Both political parties have historically partnered with news networks to organize primary debates, as opposed to general election debates organized by the Presidential Debates Commission, which has overseen these forums since 1988. Bossie, in interview with Hewitt , said Republicans were particularly appalled at what he called high-profile moderators.
“We must not allow bad actors to infiltrate our debate process,” he said, defining them as “moderators who don’t really try to ask questions to put candidates first.
“They’re asking questions really not to have an impact on Republican primary voters, but to get ‘gotcha’ questions and answers for the general election debate because they all want to see their question and answer played out during the general election “, he added.
The RNC is demanding major reforms to the way general election debates are held, including who is selected to moderate them and the conditions under which they are held, arguing that the current system is systematically biased against Republicans.
Earlier this month, RNC President Ronna McDaniel sent a letter to the heads of the Presidential Debates Committee, lambasting the organization for what the GOP claimed to be “repeated missteps and partisan actions that underscored its prejudices “and requiring a multitude of changes.
The 2020 debates were the source of much Republican criticism during the presidential campaign, including the CPD’s decision to allow moderators to mute candidates’ microphones after the first mock debate between Joe Biden and then-President Donald Trump, in a bid to impose order on procedures – moving the planned second debate to a remote format, before ultimately canceling it, following Trump’s hospitalization with Covid-19 – as well as his choice moderators such as C-SPAN host Steve Scully.
Among the demands, the RNC called for term limits for CPD members, additional rules on how debate moderators are chosen as well as a “transparent code of conduct” for them to operate.
In his letter, McDaniel threatened to advise Republican presidential candidates to boycott CPD-sponsored events if he chose not to revamp his process.
“We need a neutral body to host presidential debates,” Bossie said on Friday. “Whether we can work with them and help fix the system, or should we look to another entity, remains to be determined. “