The Republican National Committee recently withdrew from the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) by a unanimous vote. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the decision in a statement released on Thursday. According to Fox News, the RNC highlighted that it is objecting to the CPD’s authority over the process rather than abandoning the presidential debate format. For more than 30 years, the CPD has hosted presidential and vice presidential debates.
McDaniel stated, “Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates is biased and has refused to enact simple and common sense 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.” She continued, “we are going to find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD.”
The RNC went on to outline a variety of grievances with the CPD’s handling of prior elections, including the fact that the first debate in 2020 was not held until 26 states had already started early voting. Additionally, the RNC claimed that before the debates, a majority of the CPD board members publicly disparaged former President Donald Trump. During the 2020 election, Trump’s presidential campaign also raised concerns about the biased nature of the CPD.
In January, the RNC signaled its departure from the CPD by announcing that Republican presidential contenders would be required to pledge not to participate in a CPD-organized debate. This news cemented that stance. The CPD hasn’t responded to the RNC vote and the Democratic National Committee told Fox News Digital that it would not comment on the decision.