Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel warned this week that the organization will warn its future candidates against participating in debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates if significant changes aren’t made.
In a letter, McDaniel told the CPD that Republicans are still concerned about the way it handled the presidential debates between former president Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in 2020.
Trump repeatedly blasted the organization for changing the rules and topics last minute and hiring biased moderators, some of whom had ties to the Democratic Party.
“The CPD’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.
“Our sincere hope is that the CPD accepts this criticism and works to correct its mistakes,” she added. “If not, the RNC will have no choice but to advise future Republican candidates against participating in CPD-hosted debates, and the RNC will look for other options for its candidates to debate the issues before the American people in a neutral and nonpartisan forum.”
McDaniel proposed a number of changes, including placing term limits on the CPD’s board of directors, enacting a “code of conduct” that would bar CPD staff from making public comments in support or opposition to any candidate, and publicizing criteria for selecting moderators.
These changes are necessary, she argued, in order for the CPD to be a “fair and impartial forum.”
“For too long, the CPD has failed to meet its responsibility to presidential candidates and American voters nationwide in providing a neutral forum for candidate debates,” McDaniel wrote. “This situation is intolerable, and the RNC can no longer give the CPD the benefit of the doubt. The CPD must act now to undertake meaningful reforms and work with stakeholders to restore the faith and legitimacy it has lost.”