The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced plans to require presidential candidates seeking the 2024 Republican nomination to pledge against participating in debates led by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).
Although this group has hosted the famous presidential debates for more than three decades, they have shown increased left-leaning bias.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel posted a letter she wrote to the CPD on Thursday where she accused the group of hosting partisan debates that favor Democrats. She claimed that Republicans will seek an alternative “nonpartisan” debate partner that will give their nominees a “level playing field.”
“The RNC has a duty to ensure that its future presidential nominees have the opportunity to debate their opponents on a level playing field,” wrote McDaniel.
“So long as the CPD appear intent on stonewalling the meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as a fair and nonpartisan actor, the RNC will take every step to ensure that future Republican presidential nominees are given that opportunity elsewhere,” the chairwoman added.
McDaniel also criticized the CPD for not hosting the first 2020 presidential debate before early voting began and for changing previously agreed upon debate formats at the last minute.
Republicans, including President Trump, have accused the CPD of partisan bias against conservatives. The CPD has selected left-leaning moderators to conduct the debates in recent history.
In 2016, the CPD selected CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz to moderate the second presidential debate between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The liberal moderators interrupted Trump 26 times, but only interrupted Clinton 12 times.
“It’s nice. It’s one-on-three here,” Trump said after one of the interruptions.
Cooper and Raddatz also scolded Trump’s supporters for cheering and clapping during the debate, but allowed Clinton’s supporters to cheer and clap uninterrupted.
In 2020, then-Fox News host Chris Wallace, was tapped to moderate the first presidential debate. He interrupted Trump 76 times, and Joe Biden only 15 times.
“First of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s okay, I’m not surprised.” Trump told Wallace after another one of his interruptions against the president.
Biden later joked to Wallace that he couldn’t “keep track” of Trump’s “ranting,” to which Wallace laughed and said, “I’m having trouble myself.”
Trump also slammed the CPD in 2020 for their addition of a mute button for moderators to use on candidates, and criticized Wallace for not pressing Joe Biden on his past comments and policies.
If the RNC follows through with their recent statements, it will massively change how presidential and vice presidential debates are conducted.