The Republican National Committee voted unanimously on Thursday not to participate in any future presidential debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The RNC accused the commission of bias, saying in a statement, that it would look elsewhere for debate platforms in future elections.
“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,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
“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.”
The vote was the result of a yearlong process, the RNC said.
All party presidential candidates will be required to sign a document ensuring they will only appear at party-sanctioned primary and general election debates, the Washington Post first reported.
“To be clear: we are not walking away from debates. We are walking away from the CPD. It is biased and does not serve the interest of the American people,” reads a statement on the RNC website.
Among other things, the RNC said it takes issue with the fact that 26 states had begun the early voting process in 2020, before the first presidential debate took place.
The committee pointed to changes to previously agreed-upon debate formats, “in some cases without even notifying the candidates,” as another reason for the vote.
It also said the commission failed to “maintain the organization’s strict nonpartisanship,” and that several of its board members publicly disparaged the Republican nominee.
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