TAMPA — Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, in Tampa for the RNC's summer meeting, reiterated again Wednesday that any state that violates the party's sanctioned primary schedule will be penalized.
And, he said, the national party is likely to be considerably tougher than in 2008. When Florida violated the party's schedule that year, the RNC yanked half the state's 114 delegates but still allowed those penalized delegates to be on the convention floor as designated "honored guests."
"My sense of the committee is that they feel like this is their convention, we're going to enforce the rules, we spent two years putting these rules together and I think you're going to see an RNC that not only enforces the rules but makes sure the rules are followed — not only in letter but in spirit," Priebus said.
Florida has no primary date, though a not-yet-named committee is supposed to settle on one by Oct. 1. The RNC allows only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold nominating contests before March 6, and Florida GOP leaders had been looking to set it for March 1.
But with states including Colorado, Arizona, Missouri and Michigan positioning themselves for February primaries, it looks more and more likely Florida will wind up in February or January.
Priebus also explained the party's position on the potential for hurricanes interrupting the convention set for Aug. 27-30, 2012: "We have put our faith in God that hurricanes won't be here."