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.”
Here’s the letter from RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to the Commission on Presidential Debate: pic.twitter.com/6dutqjbs4i
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) January 13, 2022
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 RNC deciding it won’t do debates anymore makes me think the gop is doubling down on its anti-democratic instincts.
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 13, 2022
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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.
This is ludicrous performance art. What's the RNC going to do if its nominee decides to debate? Disown him/her? Sue him/her? https://t.co/HiUanEMuUV
— Robert Schlesinger🖖 (@rschles) January 13, 2022
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.
“It’s a question best posed to the RNC on what they’re so afraid of.”
— WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki on RNC threatening to prohibit GOP presidential candidates from participating in debates sponsored by the non-profit commission that has hosted the debates for three decades. pic.twitter.com/tS2Mk3vIzn
— The Recount (@therecount) January 13, 2022