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Here's What Ronna McDaniel Is Making GOP Presidential Candidates Do to Participate in Debates

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Divisions within the Republican Party are no secret, as Rep. Kevin McCarthy's battle for the speakership made clear. It took the California Republican 15 votes before he finally clenched the gavel after making a number of concessions to a group of 20 conservative holdouts. But that wasn't the only battle to take place recently. The fight for chair of the Republican National Committee between Ronna McDaniel and Harmeet Dhillon was also contentious. Now, McDaniel is looking to tamp down on even more divisions forming within the party during what will no doubt be a wild campaign for the GOP nomination. 

If Republican candidates want to participate in the GOP's first primary debate in Milwaukee, which will be held in August—nearly a year before the RNC convention in the city—they must agree to sign on to a pledge promising they will eventually throw their support behind whoever ends up winning the Republican nomination. 

"We're saying you're not going to get on the debate stage unless you make this pledge," McDaniel told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union," noting that GOP voters are tired of "infighting." 

And despite former President Trump saying his support would be contingent on who the nominee is, the RNC chair said she thinks he'll sign on.

"I think they all want to be on the debate stage," she said. "I think President Trump would like to be on the debate stage. That's what he likes to do. And I expect they will all be there." 

There are currently three candidates who have officially jumped in the 2024 race: former President Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. 


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