Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel described former Presidentas crucial to the future success of the party she leads – and dodged questions about whether Trump threatened to bolt it on his last day in office.
‘President Trump clearly has not left the party,’ McDaniel said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters Thursday, when asked about the reported threat to leave.
‘And I never shared my conversations with the president. But I will say one thing that is a very true statement which is: If he left the party we’d lose. If he left the party Republicans would lose,’ she said.
She was responding to a question about Jonathan Karl’s new book, which reports that Trump told McDaniel ‘I’m done’ with thein a phone call from Air Force One as he left on his last day in office.
‘If he left the party we’d lose,’ Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thurdsay
She declined to elaborate on a prior statement that the report was false. ‘I’ve already said what I was going to say, which is that the President stayed in the party. This is a non-issue.’
McDaniel stated repeatedly that Trump was critical to the fortunes of the GOP, and credited him with helping Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, who did not campaign in person from Trump but who enjoyed a surge in voter turnout.
‘I mean, if you look at the issues, it’s the Republican Party, he’s a big factor in that,’ she said.
Asked about reporting about Trump’s private and public push for former Vice President Mike Pence not to certify votes certified by states, McDaniel downplayed the potential for a contentious primary between the two.
‘I don’t think 2024 is even on the radar yet. Until we get to 2022. Democrats have tried to federalize the elections four times this past year,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘I don’t think any Republican can be looking at 2024 is even an option if we don’t want to 2022 so that will play itself out. I want everybody to be focused on 2022 in our party … And they can work up those disagreements at a later time.’
As to the substance of Trump’s claims about Pence’s authority, she said: ‘I think that was lot of issues that happened in the election and we can talk about that. But that that will be for constitutionalists.’
It is in the RNC’s bylaws that it stay out of primary elections. She fielded a question about the Wyoming state GOP’s decision to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who voted to impeach Trump, serves on the Jan. 6th committee, and backed a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
‘Obviously she’s still a Republican. She’s a Republican in the [GOP] Conference,’ said McDaniel.
‘But I get from the state party standpoint when you have a congressperson or senator … not talking about electing Republicans up and down the ballot,’ she continued. Then she backed up state parties by saying: ‘The state party’s the most grassroots body that a state has.’
McDaniels called Trump a ‘big factor’ in the GOP
She dodged questions about a new book by Jonathan Karl that Trump told her he was ‘done’ with the GOP in a phone call from Air Force One Jan. 20, when Trump did not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration
She called for focusing on 2022 and not trying to focus on a feud between Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence over whether Pence could refuse to accept votes from states during the electoral count Jan. 6th, and didn’t weigh in on whether Pence had the authority. ‘That that will be for constitutionalists,’ she said
McDaniel spoke at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast a day after the House voted to censure GOP Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and the Wyoming state GOP ousted Rep. Liz Cheney
She called for rolling back changes to election laws, which included expansions of mail-in voting and more time for votes to be counted. ‘We need to restore our elections back to pre pandemic protections,’ she said.
She was also asked if Joe Biden won the election – amid Trump’s constant claims of fraud.
‘I think there were a lot of problems in the election,’ she said.
‘He’s the president. It’s very painful to watch,’ she said. ‘I just told you he’s the president and it’s very painful,’ she said.
She chastised reporters for their repeated inquiries about Trump and what he meant to the prospects of the GOP.
‘This is so D.C. You guys are obsessed with him. I don’t get, everything’s about Trump,’ said the Michigan native, who’s grandfather Gov. George Romney addressed a similar breakfast decades ago.
‘Right now, it whatever it takes to get us to win back majorities,’ said McDaniel.
Minutes before her event ended, Trump blasted out a statement congratulating a Wisconsin state lawmaker for ‘putting forward a powerful and very popular, because it’s true, resolution to decertify the 2020 Presidential Election in Wisconsin based on the recently found absolute proof of large scale voter fraud that took place.’
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