(Republican Insider) – The way in which the Commission on Presidential Debates has conducted itself over the last two election cycles has proven their bias. Now the Republican National Committee has taken action to withdraw from the Commission and has vowed to find “newer, better debate platforms.”
It’s about time. The Commission has routinely ignored common sense reforms that would make debates more fair and free.
GOP presidential candidates will now have to sign a written pledge that they will only partake in debates sanctioned by the RNC or else be banned from the party’s approved debates, as per the resolution that was just unanimously passed on Thursday when the RNC voted to withdraw from the Commission.
“Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates is biased and has refused to enact simple and common sense 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,” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the RNC, said in a statement.
It’s clear the Commission wants to give an advantage to Democratic candidates.
The RNC has had issues with the Commission for years but things escalated in 2020 during the presidential debates when it was obvious Joe Biden was receiving special treatment.
Several months ago, the RNC sent a letter threatening to block its nominees from participating in debates sponsored by the Commission. On Thursday, they voted to do just that.
“Any presidential primary candidate who does not agree in writing, or who participates in any debate that is not a sanctioned debate, shall not be eligible to participate in any further sanctioned debates,” the resolution said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The RNC said Thursday’s vote followed a “year-long process” and slammed the Commission for being “biased.”
In a prior letter to the Commission, the RNC made a series of demands such as a stronger code of conduct for moderating debates, increased transparency, and a commitment to hold at least one debate prior to early voting.
The RNC asserts the Commission was unwilling to make any changes. Go figure.
“To be clear: we are not walking away from debates. We are walking away from the CPD,” the party emphasized. “The Republican Party deserves better. The American people deserve better.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the RNC is now planning to create a working group to develop plans for party-sanctioned debates.
Naturally, a spokesperson for the Commission, which was founded in 1987, has not responded to requests for comment.
During the 2020 election cycle it was pretty difficult to ignore the blatant biases of the Commission. They shamelessly appointed journalist Steve Scully to moderate a debate despite Scully having served as an intern for Joe Biden in college. Scully never moderated any debates because he got into trouble for supposedly lying about his Twitter account being hacked.
Also during 2020, a majority of the board members of the Commission made public statements disparaging the Republican nominee.
The RNC also took issue with the fact that it held debates after 26 states had already begun early voting and further accused the Commission of making “unilateral” changes to the debate formats, the biggest issue being that they made the second 2020 debate virtual after Trump tested positive for COVID. Trump ultimately withdrew and the second debate never happened.
Good for the RNC for putting their foot down and taking action.
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