According to a report from the Washington Post, there are rumblings within the Republican Party over the fact that Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel is siding too much with Donald Trump over the party as the GOP attempts to regroup following the loss of both the White House and the Senate in the 2020 election.
As the report notes, since Trump lost to now-President Joe Biden, the RNC head has gone to extraordinary lengths to remain in Trump's camp by making trips to Mar-a-Lago to consult with him despite the fact he holds no office.
The Post's Josh Dawsey wrote, "Since Trump left office, McDaniel has taken a hands-on approach to staying in Trump's good graces — meeting with him privately at Mar-a-Lago, having the RNC spend more than $100,000 to hold the donor event at his club and regularly conferring with him, even after the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6."
However, as the report explains, her closeness to Trump has some conservatives upset that she is not looking out for the long-term interests of the party while the former president takes potshots at the GOP's leadership.
According to the report, the RNC is set to meet next week in Dallas for its first since the election and McDaniel is "under increasing pressure from some of the committee's members to show more independence from the former president" after Trump called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a "dumb son of a bitch" in front of GOP donors in a Mar-a-Lago speech last week.
"While Trump maintains broad support throughout the party, some of the RNC's 168 committee members want to see the party create at least a modicum of distance from Trump — or at least grapple with the fact the GOP lost the White House, Senate and House during his administration and reflect on how to improve its fortunes in 2022 and 2024, according to multiple party officials and committee members," the report states with influential Henry Barbour, a national committeeman, bluntly stating: "We've got to be clear-eyed about the last cycle. We lost."
Addressing the fact that the RNC paid Trump $100,000 to hold the fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Barbour added, "Could you imagine if the RNC held a similar event at Ted Cruz's home or Mitt Romney's home or any other potential candidate's home? Trump is a major force in the party, but the party must be bigger than any one candidate, including Donald Trump."
His view was echoed by Bill Palatucci, a national committeeman from New Jersey, who lamented, "some of us in purple states sit back and just roll our eyes" at the goings-on like last week's event.
Palatucci went on to add that McDaniel has installed Trump loyalists in key positions within the RNC which doesn't bode well for the future of the party.
"The challenge facing McDaniel and other party officials is that Trump is not retreating from the spotlight, as past presidents have, and has made it clear that he plans to continue to attack other Republicans," Dawsey reported. "For her part, McDaniel has told others that she wants to make sure Trump does not start a third party. And she is conscious that the former president is the "golden goose" for fundraising, one person close to her said."
Added Palatucci, "Ronna is in a terribly difficult position. She's trying to maintain the donor base, which likes the president, but she's got to navigate a lot of primary fights."
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