RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel accuses "corrupt" commission of canceling debate to shield Biden

RNC chair says "corrupt" commission canceled debate to shield Biden
RNC chair says "corrupt" commission canceled ... 07:13

Washington — Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, lambasted the Commission on Presidential Debates for canceling next week's event between President Trump and Joe Biden, claiming the bipartisan commission is "corrupt" and attempting to protect the Democratic presidential nominee.

"It was done unilaterally without talking to the candidates, and they interfered in the election," McDaniel said on "Face the Nation." "It is corrupt. It is what D.C. is. They are in the pocket of Joe Biden, and they prevented the American public from seeing these candidates debate, and it's wrong for the country." 

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday it would be canceling the second presidential debate, scheduled for this week in Miami, Florida, after Trump and Biden campaigns wrangled over safety protocols following the president's COVID-19 diagnosis. The commission initially said the face-off would be virtual for health and safety reasons, but the Trump campaign objected to the change in format.

Amid the disagreements over protocols for the second debate, the Trump campaign said the president would hold a rally instead, while Biden is expected to participate in a town hall hosted by ABC News. The third debate, scheduled for October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is set to proceed as planned.

While the commission is bipartisan, McDaniel denounced its Republican members, claiming they have been critical of Mr. Trump, and said the decision to cancel the second debate bolsters claims that Biden is a creature of Washington, D.C.

"I think voters are very frustrated by the corrupt debate commission that they would cancel a second debate," she said. "I think it feeds into the belief that this 47 years that Joe Biden has had in D.C. is again protecting him from facing the voters. And Americans are frustrated that this election commission interfered with our ability to see these two candidates debate."

McDaniel also took aim at the media, claiming the press is not paying enough attention to Biden's unwillingness to definitively say whether he supports adding seats to the Supreme Court, known as court packing. The proposal has gained traction among Democrats following Mr. Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last month.

"He's going to say he's going to stack the Supreme Court, get rid of the filibuster and he's being given a free pass," she said. "This should be all the media is focused on."

McDaniel accused Biden of wanting to "upend checks and balances in the third branch of government."