RNC Moves To BAN Presidential Debates

Written By BlabberBuzz | Saturday, 15 January 2022 23:45
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The Republican National Committee said Thursday it is planning to revise rules that would force presidential candidates seeking the party's nomination to sign a contract saying they will not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The party is searching for a different partner and mentioned concerns with moderators selected by the debate Commission, a desire for a debate before early voting starts and changes to the Commission's board, RNC spokesperson Danielle Alvarez said.

A discussion about the bid is expected to occur at the party's winter meeting.

While the Republican National Committee can alter many party rules between its quadrennial conventions, final say on whether to partake in the Commission-sponsored debates will fall on the GOP's eventual 2024 nominee. The nominee usually virtually controls the way, which could easily remove the rule drafted by party insiders if the nominee assumes it is in their interest to attend the debates.

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The Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement that it deals directly with candidates who qualify for participation in its general election debates.

"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," it said.

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"So long as the CPD appears intent on stonewalling the meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as a fair and nonpartisan actor, the RNC will take every step to ensure that future Republican presidential nominees are given that opportunity elsewhere," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in a letter Thursday to Frank Fahrenkopf and Kenneth Wollack, the co-chairs of the debate Commission.

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McDaniel said the party would initiate the rules change at its winter meeting, which is scheduled for February in Salt Lake City. The letter was first reported by The New York Times.

The nonprofit Commission, which is run by members of both parties and considers itself nonpartisan, was a target of former President Donald Trump's ire during the 2020 election. Trump withdrew from a debate the Commission hosted in October 2020 after organizers made it virtual following his COVID diagnosis.

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The RNC said it wants the Commission to promise to hold a debate before the start of early voting and not hold any matchups after the state deadlines to mail absentee ballots to military personnel and overseas voters. The RNC is also pursuing term limits for the Commission's board members and a ban on partisan political activity by officials and staffers of the Commission.

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The party also asked that the Commission make its moderator selection process transparent, as well as adopt a code of conduct for debate moderators.

"These proposals are common sense solutions for an organization whose unique, nonpartisan role in American elections requires it to stand above the political fray," the RNC said.

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