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RNC Votes to Withdraw From Commission on Presidential Debates


The Republican National Committee (RNC) voted unanimously Thursday to

withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which governs

the general election debates.

In a statement, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the commission is

“biased and has refused to enact simple and commonsense 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.”

This vote comes months after the GOP threatened in a letter to urge its

candidates to not participate in televised debates unless the commission adopts

major reforms.

In the letter, McDaniel accused the commission of partisanship and “significant

errors” in its organization of the 2020 presidential debates between then-

President Donald Trump and then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The commission’s “repeated missteps and the partisan actions of its Board

Members make clear that the organization no longer provides the fair and

impartial forum for presidential debates which the law requires and the American

people deserve,” McDaniel wrote.

The reforms McDaniel has advocated for include term limits for the CPD’s board

of directors, adopting a “code of conduct” that would prevent staff from making

public comments for or against any candidate, committing to hosting at least one

debate before the start of early voting, and publicly disclosing criteria for

moderator selection.

The CPD is a nonprofit that was established in 1987 and has since sponsored and

produced presidential debates in all nine subsequent election cycles.

The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zachery Stieber and Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

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