RNC threatens to require GOP nominees to skip debates run by debate commission

(CNN) The Republican National Committee said Thursday in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates that it is prepared to "prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates" unless the commission makes a number of significant changes to its procedure.
The letter, which was first reported by The New York Times, was signed by Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel.
CNN was first to report in June that McDaniel, in another letter to the commission, threatened to advise any future Republican nominee against participating in general election presidential debates unless significant changes are made by the commission.
The latest letter, which was sent on Thursday, escalates those threats and outlines actions the RNC plans to take.
appears intent on stonewalling the meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as a fair and nonpartisan actor, the R.N.C.
will take every step to ensure that future Republican presidential nominees are given that opportunity elsewhere," the RNC chair wrote.
The Republican National Committee's focus on this is yet another example of Republicans relitigating something that was a top concern for former President Donald Trump.
The commission eventually canceled the second debate after Trump declined to attend a virtual debate despite concerns over his Covid-19 diagnosis.
In an unsigned statement from the Commission on Presidential Debates, the commission said it "deals directly with candidates for President and Vice President who qualify for participation in the CPD's general election debates."
McDaniel has long signaled that advising candidates not to participate in CPD-backed debates would be her next move.
"If not, as RNC Chairman, I will have no choice but to advise future Republican candidates against participating in CPD-hosted debates," she added.
This story has been updated with additional information about the Republican National Committee's letter.