The Republican National Committee (RNC) has voted to withdraw from the commission responsible for organizing presidential debates.
Background: For months the RNC has threatened to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) over accusations of anti-Republican bias.
Former President Donald Trump levied similar accusations against the Commission during the 2020 presidential election cycle.
In March, the RNC warned the commission last month against fundraising on the idea that the next GOP nominee will participate in the 2024 debates.
What It Means: The unanimous vote by the RNC effectively bars its presidential nominees from participating in events organized by the Commission.
What The RNC Says: “Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “The Commission on Presidential Debates 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.”
What Comes Next: McDaniel said the GOP will “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.”
Donald Trump has repeatedly hinted at launching another presidential campaign, meaning the vote virtually guarantees that he won’t participate in the traditional debate calendar.
However, if another candidate secures the nomination the party could always change its rules again and the eventual nominee will likely have the ultimate word on whether to participate.