The Republican National Committee is planning to require its presidential candidates to pledge not to participate in debates orchestrated by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Of course, that is the organization that has sponsored the presidential and vice-presidential debates for more than three decades. From the New York Times:
The move by the R.N.C. was an outgrowth of those long-held complaints and came after months of discussions between the commission and party officials. According to the R.N.C.'s letter, the chairman of the party's temporary presidential debate committee, David Bossie, began discussions last year with the debate commission's co-chairman, Frank Fahrenkopf, a former Republican official.
The Republican Party chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, had demanded that changes be made to the commission and how the debates were held, writing in a letter to the commission in June that the party and its voters had lost faith in the commission.
The change requiring candidates to refuse participation in the commission's debates is to be voted on at the R.N.C. winter meeting in Salt Lake City in February. If the R.N.C. moves forward with it, it is unclear what that would mean for future debates. But it would change the approach to be similar to what happened before the commission existed, when the two parties or campaigns had to negotiate directly and agree on terms, or no debates would take place.