Such a format would be more informative, albeit perhaps a bit less titillating and alternately doze-inducing, than the recent debates. It would permit the viable candidates to present their views in generally non-gotcha, substantive fashion while highlighting their differences from the likely Democrat Party candidate(s). They might even find ways to attack the views, statements, and actions of that (those) candidate(s) without acting as spoilers of the competing Republican candidates.
As noted in this IBD editorial on September 23,
Despite the “gotcha” sniping at Thursday’s debate, Republicans need to keep their eyes on the prize. The target for 2012 is not Santorum, Cain, Bachmann, Romney or Perry. It’s the current White House occupant.
. . . .
[W]e must understand that while the goal is the nomination, the prize is the White House. Lost in the brouhaha over tuition for illegal aliens and mandated vaccines is the fact we simply can’t afford four more years of President Obama.
Sometimes a bit of self-effacing humor works.
Nevertheless, usually it’s best to focus on the guy who’s actually causing the problems.