On Thursday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) unanimously voted to formally withdraw the party from participating in events hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).
According to The Hill, the vote constitutes the first time that the national GOP has voted to bar its presidential nominee from participating in any of the official debates since the commission was first founded in 1987. The decision came after President Donald Trump had previously called for the party to do just that, citing left-wing bias in the commission’s choices of moderators and cable news channels that would host the debates.
“Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel in a statement after the vote. “The Commission on Presidential Debates is biased and has refused to enact simple and common sense 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.”
McDaniel vowed that the party would “find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people.”
The RNC had already been targeting the CPD prior to the vote. Last month, the RNC warned the presidential commission against trying to fundraise off of claims that both major party nominees in 2024 would be participating in the official debates. The RNC’s vote confirms that, if President Trump decides to mount another bid for the White House and wins the nomination, the Republican nominee in 2024 will not participate in any of the debates against the Democratic nominee.