Politics - News Analysis

Cowardly Republicans Want to Blow Up and End the Presidential Debate Process (and Democracy)

For decades now, presidential debates have become the norm, with radio debates taking place even before television was around, but the Republican National Committee (RNC) is saying that they will no longer participate in this tradition. That is, they won’t be participating when the debates are hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which has been conducting these formal events for over 30 years now.

A letter was released on Thursday from Ronna McDaniel, who is chairman of the committee, and it outlines all of the RNC’s objections to the way the CPD has handled recent debates and a request that they change those behaviors. According to McDaniel, “The RNC has shared our concerns with the CPD in good faith, carefully documenting why the party and its voters have lost faith in your organization, and we have proposed commonsense reforms that would restore trust in the debates process.”

However, the chairman goes on to say that those in her committee believe their concerns are not being taken seriously, and for that reason, they will, “initiate the process of amending the Rules of the Republican Party at our upcoming Winter Meeting to prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates.”

The CPD did release its statement in response to this letter. They stated that “The CPD deals directly with candidates for President and Vice President who qualify for participation in CPD’s general election debates,” and went on to say that they treat all candidates with a non-biased and neutral attitude.

Here are the complaints listed in the letter from the RNC: holding the first debate too early, making changes to debate rules without notifying candidates beforehand, selecting a biased moderator who had previously worked for Democratic nominees, and having members on their board committee who did not stick to the nonpartisan commitment of the organization.

Veronica O'Brien
meet the author

Veronica O'Brien is a Massachusetts-based freelance writer. She graduated from Framingham State University with a B.A. in English.

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