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RNC to stop hosting debates, will permit candidates to appear in any forum

The RNC previously forbade candidates from participating in unsanctioned events with one another, requiring that they only engage with their competition via the sanctioned debates.

Published: December 8, 2023 4:43pm

The Republican National Committee has announced it will not officially host any further primary debates and will instead permit candidates for the party nomination to participate in any forum they please.

The announcement followed the RNC's fourth debate on Wednesday, in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, tech mogul Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participated. 

"We have held four successful debates across the country with the most conservative partners in the history of a Republican primary. We have no RNC debates scheduled in January and any debates currently scheduled are not affiliated with the RNC," the RNC Committee on Presidential Debates said, per Politico.

"It is now time for Republican primary voters to decide who will be our next President and candidates are free to use any forum or format to communicate to voters as they see fit," the statement continued.

The RNC previously forbade candidates from participating in unsanctioned events with one another, requiring that they only engage with their competition via the sanctioned debates. Former President Donald Trump, the clear front runner in the race, did not participate in any of the officially sanctioned RNC debates.

ABC News and CNN have both announced plans to host their own debates, though it remains unclear which candidates will participate in either event.

Voters, for their part, appear increasingly uninterested in the primary process, with the fourth debating drawing just over 4 million viewers, a dramatic drop from the first debate's 13 million viewer audience and smaller even that the debate between DeSantis and California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom last week, which drew 4.75 million.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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