The Republican National Committee (RNC) voted Thursday to withdraw from the commission responsible for organizing presidential debates.
The unanimous vote by the RNC effectively bars its presidential nominees from participating in events organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).
In a statement released shortly after the vote, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said that the GOP would “find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people.”
“Today, the RNC voted to withdraw from the biased CPD, and we are going to find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people.”
“Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates,” she said. “The Commission on Presidential Debates is biased and has refused to enact simple and commonsense reforms to help ensure fair debates including hosting debates before voting begins and selecting moderators who have never worked for candidates on the debate stage.”
McDaniel said the commission had refused to make changes the RNC had requested, including hosting debates before early voting begins and “selecting moderators who have never worked for candidates on the debate stage.”
In January, after McDaniel sent the debates commission a letter saying the RNC had lost confidence in the organization, CPD Co-Chairman Frank J. Fahrenkopf said the RNC “wanted to control things we aren’t prepared to let them control.”
He also noted that the commission deals “directly” with the candidates for president and vice president who qualify for general-election debates, not their party organizations.
“The CPD’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality and a firm commitment to help the American public learn about the candidates and the issues,” Fahrenkopf said in a statement then.
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