Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 18, 2024

Biden Campaign Allegedly Pressures CNN to Bar RFK Jr. from Debate

Frank Fahrenkopf, co-founder of the Commission on Presidential Debates, recently stirred controversy by claiming that President Joe Biden's campaign has requested that CNN prevent Robert F Kennedy Jr. from participating in the upcoming June 27 presidential debate.This move comes as Kennedy, who is currently polling below the required threshold for debate inclusion, is seen as a potential disruptor in the presidential race and a potential threat to the Biden campaign, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Previously aligned with the Democratic Party, Kennedy has now positioned himself as an independent candidate, escalating tensions within the electoral landscape.

Kennedy's Potential Legal Challenge Over Debate Exclusion

Kennedy's exclusion could prompt legal challenges based on potential violations of Federal Election Commission rules, as suggested by Fahrenkopf. Kennedy himself has expressed confidence in meeting the debate criteria by the stipulated June 20 deadline, despite current polling figures and incomplete ballot access across required states.

CNN's debate criteria demand that participants poll at 15% in four national surveys and secure sufficient state ballot presence to accumulate 270 electoral votes.

As of now, Kennedy's national polling average lingers around 9.7%, with his highest polling from CNN at 13%.

Strategic Moves Amid Electoral Dynamics

Speculations suggest Kennedy might consider joining the Libertarian Party, a move that could guarantee him automatic ballot access. This strategy reflects the complex dynamics of third-party candidacies, which often struggle for visibility and legitimacy in a predominantly two-party system.

The struggle for ballot access remains a significant hurdle. Kennedy's campaign has successfully completed petitions for 201 electoral votes, and according to Fahrenkopf, seven states have finalized their ballot work, totaling 110 electoral votes.

However, the full disclosure of ballot candidates by states, due on September 6, could still leave Kennedy ineligible for the June debate.

The broader political implications are palpable, with some viewing Kennedy as a "spoiler" who could inadvertently assist former President Donald Trump by splitting the vote. Trump has labeled Kennedy a "Democrat plant," an accusation that underscores the high stakes and strategic calculations of this election cycle.

Looking Ahead: The September Debates

While Kennedy faces challenges, both Trump and Biden are scheduled for a debate on September 10, hosted by ABC. This debate, along with the CPD's shifting role from sponsor to observer, marks a significant transformation in how presidential debates are being conducted this election season.

Fox News has expressed interest in hosting a vice-presidential debate, though it remains unclear whether Kennedy's running mate would be invited. Responses from Kennedy and Biden’s campaigns to these developments have not been forthcoming, as noted by the Washington Examiner.

In conclusion, the controversy surrounding Kennedy's potential exclusion from the CNN debate reflects deeper issues within American electoral politics, including the influence of major parties, the role of media in shaping political discourse, and the ongoing debate over the fairness and inclusivity of the electoral process. As the election approaches, these issues are likely to become even more pronounced, shaping the strategies and responses of all involved parties.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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