CNN announced Thursday that it will host two more Republican presidential debates amid reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is expected to lift a rule that would prohibit candidates from participating.
The debates will occur on Jan. 10 at Drake University in Iowa and on Jan. 21 at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, respectively, according to CNN’s announcement. Though the RNC previously threatened to block candidates from participating in debates not sanctioned by the RNC, the GOP is now expected to release candidates from the rule in the upcoming days, CNN reported.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was quick to confirm that he would participate in the debates, tweeting in response to the announcement that he was “looking forward to debating in Iowa.”
Looking forward to debating in Iowa! https://t.co/qeCvrTLwqy
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) December 7, 2023
The RNC previously threatened 2024 presidential candidates after they received an invitation to attend a “Thanksgiving Family Forum” in Iowa. If candidates participated, the RNC said in a letter, candidates would be prohibited from participating in all future debates because attending would violate a previous contract they signed. The RNC later said it did not consider the forum a debate and allowed candidates to participate.
To qualify for the CNN debate that will take place before the Iowa caucus, presidential candidates must poll at least 10 percent in three separate national or Iowa surveys that meet CNN’s standards, the announcement read. To attend the CNN debate taking place in New Hampshire, the White House hopefuls must poll at least 10 percent in three separate national or New Hampshire surveys which also must meet CNN’s standards. (RELATED: Republicans Hope Fourth RNC Debate With Conservative Hosts, Moderators Will Deliver For Base Voters)
Four presidential candidates, DeSantis, former U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participated in the latest RNC-sanctioned debate on Wednesday. In that debate — which, in contrast to the three previous debates, was hosted by non-mainstream media outlets — the candidates sparred over their stances on various issues, including foreign policy, gender identity and the border crisis.