Ronna McDaniel on the way out as RNC chair?

Former President Donald Trump is appearing to be changing his tune on supporting Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a longtime ally of the former president who has reportedly become dissatisfied with her in recent years over GOP performances in elections.

Trump has flipped back and forth as to whether to call for McDaniel to resign outright, suggesting this weekend that there will “probably be some changes made” to Republican leadership. The former president helped McDaniel secure the post in 2017 following his victory in the 2016 election, but subsequent election results in the 2020, 2022, and 2023 elections have soured their relationship and pushed Trump to look elsewhere for a party leader.

McDaniel has faced extreme scrutiny for her role as chairwoman, particularly after the GOP’s expected “red wave” in the 2022 midterm elections did not make landfall. The opposition from MAGA Republicans toward McDaniel that followed reflected an increased level of divergence within the party, as several conservatives began to question McDaniel’s leadership and her support of the former president openly.

As polling shows the Republican Party is widely under the influence of Trump, it is possible that any statement or move from Trump to remove McDaniel could spell the end of her time as chairwoman.

“Is it time for Ronna McDaniel to step aside?” a Newsmax reporter asked Trump in a televised interview on Monday.

“I think she knows that, I think she understands that,” Trump said.

However, Trump later posted on Truth Social that “Ronna is now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth.”

In the 2023 off-year election cycle, Republicans were once again disappointed after the Virginia legislature flipped to Democratic control and Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) soundly won reelection against Daniel Cameron, the state’s attorney general who was endorsed by Trump.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who vocally supported Trump while running a campaign against him, called out McDaniel for the election losses on an RNC debate state last year and launched an online petition requesting her resignation.

McDaniel has hit back at critics for the party’s election losses, saying that “some people don’t understand what we do.”

“We’re a turnout machine, and actually, it’s going to look like more Republicans turned out in Virginia than Democrats,” McDaniel said following the 2023 elections. “We actually turned out more Republicans than Democrats in Kentucky. We’re not the messaging — that comes from the candidate, and that’s up to them.”

The RNC and McDaniel have also come under fire from former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and her allies for efforts to unite behind Trump after only two primaries. Under pressure, a resolution to declare Trump the party’s nominee was tossed out last week. Other GOP leaders have criticized McDaniel for calling for Republican unity around Trump, calling the effort premature.

One state party chairman previously told the Washington Examiner that everyone “has opinions about the chair. Would expect that whoever the nominee is, they will ask for a new chairperson.”

That nominee is likely to be Trump given the direction of the latest primaries and polls, and he has shown frustration over McDaniel’s handling of the RNC debates, in which he refused to participate. He also reportedly told his advisers that she was not doing enough to protect “election integrity” despite the party continuing to suffer from financial setbacks. Campaign finance filings showed the RNC struggled to raise money in 2023 and entered the election year with about $8 million cash on hand — just half of the money the Democratic Party collected, per the Washington Post.

However, some Republicans are continuing to throw their support behind McDaniel, arguing that the former president played a role in the party’s lackluster performances. Several Trump-endorsed candidates lost to Democrats after beating out their centrist opponents in the primary.

“If Trump wants to understand why we lost in 2018, 2020, and 2022, all he has to do is look in the mirror. Ronna isn’t a magician,” RNC member Henry Barbour, who has criticized Trump, told the Washington Post.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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