The Republican National Committee stated on Thursday that it’s planning a significant rule change that would force presidential candidates that are seeking the party’s nomination to sign a pledge stating they will not participate in any debates that are officially sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The GOP is trying to find a different partner and cited some concerns they have about moderators being selected by the debate commission and the desire to have a debate before early voting starts and changes that are being made to the commission’s board, according to RNC spokesperson Danielle Alvarez.
A talk about this proposal is schedule to take place during the party’s winter meeting.
While the Republican National Committee has the ability to change many party rules between its quadrennial conventions, final say on whether to participate in the commission-sponsored debates will fall on the GOP’s eventual 2024 nominee. The nominee usually effectively controls the convention, which could easily strip the rule drafted by party insiders if the nominee believes it is in their interest to attend the debates.
The Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement that it deals directly with candidates who qualify for participation in its general election debates.
“The CPD’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality and a firm commitment to help the American public learn about the candidates and the issues,” it went on to say.
This proposal was first reported on by the New York Times.