The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee is calling for unity as the party faces a cash crunch and attacks by some Trump allies
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) — Facing a cash crunch and harsh criticism from a faction of far-right conservatives, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel On Friday, he called on the party to unite behind the goal of defeat President Joe Biden.
McDaniel spoke at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Las Vegas behind closed doors on Friday, addressing a gathering of state chairs and other top party members in what is expected to be a critical swing state in the November election.
“We Republicans will remain united like the union our party has long fought to maintain,” McDaniel said, according to people who were in the room and made her remarks on condition of anonymity to discuss a private gathering. “We’ll have battles ahead of us, but they’re good battles, and they’re worth fighting for.”
McDaniel’s call for unity comes as a former president Donald Trump His allies are pushing the party to get behind him and effectively end the primary even though he still faces a final major challenger, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. While McDaniel has battled her opponents before, winning a competitive race for a fourth term as president last year, she now faces Trump supporters on the far right who are launching parallel efforts that could run afoul of the national party.
Campaign finance disclosures released this week show the Republican National Committee had just $8 million in the bank and $1 million in debt. As the Trump campaign heads into 2024 with $42 million in cash, Biden’s political operation reported raising $97.1 million In the final months of 2024 across the various committees it used to fundraise and ended the year with $117.4 million on hand.
Biden already works with the Democratic National Committee, which automatically cooperates with the incumbent president. Efforts by Trump allies Will the Republican National Committee announce this week that Trump is the ‘presumptive nominee’? It was withdrawn after drawing criticism because Haley was still running.
Trump has previously supported McDaniel, though his campaign and the Republican National Committee have disagreed at times. Trump declined to participate in party-sponsored primary debates before the Iowa caucuses this year.
But there has long been tension between the party establishment and some people who consider themselves Trump’s strongest supporters.
McDaniel has faced a week of violent attacks by far-right figures led by Labour Turning Point, a charismatic and well-funded organization founded by 30-year-old media personality Charlie Kirkof which he was a part A failed attempt to oust McDaniel last year.
Days before the party’s winter meeting, Turning Point hosted a counterprogramming event and training session at a casino across Las Vegas Boulevard called “Restoring National Trust,” a play on the RNC’s initials. The invitation-only event attracted nearly 400 GOP-aligned attendees. The group, including some RNC members, as well as state and local GOP chairs.
Kirk, who hosts a popular radio show, is part of a faction of conservatives who have publicly feuded with the Republican National Committee, which they have criticized for spending lavishly and out of touch with the party’s grassroots. They say this led to losses in 2018 and 2020, as well as disappointing results in 2022.
Some Turning Point supporters have become members of the Republican National Committee, while the group is actively recruiting others, an effort that, if successful, would give the group greater influence over the direction of the party and perhaps a stronger role in the party’s leadership.
“We know a bunch of losers when we see them: from top to bottom, the entire RNC staff in its current form,” Kirk said Thursday on his radio show.
“They don’t even know what winning is,” he added.
Inside the Republican National Committee meeting, some members, including those who had criticized McDaniel, said the tipping point effort was ill-advised.
“Attacking the brand and the presidency does not advance our primary goal of winning elections,” said Mississippi National Committeeman Henry Barbour, who has criticized McDaniel at times.
McDaniel’s allies point out that the Democratic National Committee was owed as much as $5 million in the early days of the 2020 race, when the party was trying to return a Democrat to the White House.
Turning Point is looking to expand its influence and reach beyond the youth movement, with mixed results. The group has struggled in its home state of Arizona, where several of its favored candidates failed to win statewide races that many saw as winnable.
Its leaders have also come under scrutiny for their spending practices, including traveling on charter planes, offering lucrative salaries and paying for hosting Kirk’s wedding in 2021. Turning Point is currently trying to raise $108 million for a three-state exit. – A voting campaign in Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia that would run in parallel with efforts already underway.
RNC spokeswoman Emma Vaughn dismissed the challenges as coming from people complaining online.
“External noise may be what keyboard warriors and Democrats are focusing on,” she said. “Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and the entire Republican National Committee are laser focused on beating Biden this fall.”
Slodescu reported from Washington.
(tags for translation)Republican National Committee