GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel to step down following Trump criticism, reports say

Committee has lagged behind Democrats and seen disappointing election cycles under Trump-loyalist McDaniel

John Bowden
Washington DC
Wednesday 07 February 2024 05:29 GMT
Donald Trump reveals criteria for vice president

Two days after Donald Trump told a news channel that he would be recommending changes at the Republican National Committee, it appears that chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel will be heading for the exit.

The New York Times reported the news on Tuesday evening, as voters in Nevada participated in Democratic and Republican contests that were largely meaningless, albeit for different reasons. President Joe Biden coasted to another victory while Nikki Haley embarrassingly lost a primary – to “none of these candidates” – that would have netted her zero delegates anyway in her race against Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

One of Ms McDaniel’s former rivals, Vivek Ramaswamy, had publicly called for her firing onstage at a Republican debate before his own departure from the 2024 race. Ms McDaniel had been in the audience — while Donald Trump, Mr Ramaswamy’s likely intended audience, clearly agreed. He was reported to have met with the outgoing GOP chair on Monday, and on Sunday had hinted at her ouster to Fox News.

“I think she did OK, initially, in the RNC. I would say right now, there’ll probably be some changes made,” he told Maria Bartiromo.

The New York Times reported that Mr Trump is likely to throw his support behind the candidacy of Michael Whatley, currently chair of the North Carolina GOP, for the role. His decision, according to the newspaper, was made on the strength of Mr Whatley’s performance in 2020 — referring to both Mr Trump’s victory in the state as well as the state party chairman’s full-throated endorsement of the conspiracies and lies the Trump campaign spread as it falsely claimed that Joe Biden stole the election after Mr Biden’s win.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks before the candidates come on stage at the third Republican presidential debate of the 2024 election season (REUTERS)

The RNC has lagged behind the Democratic National Committee in fundraising under Ms McDaniel’s tenure, a symptom of both her own inability to raise larger sums and Mr Trump’s dominance of the playing field; he and his Save America PAC continue to vacuum up the lion’s share of donations, including from small-dollar supporters, as the former president funds not only his own war chest but his mounting legal fees.

Ms McDaniel has not confirmed her departure, and a spokesperson for the RNC told news outlets on Tuesday that the official decision on the future of the party’s leadership would not be made until after the South Carolina Republican primary later this month.

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