After the Republican National Committee threatened to impose a ban on all future presidential debates if they appeared at the same time on Fox News, presidential candidates Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy decided not to go through with their previous plans.
On the Monday broadcast of “Special Report,” a nightly newscast on Fox News, Bret Baier announced they would be launching a new segment called “candidates corner,” and it would feature both Christie and Ramaswamy as the first guests.
In fact, before Baier announced that news on the air, Ramaswamy posted on the social media platform X that he “agreed to spar” with Christie on Tuesday’s edition of “Special Report.”
The RNC notified both candidates, though, that if they appeared jointly on the Fox program, they would be barred from any future presidential debate that was sanctioned by the committee. That information was relayed to Politico by a person who was familiar with the conversations that took place between the RNC and the two candidates’ campaigns.
That led Christie to post on X on Tuesday morning that he and his fellow candidate “were threatened with exclusion from the Miami debate and future debates for trying to have a more complete dialogue with each other and the voters.” He said the decision by the RNC was “disappointing.”
Ramaswamy was equally as outraged, posting:
“Last week’s RNC debate was a disgrace, and I’m starting to believe that was by design. This is what a brokered and rigged nomination process looks like.”
Christie and Ramaswamy both signed a pledge when they initially declared their official candidacy for the Republican nomination. Media outlet The Hill obtained a copy of the pledge recently.
It shows that they both accepted and acknowledged that if they were to “participate in any debate that has not been sanctioned by the RNC, I will not be eligible to participate in any further Republican National Committee sanctioned debates.”
The scheduled joint appearance on “Special Report” was considered by the RNC to be a debate, according to the rules of the pledge.
An RNC spokesperson issued a statement about the issue on Tuesday, saying:
“The same candidates complaining about the rules governing RNC debates all signed a pledge and agreed months ago to not participate in unsanctioned debates. The RNC will continue to enact a fair, transparent debate process, and we will not give in to pressure from individuals seeking to change the rules to favor their candidacy.”
Because of the threat, Christie and Ramaswamy appeared on “Special Report” on Tuesday, but at separate times.
The candidates have been doing everything they can to make some noise recently, as they find themselves lagging in the polls considerably behind former President Donald Trump, who has skipped the first two GOP debates and plans to skip all of them.
In fact, the Trump campaign has said the RNC should cancel every future debate so that it can rally support around Trump, since he’s most likely to be the party’s nominee anyway.