RNC Votes to Hold First 2024 Presidential Debate in Milwaukee

The Republican National Committee’s (RNC) Standing Committee on Presidential Debates voted Thursday to hold the first GOP presidential debate for 2024 in Milwaukee in August.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sent a letter, obtained by The Epoch Times, to committee members on Thursday stating that the first debate’s specific conditions hadn’t yet been defined and other debates hadn’t yet been authorized.

“At this time, no other debates have been sanctioned, nor has the final criteria for the first debate been decided,” McDaniel wrote. “The committee will continue its work and will release updates as they become available.”

The debates will coincide with the RNC Summer Meeting.

The RNC committee in charge of presidential debates was also expected to discuss other rules, including requiring all candidates to sign a loyalty pledge promising to support the eventual GOP nominee.

The pledge would be identical to one the RNC requested presidential candidates to sign during the 2016 GOP primary battle.

Unity ‘Imperative’ to GOP

In recent comments about the pledge to The Associated Press, McDaniel spoke of the need for unity to win the White House in 2024.

“After the primary, it is imperative to the health and growth of our Republican Party, as well as the country, that we all come together and unite behind our nominee to defeat Joe Biden and the Democrats,” McDaniel said.

However, the proposal could conflict with former President Donald Trump, one of two GOP candidates officially in the race for the 2024 presidential election, who has expressed reluctance to sign a loyalty pledge.

During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Feb. 2, Trump was asked if he would support the Republican candidate in 2024, even if it wasn’t him. Trump responded by saying that “it would depend,” and referenced his response during the debates in 2016.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

In the first Republican primary debate in August 2015, Trump raised his hand when asked if anyone would not swear to support the eventual GOP candidate.

In the 2016 presidential elections, Trump had considered running as a third-party candidate if he could not win the Republican nomination.

This development comes roughly a week after former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.), who also served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, declared her 2024 presidential bid.

Trump remarked on Haley’s bid on Feb. 1, sharing a video clip on Truth Social of Haley saying she would back the former president if he ran in 2024.

“Nikki has to follow her heart, not her honor. She should definitely run!” Trump wrote.

Several Republican presidential hopefuls are speculated to run, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.).

Democratic Candidates

Marianne Williamson, an author of several self-help books and a progressive activist, became the first Democrat to declare their candidacy for the 2024 presidential election on Thursday.

In an interview with the Medill News Service, Williamson said she believes she can help harness the collective consciousness to create positive change.

“I wouldn’t be running for president if I didn’t believe I could contribute to harnessing the collective sensibility that I feel is our greatest hope at this time,” Williamson said.

Marianne Williamson speaks
Democratic presidential candidate author Marianne Williamson speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., on Aug. 3, 2019. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has not yet announced his reelection bid, but is expected to do so in the coming weeks during the primaries. Williamson, an outsider, is expected to face an uphill battle against Biden in the primaries.

Williamson also launched a presidential campaign in January 2020 with a message of “turning love into a political force.” Despite her efforts, she withdrew from the race after realizing that she would not receive enough support.

She ended her campaign with the message, “love will prevail.” At a rally in February 2020, she endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

Before her recent announcement, Williamson said in a statement on Feb. 19 that three things motivate her re-run for president.

“I am motivated by: a commitment to the tenets of liberty espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address; a realization of the Democratic Party’s shift away from the party of President Franklin Roosevelt; and the economic injustices endured by millions of Americans due to the influence of corporate money on our political system,” she said.

No other Democratic candidate has officially announced a presidential bid.

Gary Bai contributed to this report.

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