Republicans Opting Out of Debates?

 

Headline: R.N.C. Signals a Pullout From Presidential Debates. Is the RNC really about to do something that isn’t stupid? All I know is my gut says, “Maybe.”

The Republican National Committee is preparing to change its rules to require presidential candidates seeking the party’s nomination to sign a pledge to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The nonprofit commission, founded by the two parties in 1987 to codify the debates as a permanent part of presidential elections, describes itself as nonpartisan. But Republicans have complained for nearly a decade that its processes favor the Democrats, mirroring increasing rancor from conservatives toward Washington-based institutions.

They aren’t even debates. They’re just Media Operatives asking banal questions followed by the politicians giving canned answers their handlers wrote for them. The only politician to respond spontaneously in any of them was Trump. They are never informative, since the candidates are only repeating the talking points from their stump speeches. The media is just looking for its “Gotcha” moment, like Gerald Ford denying the existence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe, or Mitt Romney talking about the binders full of women he had strapped to the top of his car or something.

And these things are almost always moderated by Democratic Party Activists with bylines … Candy Crowley, John Harwood, Chris Wallace, Lester Holt, Martha Raddatz, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper. That the Republicans on the supposedly bipartisan CPD agreed to this shows their utter incompetence and uselessness.

Now, if we can just get rid of those scripted “Townhall Meetings,” where Democrat activists pose as “Undecided Voters” to ask Republican candidate questions like, “As an independent voter, my biggest issue is Climate Change. If elected, will you pledge to shut down all coal mining and oil production in the world, and if not, why do you hate the children, who are our future, so much?”  It would actually be fantastic to see real voters ask real questions of the candidates; rather than media operatives repeating questions fed to them by their colleagues in the Washington DC Bubble.

While the eventual nominee could decide to debate, there’s far more energy in the G.O.P. base behind abandoning institutions than there used to be.

It never occurs to them to blame failing institutions (journalism, media, government) for this.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Newt was not all canned either. 

    • #1
  2. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss.  This is yet another group to blame.  

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    You mean it’s Trump’s Party now.

    • #3
  4. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Newt was not all canned either.

    I don’t know/recall if the primary debates were run by same outfit? 

    I always thought one of the best debates I saw was the VP Debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Liberman. Cheney ‘won’ but it was an actual exchange of policy by adults.

    • #4
  5. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    The Times headline asks “What will replace them?”  I suggest each candidate who wants to be President pledges to go the full three hours with Joe Rogan.  He would get much more out of them than the corrupt “moderators” of these snoozeroo “debates” and “town halls.”  

    • #5
  6. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    When reminded of the fecklessness of Bush-Republicans, they always deflect to Trump. 

    • #6
  7. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Victor Tango Kilo: Is The RNC really about to do something that isn’t stupid?

    It definitely goes against type.

     

    • #7
  8. James Salerno Inactive
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    “Mister Democrat, you have been outspoken about a 12% tax, while Mr. Republican, you are on record stating you will fight for a 11% tax. Can you both talk over each other for 45 minutes about why you feel your proposal is the best for Americans?”

    It’s all a circus.

    • #8
  9. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    Yes, I blamed it for Trump’s 2020 loss back in 2016.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/03/a_new_format_for_presidential_debates_comments.html

    • #9
  10. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    It’s all a circus.

     

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Talk about the Uniparty.  The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden.  What a brilliant tactical move.

    • #11
  12. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    I doubt if Biden will be on the ticket in 2024,

    • #12
  13. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    Be patient, Gary. Trump will get around to blaming you eventually. Gives you something to look forward to. 

    • #13
  14. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    It would be nice if someone addressed my points about the uselessness of the debates themselves. 

    • #14
  15. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    It would be nice if someone addressed my points about the uselessness of the debates themselves.

    I’m completely with you.  I watched one of the 2016 Republican primary debates.  Before that we watched one of the Obama-Romney debates.  I remember one Bush-Gore and one that I think was Clinton-Bush41-Perot.  None of them were in the least informative.  I’ve never understood how anyone could be persuaded to change their vote by a presidential debate. I remember RR telling Carter “there you go again” so maybe I saw that one.  

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    It would be nice if someone addressed my points about the uselessness of the debates themselves.

    I’ve written here on R> several times about the whole “debate” scam.  My primary answer is to have a round table discussion in which each candidate gets a chess clock which turns on and off his microphone, and a “moderator” with a gavel to hit people on the head when they get out of control.

    • #16
  17. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    It would be nice if someone addressed my points about the uselessness of the debates themselves.

    I don’t know. I hear that a small minority of people change their minds. However, the Republicans are smart to not fight on enemy territory, Read about the old ancient generals. They position themselves for days or weeks and never waste their resources fighting uphill that’s what you should always do.

    As to clicker’s point. I want one three hour debate where they can actually get into it.

    • #17
  18. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Flicker (View Comment):

     My primary answer is to have a round table discussion in which each candidate gets a chess clock which turns on and off his microphone, and a “moderator” with a gavel to hit people on the head when they get out of control.

    I strongly support the main idea. A moderator hitting the participants on the head with a gavel.

    But I’m firmly opposed to two other bits:

    1. that their microphones be sometimes turned on.
    2. the qualification that this only occur “when they get out of control”.

    I’m good with the chess clock.

    It should be set for 60 minutes when the moderator starts hitting the participants on the head with a gavel, and when time expires, he or she  should be stopped, and the candidates should be given medical care. That care should be as prompt and professional as what our families get when one of us has a life-threatening asthma attack and checks into an ER.

    • #18
  19. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I want one three hour debate where they can actually get into it.

    Ideally with claymores.

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    Can you maybe NOT ride your hobby horse through every thread?

    • #20
  21. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    It would be nice if someone addressed my points about the uselessness of the debates themselves.

    I’m completely with you. I watched one of the 2016 Republican primary debates. Before that we watched one of the Obama-Romney debates. I remember one Bush-Gore and one that I think was Clinton-Bush41-Perot. None of them were in the least informative. I’ve never understood how anyone could be persuaded to change their vote by a presidential debate. I remember RR telling Carter “there you go again” so maybe I saw that one.

    There was actually one Republican Primary Debate that was substantial, dealt with the issues, and let candidates talk in-depth about their plans.  It was hosted by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.  He brought the candidates out one at a time and asked them very pertinent questions and let them talk at length in their answers.  There was no grandstanding, evasion, or bickering.  The best primary debate I’ve ever seen.

    I happened to meet Branstad during the 2016 Republican Convention.  I complemented the guy on that  informative debate and he immediately became my best friend for life!  He talked to me for something like 20 minutes, telling me all about Iowa, and Dan Gable,  and his fishing trips and what not.

    • #21
  22. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    About 20 years ago, we sponsored the first candidate forum at our firehouse.  It was a contentious race for county judge and our precinct commissioner.  (County judge is the senior elected official).  One twist is that we don’t have a competitive Democrat party in our county so all the action is before the Republican primary.  This year we are electing a new judge and commissioner (incumbents not running) so there is more interest than usual.  There is actually a Democrat candidate for commissioner so we will have him there as well.  There are 9 debate events sponsored by the Republican Party, and all have structured and vetted questions.  At ours we give each candidate 5 minutes to speak and then ten minutes to take questions from the audience.  It’s completely unscripted.  After it’s a meet and greet for as long as anyone wants.

    We area smallish rural county, growing fast.  As long as court isn’t in session (every other Monday morning), anyone can walk into the judge or one of the commissioners offices and meet with them. 

    It’s pretty easy to get a full picture of each candidate with a little work here.  

    • #22
  23. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Victor Tango Kilo:

    They aren’t even debates. They’re just Media Operatives asking banal questions followed by the politicians giving canned answers their handlers wrote for them. The only politician to respond spontaneously in any of them was Trump. They are never informative, since the candidates are only repeating the talking points from their stump speeches. The media is just looking for its “Gotcha” moment, like Gerald Ford denying the existence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe, or Mitt Romney talking about the binders full of women he had strapped to the top of his car or something.

     

    It’s a game show. It’s theater; the style of theater called reality television. Free content, and it’s up to them to make it interesting, tell a story, craft a narrative, define a box or an approach and find your audience, and then work to keep them.

    But at some point I noticed who were in control, in total control, of the proceedings. They can cut – even if it’s live, they can mute mics, they can stop transmission, but they are controlling every aspect of this event.

    But amazingly,  they can  make their case for anything said for the next post debate news cycle. They can pick and choose through 90 minutes of debate to present certain and various tidbits uttered and then craft a convienient story.

    The producers of the show control the politicians.

    If wannabes  don’t go along with the production requirements and follow directions, they will probably come out looking bad. These guys and gals are already in supplicant looking-good mode. They are contestants for approval. They want to look good.

    NBC or ABC, Fox, whatever. The journalists sit. The contestants stand. There are only three of them, and they are impeccable and polished. Inquisitors. Across are are over a dozen wannabe Presidents, that have to raise their hands like schoolchildren in response to some cleverly-worded question.

    It’s clear who’s in charge. This is the more powerful message. The visuals, the posturing, the superior attitude which they assume. And they pretend to be representatives of the common citizen but advocating for themselves.

     

    • #23
  24. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Talk about the Uniparty. The Republicans forswear debates — against Joe Biden. What a brilliant tactical move.

    It would be nice if someone addressed my points about the uselessness of the debates themselves.

    I’ve written here on R> several times about the whole “debate” scam. My primary answer is to have a round table discussion in which each candidate gets a chess clock which turns on and off his microphone, and a “moderator” with a gavel to hit people on the head when they get out of control.

    The debate should be hosted by Flicker and ToryWarWriter

    • #24
  25. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    Can you maybe NOT ride your hobby horse through every thread?

    Drew,

    If you have an intelligent, civil response to Gary’s argument, please post it.

    Your insulting, irrational comment is inappropriate for Ricochet. We are here for conversation, not puerile displays of belligerence.

    • #25
  26. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    Can you maybe NOT ride your hobby horse through every thread?

    Drew,

    If you have an intelligent, civil response to Gary’s argument, please post it.

    Your insulting, irrational comment is inappropriate for Ricochet. We are here for conversation, not puerile displays of belligerence.

    This comment is itself insulting. So you are criticizing this man for breaking rules you are now breaking yourself?

    • #26
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trump is busy finding folks to blame for his 2020 loss. This is yet another group to blame.

    Can you maybe NOT ride your hobby horse through every thread?

    Drew,

    If you have an intelligent, civil response to Gary’s argument, please post it.

    Your insulting, irrational comment is inappropriate for Ricochet. We are here for conversation, not puerile displays of belligerence.

    Then flag me and move on.

    Or beg for an ignore feature. I’ll support it.

    • #27
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Franco (View Comment):

    This comment is itself insulting. So you are criticizing this man for breaking rules you are now breaking yourself?

    You noticed that, too, eh?

    • #28
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I’ve written here on R> several times about the whole “debate” scam. My primary answer is to have a round table discussion in which each candidate gets a chess clock which turns on and off his microphone, and a “moderator” with a gavel to hit people on the head when they get out of control.

    The debate should be hosted by Flicker and ToryWarWriter

    It’s been suggested before but put each candidate on Joe Rogan’s show for three hours and let him ask questions. We’d get far more out of it than these circuses they call “debates.”

    • #29
  30. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I’ve written here on R> several times about the whole “debate” scam. My primary answer is to have a round table discussion in which each candidate gets a chess clock which turns on and off his microphone, and a “moderator” with a gavel to hit people on the head when they get out of control.

    The debate should be hosted by Flicker and ToryWarWriter

    It’s been suggested before but put each candidate on Joe Rogan’s show for three hours and let him ask questions. We’d get far more out of it than these circuses they call “debates.”

    Nah, let’s just make them all play in a Jeopardy! tournament. 

    • #30
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