Longtime Donald Trump loyalist Ronna McDaniel of the Republican National Committee has insisted the party will remain “neutral” in its next presidential primary, even if Trump decides to run for re-election.
“The party must remain neutral. I’m not telling anyone to run or not to run in 2024, ”McDaniel told The Associated Press when asked if she wanted to see Trump run again in the next presidential election. “It will depend on these candidates in the future. What I really want to see done, however, is help us win back majorities in 2022. ”
The National GOP, under McDaniel’s leadership, has spent the past four years almost singularly focused on re-electing Trump in 2020. But if he does run again in 2024 – and he has suggested publicly and privately that he should. wishes – the infrastructure of the national party would not back its ambitions over other potential candidates according to party rules, she said.
Just months after the last presidential election, several Republican hopefuls have already started vying for a position in the 2024 competition. McDaniel is much more focused on the midterms of 2022 when Republicans have the opportunity to break the monopoly. Democrats on Congress.
McDaniel is in a difficult political position as she begins her new term as GOP National President.
She has been a stalwart of Trump, but as head of the Republican National Committee, she is also responsible for helping her party recover from its painful 2020 election season in which Republicans lost the House, the Senate and the White House. Trump’s staunch base continues to demand loyalty to the former president, even though some party officials admit that Trump’s norm-upsetting behavior has alienated those elements of the coalition the GOP needs to win future elections.
Tensions are particularly high within the party as the Senate prepares for Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Ten House Republicans vote earlier this month to impeach the former president for instigating the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol, and on Tuesday five Senate Republicans vote to move forward with a lawsuit that could ultimately bar him from holding public office again.
In the interview, McDaniel called for Republican unity and discouraged elected officials from attacking other Republicans – even those who voted to impeach Trump. However, she declined to name specific Republicans when pressed, including Trump Loyalist Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Who is traveling to Wyoming this week to campaign against Republican Liz Cheney, the highest House Republican who supported Trump’s impeachment.
“If we fight every day and attack each other and brandish party purism, we are not going to accomplish what we need to reclaim the House and take back the Senate, and that is my priority, ”McDaniel said.
In the interview, McDaniel also described the pro-Trump conspiracy theory group known as the QAnon as “dangerous”.
She strongly condemned the movement, a large group of conspiracy theorists who were a visible presence during the Capitol uprising on January 6. Trump has repeatedly refused to denounce the group in the White House.
“I think it’s really important after what just happened in our country that we have a personal reflection on the violence that continues to erupt in our country,” McDaniel said. “I think QAnon is over the edge. I think it’s dangerous.
Moving forward, she said voters, not Trump, are in charge of the Republican Party, although Trump continues to maintain “a huge and huge presence” with his base.
McDaniel said she expected several Republican leaders to play an important role in the party’s future, mentioning former Vice President Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations. The two are also seen as potential candidates for the 2024 presidential election.
She also downplayed reports that Trump was considering leaving the GOP and creating a new political party, warning that such a move would divide Republicans and “ensure the Democrat wins.”
A Morning Consult poll released on Monday showed three in 10 Republicans would be ready to join a new party if led by Trump, compared to 36% who said they wanted to stay in the GOP. A quarter of Republicans said they didn’t know what to do.
“It would basically be a rubber stamp on Democrats getting elected. And I think that’s the last thing any Republican wants, ”she said. “It is clear that he understands this.