WaPo columnist calls RNC withdrawing from Commission on Presidential Debates a ‘blow against democracy’ – Fox News

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Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Karen Tumulty took aim at the “Trumpified” Republican National Committee for unanimously voting to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates.

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced on Thursday her party is severing ties with the decades-long precedent, which had the CPD organize three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate in coordination with both political parties.  

LIBERALS MOCK RNC FOR WITHDRAWING FROM COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES 

“The RNC voted to withdraw from the biased CPD, and we are going to find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people,” McDaniel said in the statement. 

The RNC clarified that it is not moving away from the presidential debate format, but is rather objecting to the CPD’s control over the process. 

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their second 2020 presidential campaign debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., October 22, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their second 2020 presidential campaign debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., October 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

In a column published Sunday, Tumulty accused the RNC of acting “at Donald Trump’s behest” in an effort of “kill the entire exercise” of the presidential debate, calling McDaniel’s vow to find a “newer, better” debate platform a “laughable proposition.”

“The truth is that this decision, if it stands, is almost certainly going to bring an end to general election presidential debates,” Tumulty predicted. “The RNC isn’t operating on principle here. It is, once again, channeling the grievances of Trump. His demands of fealty have required that Republicans knock over institutions that protect the integrity of our elections, one after another. Walking away for the debates commission is only the latest example of the GOP’s efforts to erode confidence in the nation’s democracy.”

RNC VOTES TO WITHDRAW FROM COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

While the Post columnist acknowledged the CPD is “far from perfect and is in need of reform,” she argued the debates “have given voters a relatively unvarnished look at their future leaders under pressure — and then given those voters a second, and sometimes third, chance to double-check their instincts. That’s priceless in a democracy.”

“And in parts of the world where democracies are struggling to gain a foothold and where citizens have never had any expectation that they could take the measure of those who would seek to lead them, our system of debates is already a powerful export,” Tumulty wrote. “This, in some ways, shows what is really at stake here. A part of the election process that American voters have come to take for granted is, for all its flaws, a near-miracle. The Trumpified Republican Party should not be allowed to toss it aside.”

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the final presidential debate at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., October 22, 2020. Morry Gash/Pool via REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the final presidential debate at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., October 22, 2020. Morry Gash/Pool via REUTERS (Morry Gash/Pool via REUTERS)

While many conservatives rejoiced the RNC’s decision, liberals rushed to mock Republicans as “snowflakes,” alleging parting ways with the CPD was a sign their presidential candidate cannot take the heat of the debates. 

The RNC had listed a number of complaints with how the CPD handled previous elections, such as not hosting the first debate in 2020 until 26 states had already begun early voting. The committee also complained that a majority of the CPD’s board members had publicly disparaged former President Donald Trump prior to the debates.

DEBATE MODERATOR STEVE SCULLY RAISES EYEBROWS WITH TWEET ASKING SCARAMUCCI ‘SHOULD I RESPOND TO TRUMP’

Former President Trump’s presidential campaign made many of the same complaints during the 2020 election.

The CPD faced intense backlash during the 2020 election cycle over the controversy of its second debate moderator, C-SPAN host Steve Scully, who appeared to have reached out to outspoken Trump foe Anthony Scaramucci on Twitter.

WASHINGTON, DC -- MARCH 03: Steve Scully is a senior executive producer and political editor for C-SPAN. He's also host of the morning call-in show, Washington Journal. For Just Asking Profile.

WASHINGTON, DC — MARCH 03: Steve Scully is a senior executive producer and political editor for C-SPAN. He’s also host of the morning call-in show, Washington Journal. For Just Asking Profile. (Andre Chung for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The exchange between Scully and Scaramucci fueled even more questions of the journalist’s credibility to fairly moderate a debate after critics previously highlighted his work as an intern for then Delaware Sen. Joe Biden decades ago.

Scully initially claimed that his Twitter account was hacked but later admitted he lied. The “Washington Journal” host was suspended by C-SPAN and later parted ways with the network in June 2021.

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The CPD was also slammed for unilaterally deciding to make the second debate virtual following Trump’s bout with the coronavirus without consulting either of the campaigns. 

After Trump refused to partake in the virtual format, the CPD scrapped the second debate altogether. 

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report. 

Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/washington-post-karen-tumulty-rnc-commission-on-presidential-debates

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