TAMPA — The new chairman of the Republican National Committee Wednesday urged Florida lawmakers not to hold an early presidential primary in 2012 in violation of RNC rules.
Here's what new RNC chairman Reince Priebus said on the subject after a meeting in Tampa with members of the local Host Committee for the 2012 GOP convention:
"We're doing everything we can at the Republican National Committee to fulfill our promise to try and get presidential primaries on track with some semblance of order. One of the things that we did is that we've put together a primary schedule for the presidentials which protects four early state primaries in February" — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — "but then moves all the other states out of the February window to a date on or after March 1.
"In the March 1 window," he added, "that is to be a proportional-type delegate award system. And then in the April window, that is a potentially winner-take-all, if the state chooses so, delegate award system.
"As far as Florida is concerned, I would do encourage the Legislature to do everything they can to abide by the rules passed by both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee together to make sure we can bring some order into the presidential election process," Priebus said.
The scheduling of Florida's primary is something Priebus, elected two weeks ago to replace former RNC chairman Michael Steele, said he has already discussed with Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Asked whether Scott told Priebus that he wanted a primary as early as possible without losing delegates, the RNC chairman declined further comment.
"I just don't feel at liberty to talk about a private conversation with the governor," he said.