Trump startled party officials in 2016 by taking over the Republican National Committee. As the incumbent Republican president, the party has to back him in 2020. But the GOP has options in 2024.
Not even the RNC, which controls party rules and infrastructure, must re-support Trump. As a matter of fact, the GOP’s statutes require neutrality if more than one candidate seeks the party’s presidential
Republican officials from throughout the country gathered in Utah this week for the RNC’s winter meeting.
Their actions made obvious that serving Trump and his political goals remains a priority for the party.
“If President Trump decides to run, the RNC must fully support him,” said Michelle Fiore, a Nevada RNC committeewoman since 2018. Changing the bylaws
The Trump allegiance reminds us that one of America’s major political parties is strengthening its relations with a guy who undermines democratic norms.
Trump’s fight for the White House provoked a violent uprising at the US Capitol. Earlier last year, he stated that former Vice President Mike Pence could and should have changed the election results.
The vice president slammed Trump outside the RNC on Friday, saying he had “no right to overturn the election” and that his former boss was “wrong.”
Pence is one of the few Republicans preparing for a 2024 campaign regardless of Trump’s return. Trump has such a strong base support among Republicans that he would likely be the party’s nominee without the party’s help.
Some Republicans argued it was irrelevant.
“There’s undoubtedly some disagreement,” said Bruce Hough, a Utah RNC member who lost last year’s party co-chair election to a Trump friend. A level playing field for all candidates is required by the RNC. Our job. That’s our job.”
Veterans like Hough, who are loyal to the GOP as a whole, have been split from a broader number of Trump supporters who claim they are reviving the party. Their allegiance seems to be to the past president.
“He dispatched his henchmen around to occupy the committee with very committed Trump individuals in a lot of red states,” said Bill Palatucci, a New Jersey RNC committeeman and frequent Trump critic. “And they still have a big lead.”
The RNC’s ongoing support for Trump more than two years before the 2024 election is a marked departure from earlier positions.
Reince Priebus, RNC leader in 2012 and 2016, went out of his way to ensure that all candidates were treated fairly. In early rounds, up to 17 contenders were allowed to debate.
“Clearly, there’s a prejudice that wasn’t there before,” said Tim Miller, a former Republican National Committee employee turned Trump critic. “It’s all Trump out there.”
After President Joe Biden’s inauguration, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel refused to encourage Trump to run again, citing party neutrality guidelines. She also advised against attacking Republicans who voted to remove Trump.
This week, she joined a Trump-sponsored effort to oust Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for their opposition to Trump’s continued dominance in the party after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
The two “support Democrat efforts to damage President Trump more than they favour winning back a Republican majority in 2022,” the censure reads.
McDaniel’s change aligns with Trump’s fundraising reliance. So far, the party has made hundreds of fundraising appeals mentioning Trump. “YOU must stand with President Trump and YOUR Party,” he told small-dollar contributors on Tuesday.
McDaniel and co-chair Tommy Hicks did not name Trump in speeches minutes before party leaders voted to reprimand Cheney and Kinzinger.
Outside the winter conference, opponents slammed the censure as divisive and counter to leaders’ repeated calls to broaden the party’s tent.
According to Kinzinger, the RNC’s discipline “shows them more than us.” “It proves Trump and Trumpism have swept the RNC.”
In a statement, Cheney claimed the move showed the GOP was captive to Trump.
The party’s preparations for the midterm elections were overshadowed by this week’s attention on 2020 debates and anti-Trump Republicans. Notable because the GOP might retake at least one congressional chamber and numerous governorships.
This week, Trump’s complaints about Republican critics gained Centre stage.
Caleb Heimlich, Republican Party Chair in Washington State, where two of three House members voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 uprising. “I’ve been talking to voters in Washington and nobody mentions Cheney. “A DC issue. Others argued.
RNC committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon of California said she and the thousands of volunteers campaigning to elect Republicans this year needed a strong message about Cheney and Kinzinger.
Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney defied their party’s leadership by voting in the midterms. “I won’t vote for people who do what these two did.”
Republican lawmakers also changed the regulations to address another of Trump’s long-standing frustrations. A measure requiring presidential candidates to sign a pledge not to participate in any Commission on Presidential Debates debates advanced. It will be voted on when the RNC reconvenes in August.
“We will not avoid debate,” McDaniel said. Leaving the Commission on Presidential Debates is because it is a monopoly that does not serve the American people’s best interests.
However, the eventual 2024 nominee will have the final say.
Republican presidential hopeful Maryland Governor Larry Hogan slammed the RNC for punishing Trump critics.
“I believe in the GOP of freedom and truth,” he wrote Friday. This is a terrible day for my party – and the country — when people are penalized for expressing their views, standing up for their values, and not lying.
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