GOP chair: Next debate needs a "PG rating"

RNC Chair: We need to learn how to win “cul... 05:44

Republicans have been bemoaning the recent tone and tenor of the GOP primary, especially after last Thursday's debate in Detroit--and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also thinks things have gotten out of hand.

"Listen, I do think the tone and the rhetoric has to improve," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "I do think that you have to keep a 'PG' rating during debates and I think that the next debate needs to be improved in that regard."

He said he has no problem with drama in the GOP primary, as long as the party is ultimately able to come together behind the eventual nominee.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with drama and intrigue--and we've got plenty of that, there's no question about that," he said. "The key though is, can you get a nominee, come together and then take it to the Democrats. I think we'll get there."

And as talk of a contested convention and different strategies to stop Trump swirl through the party, Priebus said he still thinks the nominating battle will likely be wrapped up before the party meets in Cleveland this summer.

"It's not impossible-- I still think it's unlikely, but it's not impossible," he said. "... I'll be prepared for anything, but I still think it's very early to have this conversation."

Priebus added that if the party is still highly fractured between the four remaining GOP candidates in April, that's when he'll start to think a contested convention is more likely.

"I think that in a month, if we're sitting in a situation where candidates are tied then I think in a month you start looking at those possibilities. But right now we've got a long way to go."

Still, he reiterated that he's not taking sides in the establishment-versus-Trump fight--and that ultimately he'll back whoever becomes the nominee.

"My role is to basically be 100 percent behind whoever gets 1,237 delegates," he said. "I'm not going to do anything to help someone get 1,237 delegates, nor am I going to do anything to prevent someone from getting 1,237 delegates."

He said the national GOP is still working to grow its support among minorities and other less-traditional Republican voters, noting the party's investments in ground operations and new technology.

"We do need to learn how to win a big cultural vote in this country and that's what I'm hopeful of," he said.

Priebus also pointed to high turnout among Republican voters as a sign of the party's strength in November.

"If you look across this country we're having record turnout ... we're up 70 percent, the Democrats are actually down 30 percent," he said. "So there's no question that on the enthusiasm gap, we're crushing the Democrats."

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    Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.