Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole said on Twitter on Friday that despite their professed commitment to bipartisanship, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is biased. Dole said while there are professing Republicans on the commission, “none of them support” President Donald Trump.
“The Commission on Presidential Debates is supposedly bipartisan w/ an equal number of Rs and Ds. I know all of the Republicans and most are friends of mine. I am concerned that none of them support @realDonaldTrump. A biased Debate Commission is unfair,”
The Commission on Presidential Debates is supposedly bipartisan w/ an equal number of Rs and Ds. I know all of the Republicans and most are friends of mine. I am concerned that none of them support @realDonaldTrump. A biased Debate Commission is unfair.
— Senator Bob Dole (@SenatorDole) October 9, 2020
Dole’s announcement comes as the CPD, whose members have an average age over 71 years, continues to suffer attacks for its poor handling of the 2020 debates.
Not only has the commission changed the rules for the debate, claiming that “additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” and even moving the second presidential debate to a virtual format after rising fears of COVID-19 transmission despite the distance between candidates onstage, but it also chose at least two blatantly biased moderators.
While the first presidential debate moderated by Chris Wallace raised criticism of the CPD’s moderator choices, the recent attention C-SPAN’s Steve Scully recently proved the point that the CPD chose moderators biased against Trump.
On Thursday night, Scully, a former Biden intern, posted on Twitter asking former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired 10 days after his appointment, for advice on how to “respond” to Trump.
The anti-Trump advocate simply told Scully to “ignore” Trump because “he is having a hard enough time” and “some more bad stuff about to go down.”
CPD Co-Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf claimed that Scully was hacked.
“He was hacked, it didn’t happen,” he told Brian Kilmeade on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” Friday morning.
C-SPAN also released a statement claiming that Scully “did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked.” The network said that the incident is under investigation by authorities.
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 9, 2020
While the CPD and C-SPAN claimed that Scully did not send the tweet, they offered no evidence for this explanation. Scaramucci also has yet to explain why he responded to a supposedly “hacked” tweet.
Multiple prominent political and journalistic voices have called for the abolishment of the CPD and debate moderators.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board published an article on Friday with a headline that reads “Who Needs Debate Moderators? Or, for that matter, who elected the Commission on Presidential Debates?” The piece argues that the CPD has handled 2020 unprofessionally by changing things at the last minute and choose bad moderators.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also slammed the commission for being outdated and biased.
“The commission represents precisely the values and attitudes which were repudiated in the election of President Trump. Even the Republicans on the supposedly non-partisan commission board are pre-Trump members of the old order,” he wrote.