided as a sellout member of the establishment.”

Rubio scores a 94 percent conservative rating on the Heritage Action Scorecard (the political arm of the Heritage Foundation) for his votes as senator, and a 96 percent with the American Conservative Union’s (the sponsor of CPAC). Cruz scores 100 percent on both. The average rating of the two senators with Heritage Action is 60 percent.

Limbaugh stated he also likes Sen. Ted Cruz. He noted in the two senators, “We have two genuine disciples of Ronald Reagan in the top three places in Iowa.” Rubio, 44, and Cruz, 45, would have both come of age, while Reagan was still in office and in his early retirement years, when he remained on the political stage.

h/t: Breitbart

Watch: Reporter Tries To Lecture Trump To His Face About Iowa… BAD Idea

A reporter pressed Donald Trump Tuesday about whether his failure to come in first in Iowa hurt his brand, which the presidential candidate dismissed by offering a few facts.

“Mr. Trump, your entire campaign, your entire career, you’ve branded yourself as a winner. How do you think you can go forward and mean that brand with your supporters who see you as a winner after suffering a defeat in Iowa?,” the unidentified reporter asked of Trump, who was campaigning in New Hampshire.

“Well, if you look at second place, people didn’t talk about my second place. They didn’t talk about it as positively as they should have,” Trump replied. “And yet with Marco (Rubio), who was more than 2,000 votes behind me — that’s a lot of votes by the way — they said, ‘Oh, he’s surging.’”

The candidate also pointed out he has never run for office before, so to come in second in Iowa in a race dominated by seasoned politicians is an accomplishment. 

“But what about your brand?,” the reporter followed up.

“I think my brand is doing great,” Trump answered.

On election night in Iowa, Trump pointed out his advisers initially told him not to go to Iowa, because it was assumed he would not do well there. Ronald Reagan, in fact, skipped the Iowa caucuses in 1980, which was won by George H.W. Bush. Reagan went on to win New Hampshire, and ultimately the nomination and the presidency.

According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Trump currently enjoys over a 20-point lead in the Granite State: 33 percent to 12 percent for Cruz and nearly 11 percent for Rubio. Trump’s campaign will likely play better in New Hampshire, whose electorate does not have the same predominance of evangelicals, who fueled Cruz’s victory in Iowa.

Trumps’ campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is from New Hampshire and has overseen statewide runs for office in the state, which may give his candidate something of a home-field advantage.

h/t: TheBlaze

BREAKING: A Presidential Candidate Just Dropped Out Of Race

The field of candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination continues to shrink.

Coming on the heels of Monday’s announcement by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that he was dropping out of the race, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he was suspending his campaign.

Paul finished fifth in Monday’s Iowa caucuses. In most polls throughout the Republican pre-primary season, Paul drew single-digit support. Paul campaigned on a platform of reducing the federal government’s role in America and around the world.

Paul’s statement announcing his decision was brief.

“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of liberty. Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brush fires of liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.

“Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over. I will continue to carry the torch for liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term.”

In one of his last campaign tweets, Paul sounded a note of defiance and captured the main themes of his campaign.

“We are not trading our liberty for anything. Not now, not never. Hell no,” he tweeted.

In the race to keep his Senate seat, Paul faces Democrat Jim Gray, who is also mayor of Lexington.

h/t: Fox News