For over the last three decades, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has sponsored each presidential debate presented to the American people. But with the 2024 Presidential Election becoming a hot topic, the Republican National Committee recently threatened to boycott the debates due to the organization supposedly being biased. 

Sending a letter to the organization, the RNC wrote that it will make each one of their candidates sign a pledge not to participate in any debate that is being sponsored by the CPD. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel wrote, “The RNC has a duty to ensure that its future presidential nominees have the opportunity to debate their opponents on a level playing field. So long as the CPD appears 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 commission responded, telling Fox News, “[T]he CPD deals directly with candidates for president and vice president who qualify for participation in the CPD’s general election debates. The CPD’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality and a firm commitment to help the American public learn about the candidates and the issues.”

The RNC had written to the CPD attempting to make changes and allow for more transparency within the organization. “Unfortunately,” the RNC wrote after the CPD refused to agree to reforms, “the CPD’s responses so far seem designed to delay any reform until it is too
late to matter for the 2024 election.”

Reacting to the news, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson said, “The GOP is no longer a governing party and news outlets should stop using that term. They have given up all pretense of being a part of the Democratic process and only exist as a vehicle to restore Trump to power through violence or malfeasance.”

Bloomberg Opinion columnist Tim O’Brien concluded, “Another example of Republicans’ antipathy toward public institutions and civic processes leading them to just…walk away. Doesn’t bode well for accountability or transparency.”

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While the liberal media might be blasting the RNC for the move, it should be noted that during the 2020 Presidential election, there were significant issues with the moderator for the second debate, Steve Scully. Then-host at C-SPAN, Scully was caught posting a tweet sharing the article titled “No, Not Trump, Not Ever.” Republicans called out Scully, saying he couldn’t fairly moderate a debate, and Scully claimed that his account was hacked during the post, something he admitted days later was not true.

This piece was written by Zach Heilman on January 14, 2022. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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