Hugh Hewitt: Open Primaries Are 'Unconstitutional'

Nationally syndicated talker Hugh Hewitt is already looking ahead to 2020.

No, Hewitt hasn't conceded the November election to Hillary Clinton. He still thinks the serially flawed Donald Trump can save us from four years of a new Clinton administration.

In fact, Hewitt told a packed ballroom at this weekend's Red State Gathering in Denver, Colo. that a Clinton presidency could make events like this illegal. That's what's at stake in the upcoming presidential election.

In looking ahead, he shared what he's learned over the past few months during the contentious GOP primaries. He wasn't just watching the process from his talk show perch. He participated in the CNN debate process, taking notes along the way.

Here are the three key areas he addressed during the event:

  • Conventions: Hewitt hails from Ohio, which anyone who hears him speak for all of 30 seconds will likely know. So he could be accused of "homer-ism" when he says the 2020 RNC convention should be held in Cleveland, as it was last month. Not exactly. He finds it foolish for the GOP to pick a new host city every four years. Conventions demand an inordinate amount of planning. And, no matter what one thinks of Trump's RNC affair, it was a logistical success. So why not do it again? "You get better at conventions with practice," he said, and Cleveland is a key city in a swing state. Denver could be another fine option for repeat visits, given Colorado's purple status. He also recommends staging conventions in June, not July. That wasn't possible in Cleveland this year, since his beloved Cavaliers were making sports history that month.
  • Caucuses: Hewitt isn't ready to condemn Iowa's "first in the nation" caucus status. What he would like to see, though, is a second state hold its caucus at the same time. The same should hold true for the New Hampshire primary every four years. It will give the process "more depth" and better focus on the issues that matter. And about those open primaries? He calls them "unconstitutional," and wants them to stop ASAP.
  • Debates: Conservatives seethed over how CNN's Candy Crowley helped President Barack Obama in his debate with Mitt Romney four years ago. Presidential debates stick in conservatives' craws, even during the primary process. Hewitt served up some questions during the primary debates a few months back. We need more conservatives doing the same, including folks like Ed Morrissey, Mary Katharine Ham and Larry O'Connor. Don't let the mainstream media take over the process, he urges. "We don't need the networks to run our debates," he added. "Let conservatives run Republican primary debates." Mainstream media reporters' collective bias renders them unfit for the task, he suggested.