RNC feud with presidential debate commission escalates with boycott threat

Republicans have complained in recent times that the commission is biased towards GOP candidates. That dissatisfaction got here to a head in 2020, after a collection of clashes between the commission and then-President Donald Trump and his allies.

In the summertime earlier than the election, Trump sought to have extra debates scheduled and to carry them earlier within the calendar, amongst different adjustments that the committee finally determined towards.

And in October 2020, the second of three scheduled debates between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden was finally canceled. The previous president’s Covid prognosis prompted the commission to attempt to transfer the occasion to a digital format — a change the Trump marketing campaign vehemently opposed.


Trump additionally complained concerning the collection of moderators on the debates, notably that of Steve Scully after the longtime C-SPAN anchor — who left the community final 12 months — turned the topic of controversy following an alternate with Anthony Scaramucci.

Scaramucci served briefly as a communications director within the Trump White Home earlier than changing into an ardent critic of the previous president. Scully initially lied about messaging with Scaramucci — claiming his account had been hacked — earlier than admitting that he had despatched a message and being positioned on administrative go away from C-SPAN shortly thereafter.

Trump additionally took difficulty with the selection of then-Fox Information anchor Chris Wallace and NBC Information’ Kristen Welker as moderators.

The RNC needs debates to be held earlier in 2024, earlier than states begin holding early voting durations. Many states expanded their use of early voting and mail-in voting in response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, main a considerable section of voters to solid their poll earlier than the primary presidential debate was held that 12 months.

The RNC letter additionally detailed the communication it has had with the commission since March, which it says haven’t been fruitful towards addressing its issues.

“Sadly, the CPD’s responses to date appear designed to delay any reform till it’s too late to matter for the 2024 election,” McDaniel wrote. “The RNC due to this fact can not merely ‘wait and see,’ because the CPD appears to recommend, however should act now. To do in any other case would forestall any significant reform and conveniently go away the CPD unaccountable for one more election cycle.”

McDaniel wrote that the RNC intends to maneuver ahead with the rule change course of as a part of its winter assembly.

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