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The Republican National Commission voted Thursday to withdraw from participation with the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, calling the group ‘biased’ and vowing to pursue ‘better platforms.’

The unanimous vote echoed former President Donald Trump‘s longtime complaints about presidential debates organized by the commission, which he accused in 2016 and 2020 of being biased against him.  

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, a Trump loyalist, called the Commission on Presidential Debates ‘biased’ and said the commission ‘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.’

She said debates ‘are an important part of the democratic process’ and said the RNC ‘is committed to free and fair debates.’ 

The The Republican National Commission voted to withdraw from participation with the Commission on Presidential Debates, a group former President Donald Trump has attacked repeatedly

The The Republican National Commission voted to withdraw from participation with the Commission on Presidential Debates, a group former President Donald Trump has attacked repeatedly

The The Republican National Commission voted to withdraw from participation with the Commission on Presidential Debates, a group former President Donald Trump has attacked repeatedly

The vote comes after a series of RNC moves against the commission, including a June 2021 letter where McDaniel voiced ‘extreme disappointment’ with the commission. 

She said the commission committed an ‘amateur error’ at the Oct. 22 debate by installing plexiglass without informing the candidates, and that Trump noticed a potential glare issue ‘thanks to his background in television.’

She also complained in her prior letter that the commission switched an Oct. 15th debate to a ‘virtual format.’ 

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wrote in his book that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before the first debate, on Sept. 29, 2020. The commission made the next debate virtual after Trump’s hospitalization and treatment for the coronavirus. Trump tweeted that he tested positive Oct. 2, 2020.

McDaniel also complained that the first debate took place after early voting had already begun in eight states, and said multiple board members had made ‘disparaging’ comments about Trump. 

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, a Trump loyalist, pushed through the changes

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, a Trump loyalist, pushed through the changes

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, a Trump loyalist, pushed through the changes

President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio

President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio

President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio

(L-R) Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathy Shelton sit before the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. Trump brought Clinton sex accusers to the 2016 debate against Hillary Clinton

(L-R) Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathy Shelton sit before the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. Trump brought Clinton sex accusers to the 2016 debate against Hillary Clinton

(L-R) Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathy Shelton sit before the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. Trump brought Clinton sex accusers to the 2016 debate against Hillary Clinton

The RNC is also seeking to pressure the party’s future nominee from being able to take part in any debate that isn’t sanctioned by the party – an outcome it is trying to achieve with a pledge candidates would have to sign.

‘Any presidential primary candidate who does not agree in writing, or who participates in any debate that is not a sanctioned debate, shall not be eligible to participate in any further sanctioned debates,’ the pledge says, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

An RNC working group will make decisions on sanctioning. Those debates are vital to candidates seeking to build support during the primary process. 

The bipartisan President Debate Commission was created in 1987 to allow the two major parties to negotiate on terms and venues for the televised debates that have taken place every four years for decades. 

McDaniel called for ‘newer, better debate platforms’ for future nominees.

Source: Daily Mail

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