RNC Chair: Republican Voters Demand Congress ‘Support This President’
Romney McDaniel warns GOP majorities in 'jeopardy in 2018 if we can’t accomplish the things that we ran on'
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said that GOP voters overwhelmingly want Congress to support President Donald Trump and the legislative agenda he campaigned on in 2016.
McDaniel noted during an interview Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that mail the RNC receives from Republican voters across the country each day expresses a high degree of “frustration” with the inability or unwillingness of GOP lawmakers to pass the president’s legislative agenda. With the 2018 midterm elections coming around the corner, the RNC chairwoman warned Republican members of Congress who have refused to support Trump’s agenda are ripe for an upset.
"And I will tell you, it is overwhelmingly 'Congress needs to support this president,'" McDaniel said of the feedback she receives from Republican voters. "And so what I say to people as I travel the country is, 'We were sent President Trump, and voters gave us a Senate and a House so President Trump could accomplish his agenda.' And they want to see Congress working with this president."
"And there is a jeopardy in 2018 if we can’t accomplish the things that we ran on," she continued. "How do we make a case to the voters to give us the majority again? So as party chair, I'm going to be vocal because I'm very concerned about what happens in the midterms if we can't fulfill the promises we ran on in 2016."
McDaniel responded to vocal anti-Trump Sen. Jeff Flake's (R-Ariz.) recent criticisms accusing Trump of destroying the Republican Party and blaming the rise of populism for an onslaught against conservatism. Noting that she is from Michigan — a state that shocked the country on Election Day when it backed Trump — the RNC chair said Trump "resonated in my state in a way that no other Republican candidate had in my lifetime."
"When [Trump] talked about fair trade, when he talked about jobs, when he talked about wages — and now look how that's translating on the national stage. Unemployment is down, we added a million jobs, we pulled out of bad trade deals that were hurting the American people," she said. "So I don’t know what Senator Flake is talking about on this front. I think President Trump has grown our party, and I think certainly he's fulfilled those promises to the people of Michigan who voted for him and wanted to see change in Washington."
When Ingraham asked McDaniel if the RNC could punish Flake for his attacks on the president by backing a primary opponent against him in 2018, the RNC chair said that it could be done only if "the three national committee people come together and basically create a presumptive nominee for the primaries" using Rule 11.
"They need to have another candidate that they supported and our three RNC members would have to agree on that other candidate for Rule 11 to apply. But it is in our bylaws," she said. "We're going to stay in Arizona no matter who comes out of the primary. We need to be preparing for the general [election]."
Even if the RNC chooses not to back a primary challenger of Flake's, McDaniel warned that 2016 offered a dangerous precedent for senators who refused to back Trump or backed him weakly — particularly in the case of former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).
"If you look at 2016, the senators that did not support the president ... they fell short in those Senate races. And so there is a cautionary tale there. Voters want you to support the president and his agenda," she said. "If we can maintain majorities, we will help the president accomplish his agenda. and it may take the 2018 elections to get the type of Congress in place that will accomplish the president's agenda."
McDaniel also addressed the most recent scandal the Democratic National Committee (DNC) fielded, when reports surfaced that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (D-Fla.) former IT staffer, Imran Awan, was arrested on bank fraud charges after attempting to flee to Pakistan. Schultz served as DNC chair until she resigned amid other scandals in 2016.
"I'd already be behind bars if I did what Debbie Wasserman Schultz has done with Imram Awan," she said. "We're not hearing about it anywhere on the mainstream media. If this was a Republican, they would be convicted and they would be behind bars already. I mean, it's so ridiculous the way this story has been treated versus how it would be treated if it were a Republican. And it highlights the hypocrisy right now of the mainstream media."