The reason for this change is the Republican Party wants to stop unpredictable rising front runners from emerging because of the debates (Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain). They also believe having so many debates in 2012 hurt Mitt Romney.
They also want moderators that will ask serious questions and not gotcha questions. We saw a lot of that in 2012 and really the only candidate that gained from the gotcha questions was Newt Gingrich. (Click on videos below to watch Newt Gingrich's responses)
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