On Thursday, the Republican National Committee unanimously voted in favor of withdrawing from its formal participation in future presidential debates that have been sanctioned by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The RNC justified its decision by declaring that the CBD has long demonstrated strong “bias” against the Republican Party.
“[The CPD does not] serve the interest of the American people,” the RNC proclaimed.
According to and official statement from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, debates remain a fundamentally “important part of the democratic process.” Consequently, the RNC remains fully “committed to free and fair debates.”
“The [CPD] is biased [by refusing] to enact simple and commonsense reforms to help ensure fair debates,” McDaniel continued, adding that these reforms include “hosting debates before voting begins,” as well as choosing moderators who have not had previous experience working for candidates on stage.
McDaniel added that the RNC would seek alternative, improved debate platforms in order to make sure that future nominees will not be forced to undergo “the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people.”
The RNC Chairwoman then detailed four specific reasons for splitting from the CPD.
First, the organization did not host the first presidential debate until 26 states had started the early voting process.
Secondly, the organization made major changes to formats and conditions that had been previously agreed upon, without even notifying the impacted candidates in some situations.
Thirdly, the CPD elected a moderator in the 2020 presidential debates who had personal ties to Biden.
Lastly, the CPD has declined to ensure rigid nonpartisanship, especially given its boards attitude towards the Republican presidential nominee.
The RNC attempts to influence the CPD into making appropriate reforms in January. However, as McDaniel observed, the organization remains “unwilling” to commit to “commonsense reforms.”