Speaking on Newsmax’s “Spicer & Co.,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stated that the RNC would ensure in 2024 that the mainstream media outlets that have been hostile to the GOP while supporting the Democratic Party and its candidates would not host an RNC-sanctioned debate.
Spicer prompted McDaniel by saying, “As you know, I worked with you and other members of the RNC in 2016 to deal with the debate process, to talk about what entities would have an RNC-sanctioned debate ahead of its cycle. I know it’s real early, but this is just who I am, the questions I ask. Based on what you’ve seen so far, is the RNC willing to set up a similar system and ensure that these mainstream media outlets that have gone against this president, that have made it very clear that they are mouthpieces for the DNC or the Biden administration, will not host an RNC-sanctioned debate?”
“Absolutely,” McDaniel agreed. “You know, Sean, it’s funny that you say that because we just formed a debate committee to start working with this process, which you did in 2016 as well heading into that election process. And it’s twofold: one is the primary situation and who’s going to get sanctioned debates from the RNC, but the second is the Commission on Presidential Debates that absolutely puts their thumb on the scale heading into the general, and they don’t negotiate with the RNC; they work with the candidate directly. But for them to take the second debate virtual, which absolutely hurt voters, to have the first debate after 16 states had started voting, was just egregious. And there was bias on that committee; it’s supposed to be non-partisan.
“So we’re going to be looking at the whole process preparing for 2024, and it does start right now,” she concluded.
During the 2015-16 GOP primary season, 12 debates were held; 20 were held in the 2011-12 primary season. The 2015-16 season featured three debates hosted by Fox News, three by CNN, two by Fox Business, and one each for ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and CNBC. A total of 17 candidates appeared at the various debates. The 2011-12 primary season featured a whopping seven out of the 20 debates co-hosted by CNN; five were co-hosted by Fox News.
During the third presidential debate of the GOP 2016 presidential run, hosted by CNBC, four of the 5 top moments on Twitter “involved times when candidates criticized the moderators or the media. And on Facebook, the top social moment was an attack on the questions being asked,” Politico reported.
During the 2016 Republican primaries, then-presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz, exasperated by the moderators, asserted, “Let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match … The questions shouldn’t be getting people to tear into each other.”
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