The RNC wants to see many fewer of these presidential debate scenes in 2016. Before a November 2011 Michigan showdown, from left: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; businessman Herman Cain; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; Texas Rep. Ron Paul; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

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Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the Jan. 24 RNC winter meeting in Washington. Priebus celebrates the achievements of black Republicans in a series of new radio ads designed to honor Black History Month. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., speaks on Oct. 22, 1977, in Atlanta. A political scientist says the GOP has suffered some missteps in its outreach efforts to certain voters since at least the time of Dole. AP hide caption

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Within minutes after being turned on Monday, the GOP's clock measuring how much the national debt had grown was moving up quickly. Becky Lettenberger/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Becky Lettenberger/NPR