In an exciting development for the upcoming Republican primary, CNN has announced that it will be hosting two additional debates in January. These debates will give voters more opportunities to hear from GOP presidential hopefuls before they head to the polls.
In Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold voting for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, these debates will play a crucial role in shaping the race. On January 10, the first event will be held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, just days before the Iowa caucus. The second debate is scheduled for January 21 at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire.
Notably, these debates are not sanctioned by the Republican National Committee (RNC), which raises questions about the committee’s “Beat Biden Pledge.” This pledge, signed by all GOP candidates participating in the first four primary debates, stipulated that they would not participate in any debates not sanctioned by the RNC.
However, recent developments suggest that the RNC may be reconsidering this requirement. According to a source familiar with the matter, the committee is contemplating releasing candidates from the pledge’s restriction on participating in non-RNC-sanctioned events. This could open the door for former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner, to participate in these debates.
Trump previously refused to participate in the RNC-sanctioned debates, citing his dissatisfaction with the loyalty pledge. He had expressed reservations about supporting specific candidates in the GOP pool. With CNN independently hosting these debates, it creates a new opportunity for Trump’s involvement.
The “Beat Joe Biden” pledge also includes a commitment from candidates to support the Republican nominee and not run as a write-in candidate or independent if they’re not chosen. This pledge reflects the party’s focus on unity and defeating President Joe Biden in the upcoming election.
Any other RNC-sponsored debates will not accompany the additional debates hosted by CNN. The committee has no plans to hold further primary debates before the Iowa caucuses on January 15.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential GOP candidate, welcomed CNN’s announcement, expressing his excitement about participating in the Iowa debate. DeSantis is among the contenders vying for the nomination and hoping to gain momentum through these debates.
CNN’s decision to host independent debates offers a fresh perspective on the Republican primary. It allows for a broader range of voices and potentially gives Trump a platform to engage with his fellow candidates. While the RNC-sponsored debates have come to a close, these upcoming events promise to inject new energy and excitement into the race for the 2024 GOP nomination.