39 months later, GOP makes demands on rules and format of presidential debate


The 2024 presidential candidates won’t face each other on a debate stage for at least 39 months, but the Republican Party is already pushing for big changes to the Non-partisan Presidential Debates Commission before accepting its candidate to participate.

“For too long the CPD has failed to fulfill its responsibility to presidential candidates and US voters nationally by providing a neutral forum for candidate debates,” the National Committee chairperson wrote on Wednesday. Republican, Ronna McDaniel, in a letter to the commission. “Our sincere hope is that the CPD accepts this criticism and strives to correct its mistakes.”

McDaniel’s letter, which calls for a response from the commission by the end of July, rekindles one of former President Donald Trump’s latent grievances over his defeat in the election last fall.

Trump, who continued to claim without evidence that he was the real winner in the election, argued in the fall that he had been abused in the debates and that his rival Joe Biden had an unfair advantage.

Among McDaniel’s complaints listed in this week’s letter: the final debate fell after postal voting began in some states; the commission abruptly proposed moving to a virtual debate (due to Trump’s positive diagnosis of COVID-19); moderator issues; the board of directors of the CPD; and even the staging.

McDaniel credited Trump’s “television experience” for recognizing that the plexiglass installed between the catwalks due to the coronavirus pandemic could create a lighting problem.

“Had it not been detected by the President of the United States, the unforced error of the CPD would have caused a surprising and embarrassing distraction for both candidates once the cameras started rolling,” he said. -she writes.

The Democratic National Committee and the non-partisan CPD did not respond to News weekrequests for comments.

The independent commission usually negotiates the terms of debates with candidate campaigns after the primaries and conventions close during the election year.

The next race could be a rematch between Biden, who has announced he will run again, and Trump, who is openly thinking about the idea and is currently the frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

Trump complained often last fall about the slights he saw in the debates. After Trump and members of his entourage tested positive for COVID-19 following the first debate in Ohio, debate organizers opted for the second debate to be held virtually. Trump refused to debate remotely, so he and Biden eventually organized live public events on various networks.

In his letter, McDaniel calls for term limits and a code of conduct for DPC board members; deadlines that take into account early voting and postal votes; moderator guidelines and penalties for violation.

“Otherwise, the RNC will have no choice but to advise future Republican candidates not to participate in the debates organized by the CPD and the RNC will seek other options for its candidates to debate the issues before the American people in a neutral, non-partisan forum, ”she wrote.

The first Trump-Biden debate was particularly chaotic: Trump’s family refused to follow mask requirements; Trump frequently interrupted Biden; and moderator Chris Matthews struggled to keep control.

For the second debate, Trump’s team had attempted to negotiate terms that would put him back on stage with Biden, despite the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis that had forced him to be hospitalized less than two weeks earlier. It was supposed to be a town hall format.

Trump’s campaign failed to reschedule the mayoral debate, leaving only the third moderate one-on-one debate between the two candidates, but with a manually operated mute button to avoid the interruptions that have affected the previous debate.

Polls and experts have generally declared Biden the winner of both debates, despite Trump’s insistence that he had surpassed Biden. He often denounced on Twitter the commission and debate formats during this period.

The final presidential debate scene of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election is tested for sound and light at Belmont University on October 21, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. Polls and experts have generally declared Joe Biden the winner of both debates, despite Donald Trump’s insistence to the contrary.
Eric BARADAT / AFP / Getty Images


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