GOP Chair McDaniel to Newsmax: We Will Debate, Just Not on Commission’s Terms

GOP Chair McDaniel to Newsmax: We Will Debate, Just Not on Commission's Terms Newsmax/"Eric Bolling: The Balance"

By Jack Gournell | Thursday, 20 January 2022 05:35 PM

The Republican Party wants to participate in future presidential debates, but will not be doing so through what it believes to be a "biased" commission, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tells Newsmax.

"So we definitely want debates; we're absolutely going to participate in presidential debates, but we are not going to do it through a biased commission called the Commission on Presidential Debates," McDaniel said Thursday on "Eric Bolling: The Balance."

The commission didn't start debates in 2020 until after 26 states had already started voting, she noted, adding that they also picked as one of the moderators someone who had previously worked for the Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

That was C-SPAN's Steve Scully, who had interned for Biden when he was a senator. That debate ended up being canceled when it was set to move to virtual over COVID concerns, and then-President Donald Trump backed out.

Scully's objectivity came under fire when he tweeted to former Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci: "should i respond to trump." Many believed Scully meant the tweet as a private message, and he initially claimed his Twitter account had been hacked before acknowledging he had, indeed, sent the tweet.

McDaniel said on Thursday that the RNC asked the commission: "Can you give us assurances that you will not do those same things in 2024? They said, 'No, we do not assure things to the Republican Party.'"

So the RNC is now taking steps to find an "alternate venue," she said "that will be a fair forum for our candidate."

The Associated Press reported that the RNC plans to take up the issue at its upcoming winter meeting, but that ultimately the final decision on participating in the commission's debates will rest with the GOP's eventual nominee, as it is he or she whom the commission works with, not the political parties themselves.

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