Republican National Committee votes to withdraw from commission on presidential debates

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says ‘we are going to find newer, better debate platforms’

Eric Garcia
Thursday 14 April 2022 18:09 BST
(Getty Images)

The Republican National Committee voted unanimously to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates, which governs the general election debates between candidates.

The Commission on Presidential debates typically coordinates with candidates and their campaigns. The move is largely symbolic, given party committees have little to no say in the process.

“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,” Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

Ms McDaniel had previously threatened to boycott future presidential debates because she believed it was biased against former president Donald Trump. Ms McDaniel had suggested term limits for commission board members and that they be barred from speaking negatively about either nominee. Similarly, she recommended that members be punished if they violate the guidelines.

Former Republican nominee Bob Dole expressed similar concerns in 2020 before his death.

“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,” she said.

The CPD has hosted presidential debates since 1988 and works with candidates from both parties.

During the first general election debate between Mr Trump and President Joe Biden, Mr Trump frequently interrupted Mr Biden’s responses, which famously led to Mr Biden saying “will you shut up, man.”

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