Ronna McDaniel was re-elected to a fourth term as the Republican National Committee on Friday after staving off challenges to her leadership, but she will now have to deal with bitter recriminations that burst out into the open at the RNC get-together in California.
According to a report from Politico, things got personal and ugly as the vote neared with a surrogate for failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake creating scenes by confronting lawmakers and GOP officials at the hotel where the meeting is being held.
As Politico's Natalie Allison wrote, "The at times fierce, two-month-long race sparked debates about how the RNC has managed its finances and fared in recent elections. It also saw some members — on both sides of the contest — publicly calling into question the character of their colleagues, putting McDaniel and her allies on the defensive and forcing the incumbent chair to assemble an aggressive whip operation to shore up her support."
As the report notes, GOP activists who were opposed to McDaniel serving another term managed to alienate delegates.
One of those was conservative gadfly Charlie Kirk who complained, "I think the RNC is going to have a lot of trouble raising small-dollar donations, a lot of trouble rebuilding trust. Going into 2024, the apparatus that should be a machine and clicking on all cylinders and firing on all cylinders is going to be in a trust deficit.”
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As for more direct confrontations, Allison wrote one was a supporter of both RNC head candidate Harmeet Dhillon and Lake who caused scenes as voters were being lobbied before the final tally.
"Kirk wasn’t the only Dhillon ally whose aggressive advocacy ended up turning off members of the committee. Caroline Wren, who most recently ran Kari Lake’s gubernatorial campaign in Arizona, got into a heated exchange with Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones on Thursday night in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria," Politico is reporting. According to three people familiar with the confrontation, Wren, who has been Dhillon’s top adviser in her campaign for chair, told Jones: 'Everyone knows you’re here f*cking whipping votes for Ronna.' She proceeded to call him a 'f*cking sell out,' adding that, 'the grassroots will never support you again.'"
The report adds, "A person familiar with the conversation said Wren had also approached Jones two other times this week, once while he was speaking with an RNC member, during which she called him 'the f*cking enemy,' and another time as Jones was speaking with Lake, during which she called him a 'sellout.'"
Wren attempted to downplay the conversations, denying that she used profanity and stated, "she was frustrated with Jones because he had previously been a public supporter of Dhillon."
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