RNC moves to require presidential candidates to skip traditional comm debates

Source: The Hill | January 13, 2022 | Julia Manchester

RNC moves to require presidential candidates to skip traditional commission debates

The Republican National Committee alerted the Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday that it plans to require GOP candidates not to attend debates run by the commission going forward.

“The RNC will initiate the process of amending the Rules of the Republican Party at our upcoming Winter Meeting to prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates,” wrote Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill.

McDaniel wrote the GOP voters “have lost trust” in the commission and noted that the RNC has proposed a number of reforms to the debate process.

“Unfortunately, neither the tone nor substance of your latest response inspires confidence that the CPD will meaningfully address the serious issues which the RNC has raised,” she said.

If the RNC moves to change its rules, the pullout would mark one of the greatest changes in the history of U.S. presidential debates.

McDaniel detailed the timeline of the RNC’s communications with the commission, which included a letter sent from the committee to the commission in June and discussions between the commission’s co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf and David Bossie, the chair of the RNC’s temporary presidential debates committee.

Fahrenkopf served as RNC chairman in the 1980s.

McDaniel said the commission’s response to the list of demands from the RNC “so far seem designed to delay any reform until it is too late to matter for the 2024 election.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates responded in a statement on Thursday, noting that it “deals directly with candidates for president and vice president who qualify for participation.”


“In furtherance of our position as a nonpartisan, neutral body, which neither favors nor disfavors any party or candidate, we do not negotiate the terms or conditions of our operations with anyone,” a letter from the commission, obtained by The New York Times, read. 


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