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Tags: ronnamcdaniel | rnc | presidentialdebates

RNC's McDaniel to Newsmax: Presidential Debate Ban Reflects History of Bias

(Newsmax/"Wake Up America")

By    |   Monday, 17 January 2022 11:40 AM EST

The Republican National Committee's call for a rules change to force candidates seeking the party's nomination to reject debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates was based on the commission's biased history, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said on Newsmax Monday. 

"It's just been a history of the CPD, allowing moderators to roll over Republican candidates," McDaniel said in a panel discussion on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "Let's go back to Candy Crowley when she interjected herself in the 2012 debates." 

The argument over media bias came to a head during the contentious 2020 debates between then-President Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden, and now, the RNC has said that it also needs guarantees that the debates won't start after 26 states started voting, which happened with the Trump-Biden events.

"They told the RNC, We don't work with you, that we don't care what the Republican National Committee says. And so we're taking this step so that we can find a venue and a forum that is fairer and we can start that process now," said McDaniel. 

She added that the call for party members to sign a pledge not to participate in the CPD debates came after a year of discussions behind the scenes and that the party was not trying to "make this a public discussion."

"We wanted to fix a couple of things," said McDaniel, pointing out one complaint was the commission's pick of C-SPAN's Steve Scully, who had interned for Biden when he was in the Senate to moderate the third debate. That debate was canceled after the CPD decided to make the event virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Trump balked at participating. 

"We wanted assurances that they wouldn't do that again," said McDaniel. "Also, many of their commission members were openly critical of Donald Trump, and we don't think that's right. They should have a code of conduct."

The requests were "really simple" and reasonable, said McDaniel, but in the end, the commission said that it would not assure the RNC of anything, as it works with candidates, not the national parties.

"Well, the candidate and the nominee is not in place until July or August of 2024, and by then it's too late," said McDaniel. "The RNC has a real process right now, that's going forward, and that's why we needed to take these steps now. It has been deliberate and thoughtful and not knee-jerk, and I think, very reasonable. I think most Americans would agree. We should have two debates before 26 states start voting."

Trump, meanwhile, "always wants to debate, but he also says he's not going to debate in unfair forums," said McDaniel. "But he had a very successful town hall with Savannah Guthrie, so I think his actions have shown the Republican Party we don't have to keep locking our candidate into a biased forum because we know we win with a free and fair exchange of ideas."

However, debates are "absolutely needed," said McDaniel, adding that the RNC's action opens the doors for other forums that can now come to both parties and work "without a middleman."

"Governors and senators across the country debate without a commission," she said. "It's time for the Republican nominee to be able to do the same thing."

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The Republican National Committee's call for a rules change to force candidates seeking the party's nomination to reject debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates was not a "knee-jerk" decision.
ronnamcdaniel, rnc, presidentialdebates
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2022-40-17
Monday, 17 January 2022 11:40 AM
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