January 16, 2022

HUGH HEWITT: RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel On The RNC’s Divorce from the Biased Presidential Debate Commission.

HH: Now I have many, many grievances going back to Candy Crowley throwing the 2012 Election…

RM: Yeah.

HH: …to moderators before, to the 2016 rules and the obvious bias to Hillary, to the 2020 cancellation of the debate, to the makeup of the debate moderators in 2020. What broke your back? I mean, what got the committee to finally say we are done with you, you are a biased arm of the DNC even if you have some token Republicans on there?

RM: Well, I think for us, it’s that the Commission had no interest in working with the Republican Party, which represents 74 million voters. And what they’ve done is they’ve set up a system where we’ll only work with the nominee. But by the time the nominee’s in place, which is after the convention in 2024, the debates are all set. So they have total control and a total monopoly. And there were three things that were really egregious in 2020. They picked a moderator that worked for Joe Biden. They started debates after a million votes had been cast. We asked them to start debates before early voting starts. And I think the third is they had members of their commission that were vocally disparaging the Republican candidate and allowed to stay in their role. And so this has been a cushy job for decades. They have a total monopoly. And we said can you just guarantee us that you won’t pick a moderator that worked for the Democrat candidate? They won’t even say yes to that. And I think…

HH: Who is the moderator who worked for Biden? Would you remind people?

RM: It was Steve Scully.

HH: And Steve is a friend of mine. I think he’s a very fine journalist, but they should not have overlooked that detail.

RM: No, and that should be for both. By the way, would the Democrats say Kayleigh McEnany can host a debate for any Democrat? I mean, you shouldn’t have an employee of one of the candidates, a former employee, host the debate. It’s just not fair. These are really simple asks that we had, Hugh. I think most Americans would say yeah, debates should start before early voting. You shouldn’t have a moderator that worked for the other candidate. Yes, the commission that’s supposed to be non-partisan shouldn’t have members disparaging either candidate. Very across the board…

HH: It was a very anti-Trump debate commission, and that’s okay with the legacy media. It’s not okay with America. I also want to point out Beltway capture is a real deal. And legacy media capture is a real deal. And the Presidential Debate Commissions have been captured both by Beltway confirmation bias and acceptance rewards, and by legacy media. So they ran it for the networks, and they ran it so that they would get along well at the White House Correspondents dinner. That’s what they ran it for.

RM: Well, and they said that to us in no uncertain terms. We do not care about what the RNC says. We do not care about what 74 million voters say. All we’re asking for is a free forum, a free and fair forum to let our candidate showcase his policies or her policies. And they can’t even give us that guarantee. And it’s very clear they don’t have any allegiance to the American people and the voters. It’s all about them and the media and the DC Beltway. And they say we’re not going to do anything with you. We don’t care what you say, even if we’ve done the most egregious thing. We don’t even say to you of course that makes common sense, that we will agree that we won’t do those things.

Related: Here’s How We Know the RNC’s Demands for Presidential Debates Are Reasonable. “When it comes to partisan news coverage, it doesn’t get any worse than MSNBC. Yet, even MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle couldn’t find anything objectionable about the Republican National Committee’s demands for reform of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). ‘They want the debates to happen before early voting starts, term limits for the commission’s board, and a ban on any partisan political activity for the people in the commission,’ Ruhle said. ‘I am a mere mortal. I have never been involved in debates about debates, but when I read those three, I kind of think, I don’t know, they sound reasonable.’”

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