- In a letter sent to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the RNC threatened to bar GOP presidential candidates from participating in commission-sponsored debates.
- The proposed rule change comes after the RNC argued that the CPD had failed to implement reforms that would “restore confidence in the debate process.”
- The commission said its debate plan would be based on “fairness, neutrality and a firm commitment to helping the American public learn more about candidates and issues.”
The Republican National Committee on Thursday threatened to block future presidential candidates from debates sponsored by the nonpartisan commission, which has hosted events for decades.
In a letter sent to the Commission on Presidential Debates and obtained by NBC News, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel accused the organization of failing to implement reforms that would “restore confidence in the debate process.”
“As long as the CPD appears intent on preventing meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as an impartial and non-partisan actor, the RNC will take every step to ensure that a future Republican President Candidates for the position should be given that opportunity elsewhere,” McDaniel wrote.
“Accordingly, the RNC will begin the process of amending Republican Party rules at our upcoming winter meeting to prevent future Republican candidates from participating in CPD-sponsored debates,” he added, adding that the GOP and its voters “lost faith.” is” “in the commission.
Former President Donald Trump has helped further the party’s animosity towards the CPD, repeatedly accusing organizers of mistreating him during the 2020 election. The commission pulled out of a debate in October of that year after Trump made the event virtual after Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The CPD has sponsored the debates since the 1988 presidential election. It is independent and has nothing to do with any party.
In response to the Republican committee’s threat, the debate commission stated that it directly concerns the candidates who qualify for debate.
“The CPD’s plan for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality, and a firm commitment to helping the American public learn about candidates and issues,” the organization said in a statement.