The Republican Party had suggested it might hold forums in January in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but multiple people involved in the process said those debates might no longer be sponsored by the party.
A spokesman for the Republican National Committee, Keith Schipper, said on social media that the committee had not approved the CNN debates.
Almost immediately on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has staked his campaign’s success on a strong showing in Iowa, said he would participate in the debate there.
That gathering will be held on Jan. 10 at Drake University in Des Moines, five days before the Iowa caucuses. The network will allow candidates to participate only if they have received at least 10 percent in three separate national or Iowa polls, with at least one poll of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers.
The second debate is scheduled for Jan. 21 at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., two days before the New Hampshire primary election. The top three finishers in Iowa will be invited to participate. Otherwise, the criteria are similar to the Iowa debate.