RNC Warns Presidential Candidates From Attending Christian Group’s Forum


The five GOP candidates have been invited to The Family Leader’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum” on November 17,

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has warned the 2024 presidential candidates against attending a Christian organisation;s Thanksgiving forum, saying it would disqualify them from participating in future debates.

The five candidates — former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott — have been invited to The Family Leader’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum” on November 17, reports CNN.

The Family Leader is an Iowa-based socially conservative umbrella group.

In a letter obtained by CNN, the RNC Counsel’s Office said: “It has come to the attention of the RNC Counsel’s Office that several Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in an open-press event in Iowa in November at which they would ‘gather around the table to have a moderated, friendly, and open discussion about the issues’. In other words, a debate.

“Accordingly, please be advised that any Republican presidential candidate who participates in this or other similar events will be deemed to have violated this pledge and will be disqualified from taking part in any future RNC-sanctioned presidential primary debates.”

In its letter, the Office reminded the candidates that they had agreed not to participate in any non-RNC-sanctioned debates during the campaign.

Meanwhile, Drew Zahn, a spokesperson for the The Family Leader, said on Friday that DeSantis, Scott and Ramaswamy have RSVP’d for the event.

“We do not agree that our Forum fits within the RNC’s ‘debate’ restriction”, CNN quoted Zahn as saying in a statement.

He noted that the organisation held the same event during the 2012 and 2016 election cycles.

“So we know from experience our event can be a win-win addition to the election process without in any way competing with the RNC’s debates. It’s just a completely different format and kind of event.”

While DeSantis announced that he would attend the event despite the RNC’s warning, Ramaswamy’s campaign said that it is “hopeful that the RNC and The Family Leader will be able to work out their logistical issues to best serve voters”.

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