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RNC threatens to boycott committee presidential debates

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WASHINGTON (AP)

The Republican National Committee said on Thursday it was planning to change the rule that would force presidential candidates seeking the party’s nomination to sign pledges saying they would not participate in any contests. debates sponsored by the Presidential Debate Committee.

If finally enacted and enforced, the move will fundamentally change the way presidential elections have been conducted in the country for more than 30 years. The threat is the culmination of years of tension between the RNC and the nonprofit that has been exacerbated by former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly accused the committee of unfair treatment. Trump ultimately refused to participate in a second 2020 debate because he objected to it being held mostly because of the pandemic.

In a letter to the committee first reported by The New York Times and obtained by the Associated Press, RNC President Ronna McDaniel expressed frustration with the CPD’s response to a long list of complaints. complaints, including concerns about moderator selection, a desire to debate before early voting begins, and push for changes to the committee’s board.

“The RNC shared our concerns with the CPD in good faith, carefully documenting why the party and its voters lost confidence in your organization, and we proposed reforms usually restores trust in the course of an argument,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, neither the tone nor the content of your latest response suggests that CPD will meaningfully address the serious issues raised by the RNC.”

“Accordingly,” she wrote, “the RNC will begin the process of revising the Republican Rule at our upcoming Winter Meeting to bar future Republican nominees from participating in the Republican Party. into CPD-sponsored debates.” The meeting will take place next month.

The committee said in a statement that it deals directly with qualified candidates to participate in its debates.

“The CPD’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality, and an unwavering commitment to helping the American public learn about candidates and issues,” it said.

14 letter to McDaniel, the committee said it always reviews its performance between election cycles and said that process is underway. As part of the review, the group’s co-chairs said they plan to study the impact of early voting and evaluate the moderator selection process. But it rejected an RNC proposal to allow representatives from both sides to attend CPD board meetings, saying it would violate the group’s status as a nonpartisan organization. .

“We take the observations and recommendations of the RNC very seriously, and as we have said before, we will give them due consideration,” they wrote, adding, “To further our position that a neutral, non-partisan body that does not favor or disadvantage any party or candidate, we do not negotiate the terms or conditions of our operation with anyone. ”

It remains unclear what will unfold in the debates if the Republican candidate is boycotted. Televised events provide voters with a unique opportunity to see candidates appear side by side and force candidates to weigh in on a variety of domestic and foreign policy topics.

RNC spokeswoman Danielle Alvarez said the party was looking for a potential alternative debate partner. The main debates are not sponsored by the committee.

While the RNC has the ability to change many party rules between conventions every four years, the final decision on whether to participate in committee-sponsored debates will rest with the candidate. finally in 2024 of the GOP. The nominee often effectively controls the convention, which can easily deprive the party of a rule drafted by party insiders if the nominee believes it is in their interest to participate in the debates.

The Commission was established in 1987 “to ensure, for the benefit of the voters of the United States, general election debates between or between leading candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States. is a permanent part of the electoral process,” the nonprofit wrote on its website.

After the 2012 presidential cycle, the RNC took on a more formal role in the primary debate process, including sponsoring the debates in cooperation with select media outlets. As a condition of entry, candidates for nomination must agree not to participate in any voidable debate.

After CNBC hosted a debate in October 2015 that drew criticism from the candidates for poor management and “gotcha” questions designed to incite conflicts between the candidates. members, the RNC has announced that it will prohibit NBC and its affiliates from holding future preliminary debates.

Before the 2020 presidential debates, the RNC and the Trump campaign worked publicly and behind the scenes to influence the selection of the debate host. However, Trump still voiced complaints that his chosen moderators were biased against him, threatened repeatedly to boycott and eventually refused to participate in the second general election debate because it would be held. Mostly because of the pandemic.

Trump is considering another run for the White House in 2024.

Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, accused the RNC in a statement of trying to “hide their ideas and candidates from voters.”

No matter how angry the RNC may be, voters can count on hearings from President Biden and Vice President Harris, who are proud of their records.

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Colvin reports from New York.

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https://www.winknews.com/2022/01/14/rnc-threatens-to-boycott-commissions-presidential-debates/ RNC threatens to boycott committee presidential debates

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