RNC withdraws from Commission on Presidential Debates

The Republican National Committee voted unanimously Thursday in favor of withdrawing from the Commission on Presidential Debates.

What they’re saying: “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,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in a press release.

  • “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 added.
  • “Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates.”

The big picture: The Republican Party for nearly a decade has complained that the nonprofit debate commission – which has described itself as nonpartisan – has favored Democrats, according to the New York Times.

  • Last year, McDaniel warned CPD that the RNC would advise future Republican candidates against participating in CPD-hosted debates unless “significant reforms” were made.
  • In January, the RNC reiterated their position by sending a letter to the CPD threatening to block future GOP presidential nominees from sanctioned debates if “meaningful reforms” are not made.
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