Image: Ron McDaniel. Source: Gage Skidmore, Peoria, Arizona, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Written by STEVE PEOPLES
NEW YORK (AP) – The head of the Republican National Committee on Wednesday refused to encourage former President Donald Trump to run for the White House in 2024, saying the Republican Party will remain “neutral” in its next presidential primaries.
In an interview, RNC chairman Ron McDaniel also named a conspiracy theory group appropriate to Trump, known as QAnon, as “dangerous”.
The National Republican Party led by McDaniel has spent the past four years almost exclusively focused on Trump’s 2020 re-election. But if he ran again in 2024 – and he publicly and privately suggested he wanted to – the national party infrastructure would not support his ambitions towards other potential candidates under party rules, she said.
“The party must remain neutral. I’m not telling anyone to run or not run in 2024, “McDaniel told the Associated Press when asked if she wanted Trump to run again in the next presidential election. “It will depend on those candidates who go further. However, what I really want him to do is help us get back the majority of votes in 2022. “
In the months since the last presidential election, several prospects from Republicans have already begun to fight for a position in the 2024 contest. McDaniel is much more focused on the 2022 by-elections, when Republicans will have the opportunity to break the Democrats ’monopoly on Congress.
McDaniel is in a difficult political position when he begins his new term as chairman of the National Republican Party.
She was a staunch supporter of Trump, but as RNC leader, she was also tasked with helping her party recover from the painful 2020 election season in which Republicans lost the House of Representatives, Senate and White House. Trump’s hot base continues to demand loyalty to the former president, even as some party officials acknowledge that Trump’s violating behavior alienates elements of the coalition needed by the Republican Party to win the upcoming election.
Tensions are especially high in the party as the Senate prepares for Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Earlier this month, ten Republicans in the House voted to impeach the former president for inciting an attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, and on Tuesday five Republicans in the Senate voted to continue a trial that could eventually ban him from holding public office.
In an interview, McDaniel called for Republican unity and urged elected officials to attack other Republicans – even those who voted for Trump’s impeachment. However, she declined to nominate any specific Republicans when they were pressured, including Trump-loyal MP Matt Goetz, R-Fla., Who is traveling to Wyoming this week to campaign against Liz Cheney, the most senior Republican in the House of Representatives. which supported the impeachment of Trump.
“If we fight each other every day, attacking each other and waving party purism, we will not be able to achieve what we need to bring back the House of Representatives and bring back the Senate, and that is my priority,” McDaniel said.
She also strongly condemned the QAnon movement, which supports Trump, a large group of conspiracy theorists who attended the January 6 Capitol uprising. Trump has repeatedly refused to condemn the group while in the White House.
“I think that after what has just happened in our country, it is very important to think about the violence that continues to break out in our country,” McDaniel said. “I think QAnon is not the only thing. I think it’s dangerous. “
Moving forward, she said voters, not Trump, are the leader of the Republican Party, although Trump continues to maintain a “big, huge presence” at his base.
McDaniel said she expects several Republican leaders to play a significant role in the party’s future, citing former Vice President Mike Pence and Nicki Haley, a former ambassador to the United Nations. Both are also considered potential contenders for the 2024 presidency.
She also downplayed reports that Trump was considering leaving the Republican Party and creating a new party, warning that such a move would divide Republicans and “guarantee Democrats win up and down.”
“It would be, in fact, a stamp on the election of Democrats. And I think that’s the last thing any Republican wants, “she said. “It’s clear he understands that.”
Source: AP News
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