Connect with us

World

Trump Apologists Have Found Scapegoat For Midterms Fail: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel

News Agencies

Published

on

WASHINGTON — After watching Donald Trump lead the Republican Party to a third straight bad election season, his followers appear to be coalescing around a consensus: It’s all Ronna McDaniel’s fault.

Rather than blaming the coup-attempting former president — who made the willingness to spread his lies about the 2020 election a condition of his support — activists, lawmakers and even some fellow Republican National Committee members have instead turned on the RNC chair who is seeking a fourth two-year term.

“To play off of a famous catchphrase, Republicans are tired of losing. And I think that we need to radically reshape our leadership in order to win,” said Harmeet Dhillon, an RNC member from California who counts Trump as a law client, in her announcement on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program that she would challenge McDaniel for the chairmanship.

Advertisement

Dhillon did not respond to HuffPost’s queries. Neither in her Monday appearance on Carlson’s show nor on Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast the next day did Dillon even mention Trump.

“Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining,” she told Bannon, ridiculing the idea that the midterm was a success because Republicans will take control of the House. “We really need a fresh perspective.”

Former New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, who this November lost his bid for governor, announced Wednesday that he would not be seeking the RNC chairmanship. “Chairman McDaniel’s re-election appears to already be pre-baked, as if the disappointing results of every election during her tenure, including yesterday’s in Georgia, do not and should not even matter,” he said in a statement, and then added in a tweet: “That doesn’t mean she should even be running again. It’s time the GOP elects new leadership! It’s time for fresh blood!”

Advertisement

McDaniel’s spokespeople did not respond to HuffPost queries.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during a campaign rally with Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Nov. 29, 2022, in Greensboro, Georgia.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during a campaign rally with Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Nov. 29, 2022, in Greensboro, Georgia.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during a campaign rally with Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Nov. 29, 2022, in Greensboro, Georgia.

Advertisement

Other Trump supporters argue that it’s not just McDaniel who needs to be ousted, but also Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, the likely speaker come January. “The GOP needs more Lee Zeldin, Harmeet Dhillon, Thomas Massie, Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan, and less corrupt McLeadership,” wrote former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, whose latter three references are Trump allies in the House.

A common gripe is that McDaniel failed to advocate early voting and absentee voting, giving Democrats a huge advantage heading into Election Day. “I think Republicans have been unwilling, for whatever reason — reluctant, resistant ― to voting early and voting by mail,” said Fox host and informal Trump adviser Sean Hannity.

Fellow Fox host Laura Ingraham complained to former Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway that she was “pissed” and “mad” about losing the Georgia Senate runoff Tuesday. Conway responded that Republicans had to start taking better advantage of early and absentee voting.

Advertisement

“We need to compete not just for votes, but ballots. We need to compete for ballots. If we don’t bank ballots early, we’re going to keep losing,” Conway said.

Ingraham responded that “everyone” had advised against that, including “at the very top of the Republican Party” — to which Conway responded: “Not everyone.”

The exchange, though, elided entirely Trump’s vilification of mail voting during his 2020 reelection bid, when he claimed, without proof, that the process was corrupt. In fact, Conway herself defended that position in a May 27, 2020, session with reporters at the White House.

Advertisement

“They wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake for an hour to get a cupcake. So I think they can wait in line to do something as consequential and critical and constitutionally significant as cast their ballot,” she said. “Next it’s online voting. Then pretty soon we’re just going to have DoorDash and Uber Eats deliver everything we need, including our ballots.”

Conway told HuffPost on Wednesday that she has advocated for using whatever rules are in place. “I have advocated for voting early and catching up with Dems on banking ballots as soon as you can since this is the new normal in many states,” she said.

When Republicans see Sen. Schumer presiding over the U.S. Senate, they have no one to blame except Don Trump.RNC member Bill Palatucci

Advertisement

Yet criticisms of McDaniel — and of McConnell and McCarthy, for that matter — also ignore that it was Trump who insisted on personal loyalty to him in GOP candidates and especially that they parrot his election lies — a trait many independent voters found repugnant and dangerous.

“If you get endorsed by him in the primary, you’re likely to win. If you get endorsed by him in the general, you’re likely to lose,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, one of the few GOP senators willing to publicly blame Trump. “So, for someone who actually wants to win an election, getting endorsed by him is the kiss of death.”

Bill Palatucci, one of the few RNC members willing to publicly criticize Trump, agreed that the former president, who is again seeking the White House, is the true underlying problem. “When Republicans see Sen. Schumer presiding over the U.S. Senate, they have no one to blame except Don Trump,” he said, referring to the New York senator who, starting in January, will have even more authority as majority leader thanks to the Georgia runoff result.

Advertisement

McDaniel, a former state party chair in Michigan, was hand-picked by Trump to run the RNC after his unexpected White House win in 2016. She stayed on despite the drubbing Republicans took in the 2018 midterms and then again in 2020, at Trump’s request, despite his own loss.

She has told supporters she has 100 of the 168 members’ votes locked up, but that was before Dhillon’s announcement.

“There’s no doubt most RNC members like Ronna, but the question is, can the grassroots persuade RNC members who’ve already pledged to support Ronna to pick another candidate?” said one senior member on condition of anonymity. “Or can the grassroots help Ronna understand the party needs a change because the RNC members are clearly unwilling to do the dirty work and show her the door?”

Advertisement

The RNC will choose its chair heading into the 2024 presidential election at its winter meeting in January.

Trump is under investigation by the Department of Justice for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, including the scheme to submit to the National Archives fraudulent slates of electors from states that voted for Democrat Joe Biden as a way to pressure Trump’s then-vice president, Mike Pence, to award Trump a second term. A separate probe is investigating Trump’s removal of highly classified documents from the White House and subsequent refusal to hand them over, even in defiance of a subpoena.

In addition to the federal criminal investigations, a Georgia prosecutor is looking at Trump and his allies’ attempts to coerce state officials into falsely declaring him the winner in that state.

Advertisement

Trump, despite losing the election by 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, became the first president in more than two centuries of elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully. His incitement of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol ― his last-ditch attempt to remain in office ― led to the deaths of five people, including one police officer, the injury of 140 officers and four police suicides.

At rallies and in statements on his personal social media platform, Trump has continued to lie about the election and the Jan. 6 House select committee’s work, calling it a “hoax” similar to previous investigations into his 2016 campaign’s acceptance of Russian assistance and his attempted extortion of Ukraine into helping his 2020 campaign.

Igor Bobic contributed reporting.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment2 hours ago

‘Susan Boyle’s grandson’ makes Simon Cowell ‘angry’ on ‘AGT: All-Stars’

Tom Ball performs on ‘America’s Got Talent: All-Stars.’ (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images) “A lot of people thought Tom...

Entertainment5 hours ago

‘Laverne & Shirley’ star Cindy Williams dies at 75: ‘One of a kind’

Actress Cindy Williams, here in 2012, has died after a brief illness. (Photo: Getty Images) Laverne & Shirley and Happy...

Entertainment6 hours ago

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis share friendly hug in L.A. after Harry Styles split

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis hug in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 27. (Photo: Backgrid) Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudekis...

Entertainment7 hours ago

‘Velma’ angers viewers with ‘harmful’ sickle cell joke

“Velma” is an adult take on one of the characters from “Scooby-Doo.” (Photo: Courtesy HBO Max) HBO Max’s Velma only...

Entertainment7 hours ago

Sundance 2023: The best and buzziest movies coming soon to a theater or streamer near you

from l to r: Gael Garacia Bernal in Cassandro; Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Flora and Son; Jonathan Majors...

Entertainment9 hours ago

Chicago prosecutor dropping R. Kelly sex-abuse charges

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago prosecutor said Monday that she’s dropping sex-abuse charges against singer R. Kelly, following federal convictions...

Entertainment11 hours ago

T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach cuddle up after ‘GMA3’ exit as source says ‘they’re ready for a fresh start’

T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach spotted kissing and embracing on Friday, Jan. 27 hours after their exit from ABC News...

Entertainment11 hours ago

‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant pushes back on unsolved puzzle — and even the show concedes he ‘has a point’

The puzzle is revealed to Ben, of California, on Wheel of Fortune. (Photo: Instagram) There are runners, who feel de-stressed...

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Sports35 mins ago

Chiefs’ recipe for success? The NFL Draft

Kansas City may be star-powered, but it wouldn’t be in the Super Bowl, let alone potentially winning it, if not...

Sports1 hour ago

Report: Mavericks looking for another star at trade deadline. Good luck with that.

Does this surprise anybody?

Sports2 hours ago

Chiefs players give trash-talking Bengals cornerback Eli Apple taste of own medicine

Chiefs players let outspoken Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple have it after KC advanced to the Super Bowl.

Sports2 hours ago

Warriors observations: Steph Curry drops 38 in big win over Thunder

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson had huge performances as the Warriors picked up an impressive road win over the Thunder...

Sports2 hours ago

Andrew Wiggins understands James Wiseman’s confusion about Warriors’ fit

Andrew Wiggins told reporters Sunday that he understands James Wiseman's confusion regarding his situation with the Warriors.

Sports3 hours ago

Pitt’s 2023 schedule is out

A daunting September, two rivalry games on the road, a 10-year anniversary game and a trip to Yankee Stadium.

Sports3 hours ago

Raiders could be planning to squat on Derek Carr, for now

The Raiders have 16 days to figure out a potential trade for quarterback Derek Carr before $40.4 million in future...

Sports4 hours ago

New Red Sox reliever Richard Bleier owns one of the wildest records in MLB history

The Red Sox acquired a record-setting reliever on Monday even if it's a record he'd rather forget.

Technology Hot News

Technology2 weeks ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Technology2 weeks ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

Technology2 weeks ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

Technology2 weeks ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Technology2 weeks ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

Technology2 weeks ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

Technology2 weeks ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

Technology2 weeks ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement